With Social Justice Warriors and other militant Progressives crying “I’m offended” with every second breath, the very nature of what constitutes an offense has become muddied. No doubt this is deliberate, as language pollution is a central goal of militant Marxism.
Now we must ask where politeness ends and where censorship, even if de facto instead of de jure, begins.
Some time ago, a woman decided to perform a little experiment on a college campus. She went to the administrators insisting that the Constitution was offensive, and ought to be banned from the campus. The administrators, while falling short of supporting her wishes for a ban, privately agreed with her that it was offensive. They helped her “destroy” a little printed booklet of the Constitution to make her feel better.
On a Conservative forum, I got into a pretty heavy debate about the topic, because one Conservative insisted that, though the administrators were probably loons themselves, it was still correct to act as they did. It was suggested that humoring the mentally ill is usually the best option.
Naturally, I profoundly disagreed. When someone demands that you say 2+2=5, you correct them, you don’t humor them and support their belief. Perhaps the lack of correction is part of how we got to this point as a civilization. At the same time, if a crazy person in a mental hospital says they are the Queen of England, and makes no specific demands of you, is it really your business to get involved?
Hard and fast rules just don’t seem to work here, and it is that very “grey area” that Social Justice Warriors take advantage of in order to propagate what ought to be commonly recognized as absolute lunacy.
Consider a practical example. Black Lives Matter frequently protests because black suspects are supposedly mishandled by the police. Now, I’m not necessarily a friend of the police on this matter, as government overreach is worrisome. At the same time, I cannot help but notice how most of the “victims” have long records, and are killed in situations that are usually suspect, if not openly justifiable shootings.
Did Michael Brown charge the cop? We will probably never have a definitive answer. We know he was a criminal and a thug, however. That much was established with video of him committing a crime earlier that very day. This guilt doesn’t deter Black Lives Matter from their protests, it is irrelevant to their calculations.
So, take the reverse scenario. A black cop is killed by a thug, of whatever ethnicity. If black lives matter so much, as BLM claims, where are the protests and candlelight vigils for dead black cops? How about for dead black soldiers? Clearly black lives only matter to BLM under certain, spurious conditions. If you’re a possible thug, you can count on their support, otherwise they don’t care. If they celebrated dead cops and dead thugs alike, I could say that they were at least consistent. If they chose only cases where the black individual truly was a victim, and not a perp (these situations do happen), we would even be able to say they were admirable. But that’s not the case.
If they were being intellectually honest, they would rename themselves to Black Thugs Matter.
Yet we continue to humor them and act as if their concerns are legitimate, that they really care about racial harmony. We do this even though their demands frequently result in riots and burned down buildings. Then you get some SWPL Social Justice Warriors billing themselves as consummate allies, swooning over dead thugs. It’s utterly bizarre.
When you go to criticize them, however, you face the dreaded accusation of racism. Criticizing BLM in this fashion is taking a calculated risk, because the ensuing rage could have all sorts of unpleasant consequences and they know that. They count on this popular fear.
It is very important, however, to speak honestly in the face of such risks. If you allow them to use de facto media control to silence you, you have lost the battle.
Where does this need to speak stop, however? I have some liberal friends, as there are a few remaining who are at least intellectually honest. Obviously I don’t agree with them on much, but they are not SJWs. Point is, sometimes I will humor them by avoiding certain topics that I know will go too far with them.
But I do this because they are my friends, and it is a sort of personal favor to them. Conversely, I’m pretty sure they are extending the same courtesy to me, much of the time. I won’t lie to them, or speak falsely, or change my public persona one iota. But I will keep my mouth shut around them if I feel like we’re treading on dangerous ground that could damage the friendship.
They know I am Conservative-Libertarianesque, and I know they are Liberal. It is what it is.
Here’s the caveat, however. Social Justice Warriors expect this same kind of “courtesy” when they are categorically not friends of mine. And, furthermore, they do not reciprocate the courtesy. They have no problems deliberately trying to offend me, but act as if I have done a great evil when accidentally offending them by going about my normal business.
If someone I don’t know says they are the Queen of England, there is some question whether it is my business to correct them or not. It is situational. If someone demands that I accept them as such, that’s a very different kettle of fish. If someone backs that demand up with media and social power, and attempts to force the decision, that is even worse.
Courtesies are reciprocated and involve no demands. Social Justice Warriors reciprocate nothing and demand everything. Thus it is imperative to speak out against their actions, lest they achieve the power to silence us both de facto and de jure.
Politeness doesn’t even enter into it.