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Dean-Johnson ’16, Dunbar ’16, Gorodilova ’16, Sedivy ’17, Shiver ’17: On whiteness, free speech and missing the point

By , , , and
Op-Ed Contributors
Monday, October 19, 2015

We urge you to read the statements published by Native Americans at Brown and other student of color groups on campus prior to reading this.

For all its talk of freedom of speech, Brown has a problem talking about race. In the storm of blame and accusation that has swept campus in the past two weeks, no one has blamed us — white students. Whether or not we agree with the content of the articles, every white person on this campus fosters the environment that allowed M. Dzhali Maier’s ’17 pieces to be published. We are all complicit.

We address this to other white people on campus and to anyone who has found the arguments for free speech compelling. The five of us have been complicit through our silence. We are writing this in response to calls from students of color for a public statement from white people. It is unacceptable that we did not act until prompted. We should not need reminding to show up for our friends and fellow community members.

In their Oct. 9 open letter, President Christina Paxson P’19, Provost Richard Locke P’17 and Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06 deemed the pain inflicted by the Herald columns valuable: an uncomfortable, yet overall productive learning experience. They are wrong. There is a difference between promoting productive discomfort and inflicting pain and harm on members of our community. Productive discomfort involves questioning systems of power and recognizing our privileges and assumptions; it does not involve questioning the humanity of others. This is not a teachable moment. Using people of color as teaching tools is a profound failure of empathy and respect.

What’s more, this supposed “learning” is not taking place. In spite of administrators’ claims that we are learning from the discussions the articles have prompted, we are having the same misguided debate about free speech that followed the Ray Kelly protest. After the publication of Maier’s columns, our silence allowed the conversation to shift from the rights of Indigenous peoples and scientific racism to an all too familiar pseudo-intellectual defense of free speech. These freedom of speech arguments actively prevent much-needed conversations about race on this campus. We are no longer talking about Native genocide and Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

We are taught to extol the virtues of free speech. White people in particular are taught that our voices are always worth being heard. When we believe in free speech, we do so because it works in our favor. The problem is that freedom of speech is not a universal reality. Free speech assumes a level playing field among speakers that does not exist. Power always affects interactions and what people can and do say in the context of a given relationship, institution or society. In this case, at an elite, predominantly white university, race and class are inseparable from any social interaction, let alone the curation of content in an established campus publication.

These arguments for free speech are often deployed to silence voices of color. Colonial histories of civility aside, calling for “civil discourse” implies that expressions of pain and anger by people of color are not civil and have no place in the conversation. In the past two weeks, students of color have not only protested against the intentional circulation of words that deny their humanity. They have also pushed the campus to grapple seriously with how legacies of racism and colonialism endure at Brown, and we have failed to rise to the occasion. The right to free speech is a protection against the abuse of power, not a guarantee of a platform for all ideas. The Herald has both institutional power and a public platform. It can and continues to publish offensive material in spite of student complaints. Neither Maier nor the op-ed writers are being denied the freedom of speech.

The academy, and Brown in particular, is not a vacuum in which we can expect to discuss ideas in isolation from social systems. What we say here, and what we validate with publication, has real and significant consequences on the daily lives of our peers and communities beyond this institution. The protection of free speech is not a valid excuse for avoiding serious engagement with racism on this campus and in society at large. Free speech arguments are deceptively compelling because they invoke values we have been taught to accept without question. As such, they are dangerously effective rhetorical tools, and people in power will continue to use them — as demonstrated by Professors Ross Cheit, David Josephson, Glenn Loury, Kenneth Miller ’70 P’02 and Luther Spoehr.

Censorship has a particular meaning that has been lost in these debates. Censorship is the exercise of power to suppress challenges to the status quo. People of color calling attention to racism does not constitute an overbearing power structure that will limit free speech. The oppressed by definition cannot censor their oppressor.

Furthermore, it is blatant misrepresentation to say that students of color have been calling for censorship. It is clear that the writers of recent opinion pieces have not read the statements published last week by Native Americans at Brown or other student of color groups. Their calls are for accountability.

Upholding publication standards is not censorship. Responsible journalism means being accountable for the content accepted and rejected for publication. Why is it so crucial that already pervasive and harmful opinions receive further legitimacy through the implicit endorsement of an editorial staff?

