January 07, 2016

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To me, the most striking image from 2015 was that of pro-censorship black students at Yale carrying signs and banners proclaiming “€œWe are loved.”€ It was surreal”€”black students demanding firings and expulsions for “€œracist”€ speech, steamrolling weak and terrified administrators, marching and chanting and bringing campus life to a halt with the message “€œWe are loved.”€ Those poor cretins, lacking the self-awareness to know that only people who are completely insecure about actually being loved would feel compelled to parade around proclaiming that they are, have now come to think of censorship as a surrogate mother or father, something to help them feel wanted, a way to perhaps compensate for absentee or abusive parents. Just as communism and socialism gave moochers “€œdignity,”€ censorship is being used to give positive self-esteem to losers who feel unloved.

And just as with communism and socialism, the politically correct war against free speech has grown beyond its origins. The fact that the targets of 2015’s campus censorship protests were white (and Jewish) liberal professors and administrators proves that the campus anti-free-speech movement has turned on its founders.

If free speech dies out in this country, I truly doubt it will be because of a law. It will die because the number of Americans who wish it dead will reach critical mass. And once that happens, laws won”€™t be needed. In India, the sale of beef is still legal in several states. However, that doesn”€™t mean that everyone who lives in those states feels free to fire up the barbecue. “€œCow lives matter”€ vigilantes have proved every bit as effective as state laws at ensuring that potential beef eaters are sufficiently cowed (sorry).

Broadly speaking, in the past, American society could count on the young to push the boundaries of free speech and to test the limits of what’s acceptable. The current generation of college students and twentysomethings has effectively reversed the roles. Now it’s the young people telling the old folks to watch their language, and that should worry everyone who”€™d like to see the First Amendment survive in spirit as well as letter.

The compellingly bad idea of speech restrictions has captured the imagination of today’s youth. Whether or not things are too far gone is impossible to say. What can be said with some certainty is that things will absolutely get worse if nobody is willing to stand up, and to stand in the way, of the anti-free-speech marchers. Somebody needs to do what no one on the Yale campus had the guts to do: Someone needs to tell the special snowflakes and the apprentice victicrats that no, they are not loved.

Not by us, at least.


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