Some days, all I want is the police to violently punish the miscreants who play super victim in public.
It’s like the old Mencken saying, “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” Except, instead of cutting jugulars, I want to see some SJWs have their skulls cracked against pavement.
The latest example: A group of students (it’s always jobless college students) at Emory University protested an overnight pro-Donald Trump chalking of the campus. As the little snowflakes descended upon the Emory University building, they chanted commie bromides about how it is their “duty to win” and how they have “nothing to lose but our chains.” The leader of the march, sophomore Jonathan Peraza, demanded university officials “Come speak to us” because “we are in pain!”
If these crybabies think a chalk drawing of Kingfish Trump’s coiffure is painful, I gleefully wonder how they’ll feel about the back of a police truncheon.
The Emory trail of tears is just latest show of pitiful behavior in a long line of academia-enabled embarrassment. Precious angels at Oberlin College are complaining about dining hall food not being culturally accurate. Black students at the University of Albany are faking being attacked by white racists. Super queer and free speech hero Milo Yiannopoulos continues to have his university speeches disrupted by momma’s boys who can’t bear to hear a thought they disagree with.
Every time I read stories of students bitching about how hard and oppressive life in America is, I wish they would get a first-hand experience at real, physical brutality. Upset a non-Mexican wore a sombrero to a kegger? Have you ever had police hounds sicced on you? Or been pummeled by a high pressure hose?
I have these dark thoughts, but then quickly temper them by remembering a simple fact: We are damn lucky to have the First Amendment in this country. Freedom of speech is a powerful thing. It’s also necessary for a healthy society where everyone has the chance to exercise autonomy in the form of expressing an opinion, no matter how odious or wrongheaded.
As much as I disagree with these flaming pussies, they should be allowed to mewl to their heart’s content. The overly sensitive students who air their trivial grievances in the public square may be stunting their own intellectual growth. But they are exercising a right that is increasingly under attack in the West.
Last year’s shooting at the offices of the French satirical Charlie Hebdo was a wake-up call. The writers and artists at the irreverent weekly had spent years mocking the sacred beliefs of Catholics, Jews, and Muslims. The Islamic holy prophet Muhammad was a frequent target of ridicule. The periodical staff’s dedication to the right of free expression brought the wrath of radical Islamists who chose to spill infidel blood rather than respect Western norms. For a moment, it seemed like “Je suis Charlie” would be a lasting sentiment, and not another social media fad.
No such luck. One year later, the lesson of the Hebdo massacre has been forgotten. We’re seeing a conscious effort to silence people in the name of tolerance and inclusion. Leftie agitators shutting down Donald Trump rallies is now common. Touchy students demand the silencing of controversial ideas. Journalists openly question if free speech is more important than making sure the thin-skinned don’t wet their pants in grief.
Do these illiberal ninnies realize how fortunate they are? They get to spout off a bunch of garbage on the internet with little rebuke. Then they question the law that allows them the right to do so? If they were in any other country, they might be sued, or fined, or even imprisoned. At worst, they would be “disappeared.”
Our form of representative government wasn’t built for overgrown children with fragile psyches. In a letter to a friend, John Adams wrote, “There is one Thing, my dear sir, that must be attempted and most Sacredly observed or We are all undone. There must be a Decency, and Respect, and Veneration introduced for Persons in Authority, of every Rank, or We are undone. In a popular Government, this is the only Way of Supporting order.”
Adams, of course, went on to become president and sign into law the Alien and Sedition Acts, which outlawed criticism of the government. Hey, we can’t all bat 1000 all the time.
For better or worse, we’ve kept the institution of free speech intact in our country, with just a few exceptions during wartime. Given how easily societies devolve into tyranny, it’s a bona fide miracle that the First Amendment still holds a place of reverence in our national imagination. As British columnist Ed West wrote just after last fall’s Paris shootings, there is an assumption that Western values like the freedom of expression are “universal or inevitable” when they are anything but. Our values are “actually quite unusual and fragile,” which makes them that much harder to protect.
That makes it all the more important not to lose your head when reading the latest anti-speech tripe on Salon.com. As satisfying as it would be to shove a dishrag down the throats of the enemies of freedom, they must be given the same courtesy we expect for ourselves. Like the swarthy blue collar man in Norman Rockwell’s iconic Freedom of Speech, the lowliest among us deserve to speak their conscience.
And if their opinion is dumb as a doornail?
Well, that’s the best thing about First Amendment rights. The right to speak also means the right to ridicule – especially when it comes to morons who believe “chalk is murder.” For these milquetoasts with paper-thin spines, relentless mockery is just as good as socking them in the jaw.