False and dysfunctional speech should be repressed

letter to the editor
Willow Yang/File

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In defending and advocating the precept that “all speech should be heard,” you, the administrative head of a world-renowned institution of higher learning, have fallen victim to the most destructive fallacy which anyone who desires the development of knowledge can believe.

“All speech should be heard” is nothing more than an articulation into the social and political spheres of the same ethos which, in educational discourse, gives us the phrase “there are no wrong answers.”

As anyone who has struggled to impress upon a classroom full of students the need for self-discipline and intellectual honesty will understand, to say that there are no wrong answers is to renounce in an instant all hope of progress.

A society which honors the idea that all speech should be heard will likewise have renounced the only possible foundation for its own betterment. Without the suppression of ideas which are demonstrably false and dysfunctional, no forward movement is possible; no innovation, no creativity is possible in a system which forbids the elimination of outmoded ways of thinking.

Chancellor Carol Christ, your email is deeply disturbing because it rejects the fundamental principle on which not only all learning, but on which all sense of truth and justice is founded on. To say that all ideas must be heard, in reference to an idea racism that has been so thoroughly discredited, is to say to everyone who speaks and has spoken out against racism that their work is useless in that it will never be finished.

For if in a just world all speech must be always be heard, then there can be no society in which racism does not deserve to be heard, apologized for, and its logic of division and inequality made to live on.

Chancellor Christ, racism is a wrong answer. Do not compromise.

Aaron Capelli is a UC Berkeley alumnus.

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  • BlackConservative

    When you paint everything racists then you have control over a lot of things your painted. The counter title to this article: “How Daily Cal has trivialized racism and have extreme cognitive dissonance that should be repressed”.

  • Mitchell Zimmerman

    What a lot of confused thinking. Just to begin, who said “All speech should be heard?” The issue is whether all speech should be permitted — and the established First Amendment answer is (with some exceptions) more or less: Yes, unless it imminently incites acts of violence.

    Should demonstrably false claims be taught in the classroom — e.g., that African Americans are genetically inferior or that the sun revolves around the Earth? No. But whether people should be allowed to express these false views in Berkeley or on campus is a wholly different question. Can anyone really think it contributes to understanding to collapse these issues into each other?
    The writer seems to actually have nothing to say about what should happen when someone engages in “false and dysfunctional” speech. (Let’s not even bother trying to figure out what he means by “dysfunctional.”) Is it okay for anyone to terminate bad speech by assaulting someone who engages in it? Or is it the state’s responsibility to enjoin, arrest or fine people who engage in “false speech”?
    Which of these following examples of false or dubious claims should be banned by the state? (1) Blacks are inherently inferior to whites. (2) Whites are more discriminated against than blacks. (3) Followers of Black Lives Matter have engaged in violence against police. (4) Sympathy with cop-killers is the same thing as complicity. (5) African American men represent a giant part of the group of convicted criminals. (6) White lives matter. Does every community in America get to decide which statements are false and dysfunctional, or only Berkeley?

    This article seems to approve, in an uncritical way, of some sort of suppression of what the writer considers bad speech, without illuminating what, where, and with what consequences visited by whom.

  • FreedomFan

    “On Thursday, University of California at Berkeley once again threw up obstacles to Ben Shapiro’s speaking event on campus on September 14 at Zellerbach Hall. It is now August 31, two weeks out from the speech, and the university has yet to release tickets. Hoping to discuss that issue with the administration, Berkeley College Republican secretary Bradley Devlin and Young America’s Foundation activist Amy Lutz went to the Cal Performances office to meet with Rob Bean and Gina Perino. Despite YAF and BCR attempts to coordinate with the university, the university has not been able to finalize ticketing.

    Devlin stopped by the offices at 12:30 p.m., but was informed that Bean and Perino were on a lunch break; when he stopped by again with Lutz at 2:00 p.m., they were told that both Bean and Perino had “left unexpectedly” for the remainder on the day. The office refused to let Devlin and Lutz know when Bean and Perino would return the next day. Devlin and Lutz were also informed that only Bean and Perino were capable of discussing the issues.”
    -DailyWire

    Looks like Cal Berkeley administrators agree with this terrifyingly fascist author. I remember when Berkeley was a respectable institution of higher learning.

  • Killer Marmot

    I am keen to learn the exact definition of “dysfunctional” speech, and the process by which one determines whether a stated opinion is dysfunctional or not.

