Elsewhere (237)

Forked Tongue

I’m actually, personally, very speech permissive. I would say I’m very pro-speech, almost absolutist on speech… um, but…

In the clip linked above, assistant professor of English Aaron Hanlon attempts to portray the physical suppression of speech on campus as a quality control issue and a cross-party phenomenon, as if these things weren’t overwhelmingly a default of the campus left. The assistant professor, whose activities include combing through rap lyrics for supposedly righteous and subversive anti-capitalist content, does this while simultaneously invoking the importance of intellectual standards, to which, by implication, said campus leftists, people such as himself, have some proprietary claim.

Update, via the comments: 

In a piece for the New York Times, Dr Hanlon suggests conservative students turn to Thomas Sowell rather than, say, Ann Coulter or Milo Yiannopoulos, with the implication that this preference for measured critique would somehow resolve the problems of campus thuggery and wider attempts to short-circuit any discussion that might reflect badly on the conceits of the left. The problem of course being that, as we’ve seen many times, even measured and sober non-leftwing speakers, including Charles Murray, Ben Shapiro, Janice Fiamengo, Christina Hoff Sommers, Don Feder, Tom Tancredo and Heather Mac Donald, are also likely to be met with screeching hysteria, shattered windows and the threat of mob violence, such that they may find their attempts to speak cut short before being hurried off campus by an armed police escort. As Dr Murray discovered quite vividly, the risk of actual thuggery and assault is by no means trivial.

And Dr Hanlon ignores the fact that fits of delinquency and mob coercion are likely to be indulged, championed and given institutional support when those fits of delinquency originate on the left, thanks to an overwhelmingly left-leaning staff and bureaucracy, of which Dr Hanlon is yet another part. And so we arrive at the spectacle of universities, supposed places of debate and higher learning, preemptively rejecting conservative speakers on grounds that they can’t protect the speaker, or their audience, from disruption and violence by their own leftist students. The same leftist students that Dr Hanlon would have us believe are the sole qualified gatekeepers of intellectual standards.