When is Curtailing Freedom the Mature and Wise Choice?

.... Uh, never.  Except of course at Colorado College, according to Amanda Udis-Kessler, Colorado College's Director of Institutional Research and Planning:

Social inequality is deeply grounded in a lack of respect-for women,
people of color, lesbian and gay people, and others. When we choose to
curtail our freedom to disrespect others in order to build a meaningful
society, we have made a mature and wise choice-and one that college
should help us learn.

The rest of the post is a roundup of the fallout over the punishment by the university of a parody of a campus feminist publication.  Basically, the argument boils down to the feminists feeling "dissed" and arguing that being dissed is a sufficient reason to curtail speech if one is in a protected group.   But remember this plea by the Colorado College feminists:

But please stop fabricating a story about humorless, offended feminists silencing men's free speech.

Oh, okay.

There are enough cases of this new theory of speech running around, that speech may be curtailed if someone in a protected group feels hurt or challenged by the speech, for real concern.  It is the same theory at the heart of the kerfuffle in Canada over the human rights commission's attack on conservative magazines and bloggers, and the same theory in the recent New Mexico decision that a photographer cannot choose not to photograph gay marriages.

  • http://www.tinyvital.com/ John Moore

    The creation of "grievance groups" is very damaging to western society. It is a variant of Marxist oppression philosophy.

    It is interesting that the same people who insist that we not insult them in any way are in our faces with their own insults. You can't say a bad word about any PC groups, but churches, or white males, or businesses... you can slander them all you want.

    It's all part of the perverse mental disease of modern progressivism.

  • http://comuse.blogspot.com Allen

    No need to fabricate the story when it's happened.

  • la petite chou chou

    Is it too early to be scared of where our society is headed? I don't think so.

  • http://comuse.blogspot.com Allen

    I wonder how many people at CC that are railing against the parody have a copy of the DVD of "Good Nigh, and Good Luck" at home.

  • happyjuggler0

    I'm too lazy to figure out if Colorado College is a public institution or not.

    However, it is worth pointing out to those who haven't thought out the implications of the free speech part of the First Amendment before, but the only speech that needs protecting is speech that some find offensive. If no one finds it offensive, then the First Amendment is moot.

    Therefore if you believe in the First Amendment, then by definition you must be in favor of protecting free speech from restrictions on offensive speech imposed by government or its agents.

  • http://ying-ko-4.livejournal.com/ Mark S.

    I read stuff like this and the first thing that crosses my mind is, "You don't have the right to not be offended. Deal with it."

    That is all.

  • Rocky Mountain

    When I read stuff like Mark S. wrote, the first thing that crosses my mind is the sight of grown men wearing tee-shirts with obscenities subsituting for wisdom, humor, or to demonstrate their perpetual opposition to anything that might make for a more civil place to live. Deal with it Mark.

  • Methinks

    Rocky Mountain, unless you're living in a society where your personal safety is threatened, you are living in a civil society. If you are offended by grown men wearing t-shirts you don't approve of, then don't wear those t-shirts yourself or don't go out in public and expose yourself. It's your choice. Personally, I find social dictators like yourself offensive. does this give me the right to restrict your ability to discriminate against certain t-shirts?

    on a related note:

    I have a friend, "Mary", who has a sister, "Judy", who doesn't particularly like gay people (she's very religious). Judy would never dream of actually saying so to a gay person, nor would she seek to restrict their ability to work, live, etc. She just thinks they're wrong. Mary thinks herself very liberal and tolerant and she told me she just "doesn't tolerate" her sister's "intolerance". Um....which sister is the more tolerant one? Liberals are always conflating "tolerance" and "approval" and are themselves the least tolerant of all.

  • Harrison_Bergeron

    Fine "Rocky Mountain" while we're at it let's ban all anti-Bush, anti-war, free Tibet and any other T-shirts endorsing one side of a political/social issue. Inevitably, people on the other side of that issue find those shirts offensive.
    Progressive? Progressing toward what? Looks like a dull and meaningless existence. I imagine the progressive endgame Utopia resembles the world where the Teletubbies live. Creepy and dull...but at least it would be "civil"!

  • Mike

    I find it amusing when "progressives" rail against society about not being able to freely express themselves, or speak out, or "he/she/ is facist" rants, seem to be the first ones to cry and shake their fists when the rest of us *gasp!* exercise our right to free-speech. You can't have it both ways, but it seems like they want it as such.

    I can't remember anywhere in the Constitution where it says anything about being offended. Does that mean that I'm going to run up and down the street spewing nonsense and hatred towards homosexuals or people of race? No. Would I be offended by someone doing that? Definitely. Does that mean he should be arrested? No. But if a group of Asians for instance, decide to confront this individual and engage in "aggressive discussions" with said individual...well, that's the consequence of running your mouth. That is one of the things that goes along with living in a free society: what you say shouldn't be criminal, but you might pay the price some other way. Financially, diminished public image, etc. And the more the "progressives" try to get speech legislated, the more it will turn around and bite us all right in the ass.

  • la petite chou chou

    Thankfully, it seems the majority of us here immediately recognize the contradiction in this matter.

    I find it funny that liberals are INCAPABLE of tolerating other people (non liberals) having the right to their own opinions but they expect unwavering tolerance from everyone else.

    I also find it quite scary.