    I would imagine it involves struggle sessions and star chambers.

  • FreedomFan

    Looks like my quote of Chancellor Christ was deleted. Interesting.

  • FreedomFan

    Exactly. If you let me decide what is false, I will let you censor it using violence. But you may not like my take on reality, comrade.

  • Jack Spencer

    May I ask how old you are? Twenty Something? How dare you tell someone who was living during Berkeley’s FSM what free speech is.You dishonor the traditions of the institution that is giving you the privilege of a world class education. You are dishonoring the memories of those who went before you and fought for your right to publish the piece that I just read.
    How dare you suggest those rights be restricted for others. How dare you.

    • Aaron capelli

      tradition is, in addition to being an obstacle to progress, also and relatedly a means for people to secure the borders of their ego, erecting idols of the past as monuments to their terror of alterity.

      • Rollie

        Brakes on a car are a tradition. So is the use of penicillin. And so is the Constitution that protects your own speech, here and now. Are you willing to give up any of those to achieve the kind of “progress” that you advocate?

        • Aaron Capelli

          only the last of those is a tradition; the others are inventions which continue to be used because the need for their use is ever present.

          of course i would get rid of the constitution. it allows for the possession of private property.

          • Rollie

            Okay, but if the brakes themselves are only an invention, then stepping on the brakes at a red light certainly IS a tradition. Are you willing to set aside that “obstacle to progress” when you drive? I suspect not.

            And if you don’t believe in private property, then you’ll have no complaint if someone steals your furniture, hacks your phone, or empities your bank account, right? After all, they were never yours to begin with.

          • zzz

            Private property is used to press books and newspapers, that property should be done away with so that 20 something idiots can perfect society by doing away minority rights, we need to turn back the clock to the censors perfected reality, 1950.

      • zzz

        The tradition of the scientific method gave way to you living past 29.

        Anti traditionalism gave rise to Pol Pot, Lennonism(not the cool kind), the Ayatolla, Hitler, the French terror and following wars….

        The tradition of free speech brought us Orwell, Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Edmond Burke, MLK, Voltaire, Diederot….

        Your tradition of anti free speech bruoght us McCarthy, J.E. Hoover, Stalin, Mao, the Hollywood blacklist, the Palmer raids, etc…

      • Jack Spencer

        I can only pity you Son. Your objectivity was stolen away.

      • BlackConservative

        It seems like what you what is regression. Please explain to me how this is progress. You are indoctrinated my fine sir.

  • zzz

    I’ve heard this before I think.

    ON THE CORRECT HANDLING OF CONTRADICTIONS AMONG THE PEOPLE

    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-5/mswv5_58.htm

    Our state is a people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class
    and based on the worker-peasant alliance. What is this dictatorship for?
    Its first function is internal, namely, to suppress the reactionary classes
    and elements and those exploiters who resist the socialist revolution, to
    suppress those who try to wreck our socialist construction, or in other words,
    to resolve the contradictions between ourselves and the internal enemy. For
    instance, to arrest, try and sentence certain counter-revolutionaries, and
    to deprive landlords and bureaucrat-capitalists of their right to vote and
    their freedom of speech for a certain period of time — all this comes within
    the scope of our dictatorship.

    • FreedomFan

      Yes, the author sounds like Mao…who is probably one of his heros.

      • zzz

        The odd thing is

        1. Aaron is “taking advantage” of western freedoms of speech and it’s history.

        2. Aaron wants to do away with western freedoms of speech and this history. Aaron would like to pass speech through popular opinion.

        3. Aaron in Germany in 1934 would be a National Socialist, the nation has taken the temper of free speech and found it wanting. Correct speech has been found for Aaron and it is National Socialism.

        4. If Aaron was opposed to sanctioned correct speech, Aaron would be dead.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      Yeah, it’s the same old Cultural Revolution BS. That must be why the PRC leads the world in intellectual inquiry.

      • zzz

        heh, China is a culture that rips everything off, out fascist left would love for us to go back to 1920 intellectually, as long as they are in charge.

  • jim hoch

    So what is the process for having my speech approved in advance by Ms. Capelli?

