There can be no dialogue with toxic speech.


Debate opposing views, don’t label them hate: Column

Over the weekend, I very nearly un-Friended a church member on Facebook.

This woman is a pillar of the congregation, exceptionally gifted, and holds several important offices.  But she frequents certain web sites that spew forth racial hatred, and she Likes certain items, and they show up in my Timeline.  I will never voluntarily expose myself to such material.  (Related:  Change your diet.)  There can be no dialogue with it:  even to take it seriously is poisonous to my soul.

The First Amendment will not protect me from it.  On the contrary, hate speech is normally protected.  As are lies.  As is verbal bullying.  And heckling.

One can choose, however, what one pays attention to.

Milo Yiannopoulos is a troll.

As likewise are Ann Coulter and Joan Walsh.

There may be no lawful way to silence them, but those persons and organizations (such as Young Republicans) who sponsor them, hire them, and give them gratuitous platforms, may be persuaded that the nation deserves better.

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7 thoughts on “There can be no dialogue with toxic speech.

      1. I noticed that you yourself said, “Milo Yiannopoulos is a troll.” Then rather than admitting that what you call “toxic speech” actually comes daily from the very top of the US government, your president, among others, you refer me to a page which presumes to give me instructions on how to speak. Giving you the benefit of the doubt I would say you are so blind to your own prejudices, and have rationalized them to such an extent, that people whom you agree with seem to speak with beautiful golden voices, while people who poke liberal sacred cows you are free to call “trolls”. Giving you less than the benefit of the doubt I would say you are a flaming and ignorant hypocrite, but of course that would violate your speech code, which you tell other people to follow in order to make a better world.

      2. I have had no direct contact with Yiannopoulous. I have relied solely on descriptions of the person and his speech given in sources that are very sympathetic to him, such as Fox News and PJ Media. They have allowed that he’s a troll.

        I have no left-wing, right-wing bias. If the President or that woman were to engage in the activities I discourage in Free Speech Handbook, I would audibly object to that also. I have implicitly identified the left-wing Joan Walsh as a troll also.

        Ideology — any ideology — begins with a dis-acceptance of What Is. People who refuse to accept that things are, in fact, the way they are; proceed to try to concoct excuses for not liking What Is. To that end, they typically make use of such fallacies as Free Speech Handbook seeks to deconstruct. In short, William Tell hopes to equip people to come to grips with What Is; an absolutely necessary first step before we can change what is more to our liking.

        In other words, we must deconstruct our ideologies as a precondition to being able to act in our own best interests. Until we do so, we are, much of the time, caught in self-deceptions, and unable to agree because Group A acknowledges and insists on facts (FACTS) Group B refuses to admit, and vice versa.

        A handy example: the mainstream media currently carry on a narrative from the 1960s and before, that racism is the one, sole cause of poverty. The politically correct today thus refuse to admit the existence of poor white people — whereas two-thirds of the poor in America today are white. Racism certainly didn’t cause their poverty. So, if we are to understand the causes of poverty, and how to correct them, we’d best admit there are other causes besides race. We might then leave off blaming the white man for every problem in the world, and instead each of us begin taking responsibility for one’s own welfare.

        I think that would be a good step forward, but so far, among those who claim to care about the poor, I seem to be the only person saying this.

      3. Right. I didn’t expect you to admit your own hypocrisy but to defend it, and you did. Even blamed Fox News in the process, while admitting you never heard the guy speak, which is pretty pathetic. Of course you have a tremendous bias, no matter what you claim, but you just don’t see it. For example, I didn’t read a word of criticism of your toxic leader Obama. “IF he were to engage”? hahaha. You have some much deeper thinking to do before you’re able to live up to the ideals you piously mouth but don’t follow. But at least you have begun the process. I’ll give you that. At least you’re beginning to deconstruct the liberal narrative on race, which has destroyed the black community since the time of LBJ, while Obama has single-handedly wiped out the black middle class in the last 7 years, blaming everyone but himself for the disasters, the race hustlers and the riots. This is the last post I’ll make because I don’t want to harass you. Keep up the good work, but try to be more objective about yourself.

      4. Gee.

        Postscript, Friday 06/17/16:

        In between job search efforts involving Giant, Wegmans, and Whole Foods Markets, today I posted comments on a couple WaPo articles. I note that one’s options as a user include “ignoring” specific other users, whom one may choose.

        Ran into someone there who doesn’t agree with me, and wasn’t very nice about it.

        But the “ignore” option tells me trolls are a serious issue … in many, many places.

        The “toxic” person is the one whom one will choose to “ignore.”

        Having a different view doesn’t make it “toxic.” Endorsing a different stand isn’t “toxic.” It’s “toxic” when the speech itself becomes destructive of others’ humanity.

        THAT’S a troll.

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