Pain is not useful. Trauma is not a teaching tool. Our complacency has unfairly forced students of color to be our educators as well as our classmates. We demand answers from them at the same time that we shout them down. Instead of doing our own research, attending Minority Peer Counselor workshops and Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America events and reflecting on how race operates in our groups and communities, we are writing op-eds in defense of free speech. Why are we refusing to care for, listen to and stand with people of color in our community?

Liam Dean-Johnson ’16, Aidan Dunbar ’16, Anastasiya Gorodilova ’16, Nico Sedivy ’17 and Madison Shiver ’17 can be reached at,,, and

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  1. “These arguments for free speech are often deployed to silence voices of color.”

    2+2 is 5! 2+2 is 5!

    • well then, let voices of color speak up or speak more effectively. That’s on them.

      • No, it’s not on them. Not when they have been systemically abused and silenced for so long, and have to watch us whites failing to stand up and criticize white people who allude to that abuse in ways which excuse, legitimize or, god forbid, popularize it. If you want voices of color to speak up/more effectively, you need to speak against those who continue to applaud or abet their exclusion.

        • where do you think the “systematic” “abuse” or “silencing” comes from? Natural inequality of history and biology? In group// out- group bias reflected through technology and material culture? Want to get rid of systematic abuse and silencing? give everybody Eurasian livestock and climate and wait ten thousand years. We are’t all equal. We can be, but we as of now, we are not. The institutions are there for a reason, and demolishing them requires understanding them fully.

        • No one’s voices have been systematically silenced for decades and decades. You are living in the past, and a revised version of the past to boot. This is not 1860 or 1960. The voices of POC are heard every single day on tv, radio, newspapers, politics, activism, academics, etc. You are not living in reality, just a guilt laced fantasy.

  2. The PC nonsense at this point is an embarrassment to the university. This article is rife with racism while calling for racial sensitivity, as the authors apparently feel that their version of “racism” isn’t real racism. Or maybe it’s a good racism. Either way, it’s best not to question them. They are the anointed ones. They know best.

    • sry where is the racism here?

    • Lol what. “This article is rife with racism” …Whereeeeeeeee? You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. Please read a book and attend classes where you can become critically conscious and learn about race theory because you clearly know nothing.

      • “Every white person on campus fosters the environment…”
        What? No, sorry, not buying it.

        “A public statement from white people.”
        Nope, again, you don’t speak for all white people. Does Al Sharpton make the official statements for black people?

        This dogma, repeated over and over, that white people are the source of the world’s problems, that white people are complicit in all evils and whose very presence in large numbers (“predominantly white”) is a threat, is racist. No matter what happens, white people are always to blame.

        This kind of idea somehow seems perfectly rational to students on campus, but outside the bubble it’s just seen as shockingly ignorant, especially from a group of people supposedly so tolerant and forward-thinking.

        • Do you even know how racism works? Have you taken a class on the construction of race?
          I already know what the answer is.

          • I have, and I affirm that what Student wrote is entirely appropriate, accurate, and true to form

          • justastudent says:

            Almost every counterpoint to the logical arguments is this Tumblr-esque “LOL u don’t even kno what youre talking about, i’m so done bye”

          • John Edwards Cummings says:

            nobody really “knows” how “racism” works, unless you are willing to claim that you have a falsifiable theory of race relationships that makes accurate predictions.

          • MartingaleMeasure says:

            I’m well read on CRT. It’s not a descriptive theory and the CRT definition of racism is self-serving BS. Don’t pretend you’re intellectually superior b/c you’ve taken two classes on it from an intellectually disingenuous department.

      • “Become critically conscious”…sigh. More Marxism. Only they are conscious, the rest, the majority, are living in false consciousness, right? All theory, no reality. And I suppose you really mean that only whitey can be racist because of power structures, etc. More theory to excuse POC racism, not reality. I highly suggest you put down Marx et al. and re-join the real world.

    • seriously though. your comment boggles my mind. this post seemed well-formulated and thoughtfui in your head? are you okay? please go see CAPS

      • nonretardedstudent says:

        Lol. Don’t like someone’s opinion? Suggest they’re mentally handicapped. A bit ironic, no?

      • Ableist scum, how dare you commit verbal violence to silence this minority voice!

        • justastudent says:

          I think we should have their comment removed. Think of the people that could be triggered by their ableist ideals! No one deserves to endure that pain and suffering.

      • ” this post seemed well-formulated and thoughtful in your head?”

        Funny that was my first thought after reading the original editorial.