  • flashsteve

    Of course, most of us realize that danger of people like this writer, and his ilk. The problem is how to disagree, without putting ourselves in bed with the alt-right nuts. We need an organization of rational, free-speech respecting activists not afraid to stand up to Capelli, et al

    • lspanker

      Aside from a few hundred troglodytic Nazi/KKK/skinhead types whose political power and influence is grossly overstated for the purpose of promoting mass hysteria, the so-called “alt-right” is a rather minor problem. The goody-goody progressive liberals who don’t want to make a stand against Antifa or kooks like Capelli here because they are deathly afraid of being seen on the same side of an issue as conservatives are a far bigger problem here…

  • Killer Marmot

    Everyone can see the iron fist within the velvet glove, which is that the suggestion to suppress “false and dysfunctional” ideas is in truth an attempt to impose a specific political ideology that the author subscribes to.

    We’re just not that dumb.

  • Rollie

    You propose repressing “demonstrably false” information, and logically, this would leave only demonstrably true information available to the interested learner. Your method demonstrates a belief that inquiry is the purview of elites—educators and other authorities whose determination of the truth should be accepted, pre-packaged, and without question by students and everyone else.

    The social “betterment” that you write about will not result from the censorship that you advocate.
    The best learning will occur, as it always has, when the inquisitive are allowed to avail themselves of all sources of information that they choose to. Truths are seldom identified in isolation, but instead by fearless comparison with competing ideas. And this does not equate, as you claim, to the notion of “there are no wrong answers”, but in fact is a manifestation of the very healthy concept that there are no wrong questions.

    Despite the free exchange of ideas, some people will still reach the wrong conclusions (“wrong” as we see personally them, that is) and I suspect that this will upset you. Perhaps you’ll feel better if you imagine the alternative: a society in which each new generation is told that it doesn’t have to do its own thinking, that all of the “false” information has been hidden from its view by those who came before, and who’ve been good enough to do the thinking for everyone. The watchword for students will be “Don’t go snooping around for other ideas.”

    • Aaron Capelli

      “Your method demonstrates a belief that inquiry is the purview of elites…”

      there is an important point to be made in responding to this assertion. while it is true that i demand that proper attention be paid to the educator who is up front and lecturing, this is only so long as the professing being done, is being done in such a way as to provoke critical inquiry on the part of the listeners. thus, it is in fact inquiry which is precisely *not* the purview of the elites.

      what is painful in this model, what causes our souls to shrink from following it, is that to be provoked to critical inquiry is to experience the death of ourselves via the death of our ideas. a truly good educator will begin by bringing about a profound unsettling of the way we conceive of the world.

      the next mistake, which is what my letter points to, is to believe in epistemological relativity (which leads us to the false belief that free speech, in letting anything be said and thus anything be heard, will best help us realize the truth — ie, letting all egos roam freely and giving enough respect to whatever comes out of their mouths to allow it to be said).

      the difficult but necessary task is to be prepared to sustain a state of critical inquiry while not falling into the trap of thinking that the necessity of entering this state means that nothing is definitely true.

      • lspanker

        Please make a point of calling up your parents and telling them that college was clearly wasted on you. You’re clearly a mediocre mind and an embarrassment to Cal.

      • Rollie

        Capelli, you write: “there is an important point to be made in responding to this assertion. while it is true that i demand that proper attention be paid to the educator who is up front and lecturing, this is only so long as the professing being done, is being done in such a way as to provoke critical inquiry on the part of the listeners. thus, it is in fact inquiry which is precisely *not* the purview of the elites.”

        You contradict yourself. Your original message is about suppressing dissenting speech, so how is the “critical inquiry” that you now mention even possible, if certain information is suppressed? Like it or not, you’re advocating not only an elite’s (educator’s) right to select information for her/his own teaching, but also to SUPPRESS information that a learner might otherwise seek out, even outside the classroom. Rationalize it however you like, but what you describe is the opposite of critical inquiry.

        “what is painful in this model, what causes our souls to shrink from following it, is that to be
        provoked to critical inquiry is to experience the death of ourselves via the
        death of our ideas. a truly good educator will begin by bringing about a
        profound unsettling of the way we conceive of the world.”

        Speak for yourself. For those of us who are open-minded and who aren’t afraid of competing ideas, pain isn’t even a part of the experience. But you and your shrinkable soul have my pity all the same. But why fear the death of an old idea anyway? Have some gumption and let your “facts” be challenged, because when you do, one of two things will
        result, both of them good: (A) Your current opinions will be reaffirmed and strengthened; or (B) Your view will be changed and you’ll get to discard a discredited viewpoint in favor of a better one. That’s how we grow intellectually, you know.

