Dylann Roof committed a heinous act in Charleston last week when he shot up an historic African-American church and killed nine people therein, presumably based on a racist ideology. When condemning Roof’s action, it is important to remember that Roof’s ideology itself did not commit the act. Rather, Roof himself acted with a depraved. murderous mind that even the most vile racists do not share. It is not wise or fair to use this act to silence those with what some perceive as similar views. Specifically, this act does not provide a compelling justification for banning or desecrating symbols of tradition and pride, such as the Confederate battle flag. Continue Reading
Some argue offensive words like “whore” or “slut” should be banned from usage—not in a legal sense but as a matter of social acceptability. I believe society need not render more words as so socially unacceptable that their very utterance destroys lives, causing those that speak such words to be shunned or lose their jobs. An example of one such word in existence is “nigger.” The word is so toxic that even words that sound similar (“niggardly”) create Continue Reading, no matter the outrage they cause.
On May 21, 49 members of the United States Senate signed on to a letter urging National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell to force the Washington Redskins to change their nickname. The letter attempted to circumvent Redskins majority owner Daniel Snyder, who has repeatedly affirmed he would “never” change the name. According to the Senators, “Redskins” is a racial slur for Native Americans. They argued the NFL should send the message that “racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports.” This, they say, is the message reflected in the NBA’s recent decision to ban Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling over the content of an illegally taped personal discussion with his girlfriend about racial association. All 49 Senators who signed on to the letter belong to the Democratic Party. Continue Reading
Sometime in the past, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling made a private comment to his now-ex-girlfriend. He asked that she refrain from bringing Black people to Clippers basketball games. Sterling did not intend to publicly broadcast the comment. Nevertheless, a recording of it appeared on the celebrity gossip website TMZ earlier this week. Now, amid public outrage at Sterling’s thoughtcrime, the NBA has opened an “investigation” of the matter; Continue Reading
Originally posted at Independent Political Report (IPR)
No visitor retains the right to post on IPR. The owner can manage the site as he pleases. But there is no reason IPR cannot attempt to replicate the free and fair society that its owner, contributors, and followers envision.
IPR currently faces a crisis of conscience. Two years ago, it took the unlibertarian step of banning one good faith commenter. Now, some on the site are calling for the ban of another good faith commenter. This reaction is a symptom of a much larger disease affecting the entire United States. Rather than forgiving unfortunate comments and disputing ideas on the highest levels of Graham’s hierarchy of disagreement, some opt to silence voices completely; the IPR equivalent of a ban. In argument, these tactics do not win. As Thomas Dewey expressed in a 1948 GOP presidential debate, pushing disputed views underground only allows those views to fester unchallenged. Continue Reading
Ideas, including those concerning race, should not be banned in free society. I subscribe to the view New York Governor Thomas Dewey expressed during his 1948 presidential campaign.
In the debate, Dewey faced “boy wonder” Harold Stassen, the perennial presidential candidate who ran for the office eight more times before his 2001 death. Stassen argued in favor of banning the U.S. Communist Party. Dewey countered this view, maintaining that an idea like Communism could not be defeated with legal force. Rather, forcing it underground would itself constitute totalitarianism and would only strengthen the Communist cause. Continue Reading