  3. nonretardedstudent says:

    The kind of censorship that the PC crazies advocate is really scary, if anything. As soon as your valid point hurts their feelings, it’s no longer a valid point and is now directly racist and offensive. It’s really alarming that people fail to differentiate between an article that says “Hey, maybe the name Columbus Day isn’t so bad” and “I hate Native Americans and they don’t deserve a day”. The only voices being silenced here are the ones who have differing opinions from the PC hivemind.

    Aside from the “racism can’t be against whites” argument (lol), consider someone that performed a study, and now wants to present their results. Say (completely for the purposes of argument) that the study, completely unbiased, found that some race had some statistically higher IQ than another race. Lets say, from all angles, the study was sound, and we couldn’t attribute the difference to anything other than genetics. Now before I’m attacked for even proposing this hateful and discriminatory study, remember I haven’t mentioned any specific race. If this study was completed and presented by say, a member of Brown, (let’s say a student to make it interesting), depending on the races, they would immediately be flagged and thrown away as some hateful, racist pig who personally decided the results of the study.

    How is someone supposed to present evidence or an opinion that differs from the “PC, understanding” opinion? How is anyone supposed to challenge anything that potentially hurts someone’s feelings? We can’t progress at all with the PC disaster happening. Some things will trigger, some things will be offensive, but if it’s not malicious, it shouldn’t be silenced.

    • Because you clearly don’t understand how racism works…
      I highly encourage you to read books on scientific racism. Then come back with an informed opinion.

      • nonretardedstudent says:

        Oh no, I understand it. In my examples I’m actually proposing a direct instance of it. You did isolate a single one of my points, and discount everything I said with a buzzword though. Doesn’t seem like a novel argument strategy for you 🙂

  4. nonretardedstudent says:

    Censorship *is* when a fair article has to be revoked because feelings were hurt.

  5. People understand your arguments quite clearly, they’re just rejecting them. Criticize the articles all you like, counterpoint all you like, but when people start demanding ideas are unacceptable and should be taken down, under the guise of “words are violence” or other nonsense with no basis, you’re going to get this pushback. And it’s completely deserved. This article begins with the usual pretentious “please listen” – no, really, we get it, maybe you guys should be the ones listening.

    Free speech is far more important than the hurt feelings of individuals who can go ahead and call out a piece anyway. And indeed, doing the latter is far better than censorship when it comes to making counterpoints against the actual ideas. You’re turning this dumb writer into a martyr.

    • Couldn’t have phrased this better myself. I was waiting for someone to call out the rubbish definitions these writers have essentially fabricated to serve their own ends. And thank you for pointing out this crucial point – these writers are turning Maier into a martyr! No one agreed with her article, but the writers of this article are effectively recognizing her points!

    • justastudent says:

      Lol I didn’t even catch that definition in the article. Too funny

    • John Edwards Cummings says:

      “Free speech is far more important than the hurt feelings of individuals who can go ahead and call out a piece anyway.”

      I support every word above. Thank you.

    • WhitePersonWithHeadNotInAnus says:

      But like, there is basis for these claims. Very scientific basis. There’s been sooooo much work done on the psychology of microaggressions. Seriously, please google that. It will take you less than five minutes to look at a few journal abstracts and get a sense of what I’m talking about. Science aside, there have been so many people speaking up saying that this violence is real and that they experience it. Why do you think that isn’t real? I straight up can’t wrap my head around this. Like, honestly, why do you think all of these people are lying? It makes zero sense.

      • Psychology isn’t science

        • WhitePersonWithHeadNotInAnus says:

          Lolol, okay bb, then plz address the other point: why do you think people are lying when they say this sort of language is harmful to them?

          • I don’t think people are lying when they say this sort of language is harmful to them. I think they are telling the truth. However, that’s not useful information. You are free to go around saying that something is harmful to you, but that doesn’t mean anything to anyone else but you. However, if you go around saying that something is harmful to you, and therefore it should be halted or removed, then that does involve other people. I’ve got a phobia of spiders, and I can go around saying I’ve got a phobia of spiders. That’s benign, but it also doesn’t mean anything functional. If I say “I’m phobic of spiders, therefore I demand you get that pet tarantula away from me”, then that is a demand on other people. I can’t make that person comply. That is not my right.

            Saying “I’m offended” is your right, and its a good thing that you are speaking out, but you can’t infringe on the rights of other people. Saying “I’m offended, therefore shut up” is not your right. You can’t make other people comply.