        “the next mistake, which is what my letter points to, is to believe in epistemological relativity (which leads us to the false belief that free speech, in letting anything be said and thus anything be heard, will best help us realize the truth — ie, letting all egos roam freely and giving enough respect to whatever comes out of their mouths to allow it to be said)”

        “Epistemological relativity”? C’mon, fess up…you’re a philosophy major, aren’t you? At any rate, yours is a very pessimistic philosophy, but if it makes you happy, I won’t try to talk you out of it. But it does contain a fundamental defect—namely, a regression problem. To arrive at the point you aspire to, when all the bad ideas have been hidden away, requires that someone does the original screening. And this screening, this separation of good from bad, absolutely requires exposure to the bad. (You can’t hit an invisible target, right?) So despite your protestations, you actually do support a certain exposure to bad ideas, only you consider it the privilege of some people and not of others. And that is where you fail ethically—in claiming the right to decide for others what they get to see and hear.

        “the difficult but necessary task is to be prepared to sustain a state of critical inquiry while not falling into the trap of thinking that the necessity of entering this state means that nothing is definitely true.”

        Nobody is arguing against definite truth here, and if you were talking about a mathematics curriculum you’d have something to hang your argument on. But your specific case—that of judging speech as racist, or otherwise bad—is self-evidently subjective. If racism is abhorrent to decent, thinking people, it’s not because they’re told that it is by people like you, but because they’ve decided for themselves that it is, based on examining information, including any competing/opposing ideas they wish to examine. A good educator will never discourage such inquiry.

        • lspanker

          Speak for yourself. For those of us who are open-minded and who aren’t afraid of competing ideas, pain isn’t even a part of the experience.

          One has to wonder if the fear of opposing ideas isn’t the realization that one lacks the intellectual capacity to engage in debate and convince others of the merits of one’s views. A common thread with many violent protesters over recent years, including the Occupy crowd, BAMN, Blacklivesmatter, and the Antifa crowd is that, when challenged to explain what they actually stand FOR, many of these individuals can’t even express their OWN views in a logical, coherent manner. Oh well, that would explain why they prefer a venue where they can be part of a mob, chant mindless slogans like a bunch of programmed drones, break things, and beat up others in order to silence their views. Massed cowardice to mask the fact that they can’t compete one-on-one with others in the realm of ideas.

          • Rollie

            Very excellent point, Ispanker, and you’re right to use the word “cowardice” when describing these mobs. I think I see the same insecurity even in non-violent students and protesters whose methods are to pull fire alarms, steal entire runs of newspapers, tear down signs and posters, and shout en masse to drown out a speaker. They lack genuine confidence in their own arguments, and are ruled more by fright than by reason. That’s a shame, because once upon a time students were taught to seek out debate, and to relish sinking their teeth into a nice, juicy, fleshed-out argument Nowadays they’re often taught that challenges to one’s own opinions are inherently dangerous, even violent, and that the only defenses are to flee, silence the opposition, or crack heads. Persuasion isn’t even part of the formula, because that would require the kind of self-knowledge and reasoning power whose actual lack you so aptly point out.

          • Rowenna

            Your reference to self-knowledge is key. Those who are most drawn to mobs and leftist identity politics tend to lack a sense of self thereby becoming dependent on a group identity. Threats to the group identity are then recognised as being threats to the individual because without the group identity they do not know who they are.

            Think about how many aspects of self are developed in the early years (before age of 5) yet have been under attack by ‘progressivism’ over recent decades;

            – gender
            – family
            – community
            – religion (for Jews, Christians etc)
            – cultural hertiage (for white folks)
            – etc.

            This has been damaging to society and I think many of these kids just don’t know who they are and so struggle to engage in independent thought.

        • Aaron capelli

          here is a rephrasing of the principle you misunderstand.

          “the freedom to make mistakes” which gandhi believed to be valuable is, stated without any obfuscation, not a freedom at all, but an enslavement to being wrong that justified people refusing to learn the truth.

          • Rollie

            Here is a re-phrasing of the principle that YOU misunderstand: Separating right from wrong requires exposure to the “wrong” in the first place, and someone to do the work of hiding it away. That you argue for denying learners access to what you consider to be wrong, only means that you reserve the right of access to some class of elites (educators, etc.), who get to do the thinking for everyone.
            And you have repeatedly failed to justify your belief that some get to decide what the rest get to see and hear. I encourage you either to have the guts to lay out a logical argument, if you have one, or to simply admit that you’re a censor.

