Okay. Ban This Book First.

I’m offended by its utter stupidity, and feel hurt. My blood pressure is up, and I’m skeered.

As folks who read The Artisan Craft Blog know, we’re in favor of vigorous debate about the First Amendment, and other public issues. We ban ideas, books or ideologies at our peril.  I hate Nazis, bigots and people who try to limit my speech. I think the folks who want to limit my speech are more loathsome, since they have a breadth of knowledge about historic censorship but yet they press on…thinking hate speech must fit some category which needs to be suppressed.  

Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic of the University of Alabama School of Law have come up with some novel theories of the First Amendment and have typed them into a 176 page book.

From euronews:

Delgado and Stefanic, though, argue the price for freedom in this case may be higher than we think. For example, a John Hopkins study published in 2013 concluded that being exposed to racism can lead to high blood pressure and stress among African Americans. Similarly, according to research by Claude Steele at Cornell, negative stereotypes affect African-American self-perception, and can lead to lower test scores

High blood pressure. Stress. Lower test scores.

More, the rash of recent stories about sexual harassment in the workplace provide stark examples of how hostile words or technically non-violent actions — like men exposing themselves —can create an intolerable environment, forcing women out of industries and leading to long-term stress and trauma.

Yes. Being a victim of a crime, even a non-violent one can cause long-term stress and trauma. Enforce the laws. But hostile words? We’re going to enforce laws against hostile words?

I don’t think so.

Free speech advocates also overstate the benefits of free speech, Delgado and Stefanic argue. The ACLU and its adherents claim that marginalized people who ask for restrictions on hate speech don’t understand the importance of free speech to civil rights movements. But that argument is paternalistic, and also incorrect.

Anytime you try to win an argument with the word “paternalistic,” you’ve driven into the weeds. The essay about the issue ends this way:

It’s long past time we acknowledged that speech directing hatred and vitriol at marginalized people does not advance freedom or liberty. Rather than defending Nazis always and everywhere, no matter what, we need to take a more balanced approach. That approach should include defending the people that Nazis want to murder.

Noah Berlatsky is a freelance writer. He edits the online comics-and-culture website The Hooded Utilitarian and is the author of the book “Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948.”

Ok. Why stop at the book by the academics? Anything with the words Wonder Woman and bondage is seriously going to marginalize me. Blood pressure up already. I wonder if Amazon delivers to my safe place.


This entry was posted in Free Speech, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Okay. Ban This Book First.

  1. D. Edgren says:

    Buncha maroons!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The 13th Duke of Wymbourne says:

    Writing like this is proof that too many people go to university, and why you can’t get a plumber on a weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The mental gymnastics being expressed here are astounding.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. onwyrdsdream says:

    From the book cover, is it only “White Supremacists” that are the problem? Because there are a lot of supremacists. Be it race, religion, or gender, there are super advocates who think theirs stands above all others for each. In particular, since for some of the people of those other groups that hold themselves supreme, white supremacists are everyone who supports western culture… thus there are a surprising number of Black and Hispanic white supremacists.

    That said, the First Amendment doesn’t protect NAZIs, it protects ordinary people who have opinions those in power don’t like being able to express those opinions freely. It protects those people, who like the media operations in the early days of the Chavez regime in Venezuela who spoke out against communism as it would inevitably lead to … well, Venezuela today. The thing is, the Chavezes of the world can always make the argument that the other side’s speech is something that should not be allowed, and if there exists some code which can restrict speech, that is the first thing they’ll go to. The reason being, that if they have to make their own code, they’ll have to do it against the pressure of all the people who think to speak out against it.

    Though, those people will have to overcome the opinion of this sort of IDIOT, who think because free speech also allows NAZIs to speak freely, that no one should have that sort of absolute right.

    By the way, speech is a right, not a privilege. The nation can, no matter what, only take away that right, not restrict a privilege. And they’ve been making laws restricting it for quite a while, illegally. Most campaign finance laws are already unlawful restrictions on speech. I’d rather there not be more. If anything, I’d rather there be far fewer.

    Liked by 1 person

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