            As for the freedom to make mistakes, think where you would be without such freedom. You certainly wouldn’t be walking, because you’d have feared falling down. Likewise you’d have shunned any other imperfect human activity, which is basically all of them anyway. I suspect this is a freedom that you really do believe in, but reserve only for yourself. How else to explain your willingness to write freely here, while at the same time unable to use capitalization and punctuation correctly? Are you willing to have your writing repressed, because it is technically “wrong”?

        • Aaron capelli

          my original point was not about suppressing dissenting speech. it was and is about suppressing falsehoods.

          • BlackConservative

            Why suppress it? Why not just allow it and debate it?

  • Killer Marmot

    “All speech should be heard” is nothing more than an articulation into the social and political spheres of the same ethos which, in educational discourse, gives us the phrase “there are no wrong answers.”

    How bizarre. First, no one is saying that “all voices must be heard.” Free speech does not guarantee an audience. You have the right so speak, but no one should be forced to listen. The most effective denouncement of a dumb idea is that it be utterly ignored.

    Second, the principle of free speech does not imply that all ideas are equal and true and be treated with respect. The ONLY thing it says is that no ideas are forbidden to be expressed.

    • Aaron Capelli

      free speech does in fact guarantee an audience. ‘no one should be forced to listen’ you say, but it is quite easy to force someone to listen to a wrong idea. furthermore, people should of course be forced to listen to a correct idea. if a house will fall if built the wrong way, we should surely force the builders to know the proper way to build that house.

      the principle of free speech implies that all ideas are equal in one extremely important respect: it posits that all ideas have at least enough to merit to be said. and, as i explain above, if they are said, that means that they certainly will be heard. this is more than enough respect to accord them to let them do terrible destruction.

      • Killer Marmot

        furthermore, people should of course be forced to listen to a correct idea.

        You do like the words “force” and “repress”, don’t you?

        it posits that all ideas have at least enough merit to be said aloud

        Free speech says nothing about the merit of each idea, only the merit of each person — that is, they have the right to speak as they will. Society does, of course, put restrictions on speech, but if we value the rights of the individual then these restrictions must be as narrow as we can manage. Forbidding “false and dysfunctional” ideas is wildly vague and broad, and is utterly unworkable in a free society. In particular, we have no magical machine which differentiates truth from falsehood, which is so essential if you’re going to bar people from expressing incorrect ideas.

        • lspanker

          Forbidding “false and dysfunctional” ideas is wildly vague and broad

          Which of course is deliberate – it’s a fuzzy definition designed to be morphed in whatever those with the power to forbid want it to be.

          • Killer Marmot

            Capelli does not seem to appreciate that if those in power have the authority to suppress speech, it might be his ideas which are deemed “dysfunctional.” That seems short sighted.

          • lspanker

            I believe that the Bolsheviks had a name for individuals such as Capelli:

            Полезный идиот

          • Killer Marmot

            “Useless” might be closer to the mark these days. There is no dictator left to be useful to.

          • zzz

            If the government was in the business of picking speech as our proud censor expects, gay rights for example would be in the 1950’s stages.

            The Marcuse types think the life they enjoy has been like this forever.

        • Aaron Capelli

          you misunderstand. free speech, in granting to all ideas the right to be expressed, implicity judges that all ideas have at least enough merit to be said aloud.

          if i am thinking of something to say, but reject it as illogical, this act of internal suppression comes about because of a judgment regarding the idea’s merit. likewise, if i decide to say my idea, that decision also comes about because i have judged my idea worthy of being heard and listened to by those around me.

          you can see from the above thought experiment, i hope, that free speech declares that all ideas have enough merit in them to deserve being expressed in words. my point is that this is actually not true. some ideas should not be articulated, in fact should be suppressed from articulation, because they do not have any merit whatsoever. not even enough merit to be put into language.

          • Rollie

            Free speech is not about the value of ideas, and the First Amendment does not even suggest such a notion. There is not even implied equality of value—that exists in your imagination—just the equal right to express ideas regardless of their perceived value. Free speech is for everyone’s protection, and I can’t say it more simply than “to protect any speech requires protecting all speech.” You believe in elite speech—fine, but don’t you understand that protecting the speech you like absolutely requires protecting the speech that you don’t like?

            Geez, I feel like this is a tediously remedial message. Who on this board didn’t get the concept of free speech when they were seven years old? Hmm, maybe Capelli is a six-year old who’s trolling us…

          • Aaron capelli

            reread my above comment more thoroughly. the one describing a thought experiment.

          • lspanker

            One time was sufficient to arrive at the conclusion that you’re a brainwashed, babbling fool. No additional re-reading is going to change anyone’s mind here…

          • lspanker

            you misunderstand. free speech, in granting to all ideas the right to be expressed

            YOU misunderstand free speech. It’s an INALIENABLE RIGHT, not something to be granted or not by the likes of you. Now, please do us all a favor – if you don’t like our Constitution and freedoms, feel free to relocate to Zimbabwe or Venezuela or North Korea, which seem to share your sentiments regarding freedom of speech. NOBODY appointed YOU the arbiter of what rights we get to exercise, got it?

      • FreedomFan

        OMG what a goofball. You must be a Berkeley grad.

        • lspanker

          I’m a Berkeley grad and I never bought into that crap. But then again, I graduated in the last century, back when Berkeley apparently had some real admission standards.

  • Killer Marmot

    Without the suppression of ideas which are demonstrably false and dysfunctional, no forward movement is possible

    That is incorrect. “Demonstrably false” ideas do not have to be suppressed to advance knowlege. They need only be ignored, and failing that, rebutted and rejected by most people.

    As an example, there is no need to forbid people from claiming that the world was created in 4004 B.C. Sensible people simply ignore the idea. And while I’m sure some biology professors hear from creationists regularly, they choose not to believe it or teach it. They prefer to follow the evidence.

    In other words, freedom of inquiry is enough to advance knowledge. Suppression of speech is not necessary, and in fact inhibits progress.

    • zzz

      I think the forward movement referenced is the subjective reality of the marcuse left, it is much like the Pat Robertson right.

  • Dave Doleshal

    I do agree that communications that involve factual errors, inaccurate assumptions, logical flaws, and politically-motivated, self-serving falsehoods should not be allowed to pass unchallenged. However, do not believe the appropriate response is to forbid or “repress” such statements. The appropriate response is to point out the factual errors, refute the logical flaws, and expose the self-serving and political motivations which inspire such claims. The appropriate response is refutation – not suppression.

  • lspanker

    Aaron Capelli is a sick and twisted individual peddling abject lies. He smears all of those disagreeing with him as “racists” as an excuse for inflicting violence upon them.

  • Nunya Beeswax

    And who gets to decide what speech is “false and dysfunctional”–you?

    It is the height of naivete to think that racism will be eradicated by preventing racists from speaking. Chancellor Christ is exactly right; a truly free society does not attempt to silence dissent, even when it’s repulsive. And you will not eradicate what is ugly in yourself by calling out the ugliness you perceive in others. “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

    • lspanker

      It’s quite clear that Capelli, et. al. have NO interest in “eradicating racism”. It’s merely a convenient excuse for them to engage in violent behavior.

    • Killer Marmot

      I think Capelli’s views are false and dysfunctional. Unfortunately, that means I can’t demand they be repressed.

      Crap, this free speech thing is hard.

      • DarkStarCrashes

        Hahaha!

      • lspanker

        Here’s a fine example of his “thought” processes:

        all stem majors are mindless wastes of time compared to the least of the humanities. study philosophy so you can can at least lay claim to having the dignity of having attempted understanding.

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/1717731545171536/permalink/1950599558551399/

        This cat is indeed a few bricks short of a load. How exactly did he make it into Cal again?

        • Killer Marmot

          It beggars belief that someone could write that on a computer, making it instantly available around the world with a click of a mouse, and then not keel over from the magnitude of the irony.

          • lspanker

            When parroting the party line becomes a bigger priority than encouraging open discussion, don’t be surprised when the idiots who fear competition in the marketplace of ideas come out of the woodwork.

        • zzz

          No one is that stupid, this is a troll.

    • Aaron Capelli

      it is the height of naivete, in fact, to believe that listening to racist speech will not make you more racist.

      try looking at it this way. all speech that is allowed to occur does so at the expense of other speech; it takes the place of that other, possible but unspoken, speech. this is true not just for material speech, but in a psychological sense.

      for example: a poor person, overhearing someone say that it’s so annoying and unfair that some people get their tuition paid, will certainly feel intimidated, belittled, etc., and as a consequence will regulate their own speech. they may be less likely to ask for financial and other help in a variety of situations.

      for this reason, we really do have to make a choice; a choice between classist, sexist, racist, etc. speech, and between egalitarian speech which respects personal autonomy while acknowledging and reflecting on the mutual and collective character of our modern existence.

      • lspanker

        Aaron, let me exercise my First Amendment Right to tell you that you’re an autocratic control-freak lefty, the type of person the Founding Fathers of this country called a “despot”. Your arguments are childish and inane, and your parents should be embarrassed to even have to acknowledge you as one of your offspring. How about that?

      • Rollie

        Capelli, you write: “try looking at it this way. all speech that is allowed to occur does so at the expense of other speech; it takes the place of that other, possible but unspoken, speech. this is true not just for material speech, but in a psychological sense”

        Laughable nonsense. There is more than sufficient time and geography to allow the expression of all views that might possibly exist, without any of them being silenced by would-be censors like you, and without your even having to hear the ones that you don’t like. Speech only “takes the place” of other speech when its speakers fear the burden of persuading by reason, preferring instead the thug’s argument–to step upon, talk over, and suppress speech that they don’t like.

        Have some faith in the ability of your fellow humans to come to their own conclusions, and less faith in your own right to dictate the information they get to see and hear.

      • lspanker

        it is the height of naivete, in fact, to believe that listening to racist speech will not make you more racist.

        By that token, reading the nonsense you have posted here will make us stupid, correct?

        • zzz

          I know right, reading this garbage re-affirms my belief that the censor is a controlling authoritarian who will never stop attacking their fellow man.

          Also I feel dumber reading this garbage.

        • CSears

          Racism is a value system. Stupidity is not a value system.

          • zzz

            Stupidity us a value system, entitlement to being right by nature of being right is stupidity, Ispanker took a short cut.

          • zzz

            when it comes to you, ahhhh… OK sure.

          • lspanker

            You would have never known that the way you and your ilk make excuses for Antifa.

          • CSears

            I don’t make excuses for the Black Ban crowd. They should be arrested. But you do make excuses for Trump: “knock the crap out of them … I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”

      • Nunya Beeswax

        You present a good argument for people to watch what they say and do, and to be mindful of the effect their speech and actions have on others. I fully agree. Racism and sexism are immoral.

        But the law concerns itself with measurable harm, not with morals (adultery is not illegal, for example). Remedies already exist for people who have been harmed by slanderous or libelous speech. Your argument is insufficient to convince me that the government should exercise prior restraint over loathsome opinions.

        Additionally, you seem to present human beings as the victims of stimulus-response determinism rather than rational actors with a capacity for moral judgment. I can’t agree with that depiction at all.

        • Aaron capelli

          obviously, in concerning itself with the concept of harm, the law is already involving itself with ethical issues.

          • Nunya Beeswax

            Would it be acceptable to you for the law to punish adulterers, or to mandate that businesses be closed on Sundays?

          • Aaron Capelli

            no. why do you ask?

      • zzz

        “it is the height of naivete, in fact, to believe that listening to racist speech will not make you more racist.”

        I’ve had dealings with skinheads and not once did they make me more racist, it actually made me hate them even more.

        Is this all trolling on your part? Are you 12?

      • FreedomFan

        Sounds like you are advocating a ban on most rap music. Amirite, comrade?

        Also Obama must be a racist for listening to the racism of Jeremiah Wright for 20 years. But you were okay with that because he is a marxist like you.

    • Aaron capelli

      i don’t get to decide what’s true; nor does anyone else. the truth is the truth independently of whether we decide it is the truth or not.

      dissent is not the issue here. the issue (must i restate it?) is the truth; and correspondingly, whether it makes sense for us as individuals and as a society to allow falsehoods to spread.

      it doesn’t make sense.

      • Nunya Beeswax

        If only the truth were as easy as that to determine.

        • Aaron Capelli

          what i wrote indicates that the truth, being outside our conception of it, is much harder to determine than if what we decided to be true, then became true.

          • zzz

            chuckle, truth is outside our knowing, but you know it.

            What a self absorbed D-Bag.

          • Aaron Capelli

            no, the truth is not outside our knowing. but it won’t change in perfect accordance with what we decide it to be.

          • zzz

            Abject gibberish after a string of abject gibberish. Post modernism thrives on meaninglessness, be so meaningless that stupid people think your turgid and crazy prose is meaningful and deep, fellow postmodern types will never call you out on the insanity because the whole house of stupidity will cave in.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

            Sokal owned this stupidity decades ago.