          • theydontneedaplatform says:

            fear of spiders is super comparable to fear of racist violence and eugenics

          • in theory, it sure is.

          • in theory on what planet, exactly? because you’re surely not talking about this one.

          • BrownAnimalFarm says:

            It’s an apt, value-free analogy, not meant as a comparison. But while we’re at it, being in proximity to a tarantula or other venomous spider is an actual threat, as opposed to the ludicrous fear that language that figuratively offends or hurts your feelings can also literally harm you. Also, enough the hysterics and inference that Maier’s articles were an incitement to racist violence.

          • Let’s try a different example:

            Stabbing people.

            It’s not harmful to the person who DOES the stabbing, only the person who gets stabbed. “You are free to go around saying that something is harmful to you, but that doesn’t mean anything to anyone else but you.”
            Saying “I’m bleeding” is your right, but you can’t infringe on the rights of other people. Saying “I am bleeding, therefore stop stabbing me” is not your right. You can’t make other people comply.

            Enjoy your libertarian paradise, chum.

          • Stop your garbage says:

            Well you just compared stabbing to hurting someone’s feelings, so I think that idiocy speaks for itself.

          • justastudent says:

            The difference is that the only thing actually getting hurt here is feelings. Stabbing someone isn’t an expression of free speech, that’s violence. Voicing an opinion that one group’s feelings are very apparently too easily hurt and that they need to just deal with it, is a valid one.

          • howdyalikethemapples says:

            You’re confusing libertarianism with anarchism. Libertarians ban violence completely. Murray Rothbard doesn’t even believe in militaries. I’d at least read up on libertarian paradises before I commented on them if I were you.

          • Oh, so if you say words that hurt my feelings, it’s totally fair and equivalent for me to retaliate by stabbing you in the gut? Good to know.

            Do you want us to work out our disagreements with words or with knives and bullets? You can’t choose neither.

          • The stupid in this comment makes my head hurt.

        • I’m seriously sympathetic to this view.

      • I once told someone that I didn’t like them. It broke their nose. If I had said more they would have been knocked unconscious. Also, you write like a valley girl talks.

      • KiteFlyer89 says:

        A quick Google search indicates the science of microaggressions is arguable at best. Jonathan Haidt has written about this. “Scientific investigation of microaggression has been criticized for lacking a theory that makes any empirically testable prediction.” (yeah I’m c/p-ing Wikipedia) strikes me as valid. Somewhat related: there is absolutely no science behind trigger warnings whatsoever.

        Side note/tangent: social science is a real and important thing (I have a Master’s in Poli Sci, quant 4 life), very good work is out there, and we should be striving to better understand human nature. But it’s hard work and I think colleges need to think about restructuring the discipline to handle issues like reproducibility. Or the larger meta issue of the lamest research – 17 guys in a lab, mildly statistically significant result, not reproduced – gets reported just as much as the large amount of crap that gets picked up. Stuff like that recent replication survey are doubly bad: they show a real problem and they reduce people’s confidence in the field at large. And when portions of the social justice left don’t seem to care about this, it bugs me and strikes me as bad long-term politics.

        BTW, I think you can believe all this and still believe people are being honest about their feelings in individual circumstances, and that institutionalized and systemic racism are still real things. But when weighed against a speech commitment vs. censorship and given the specifics of this situation, sorry, I stand by my comment.

        • WhitePersonWithHeadNotInAnus says:

          I want very badly to understand and respect where you are coming from, particularly given the fact that I agree with you on all of your comments re: social sciences. I would also point out that Haidt, for all his popularity, is a Social Psychologist (the division of psychology with, coincidentally, the lowest levels of reproducibility), primarily focused on economics, business, and leadership. His “Coddling of the American Mind” article fundamentally misunderstands the appropriateness of how and why to apply CBT. In short, he’s not a clinical psychologist. A smart guy, sure, but just as easily misinformed about psychopathology as the next person. (Side note: an all too common problem in most social sciences being lack of communication across fields).

          I’m choosing fairly deliberately to not engage in with the rest of the frankly embarrassing comments from your supporters on this post. I’m also choosing to take you at your word when it comes to interest in research, and hoping you sincerely mean it. I’d love to address some of your questions in terms of genuine literature on the topic, so I’d point you in the direction of this piece:

          It summarizes some work that has implicated the presence of racism as having negative consequences on both physical: and mental: health. Rather than linking up a storm in the comments, I encourage you to examine the links contained at the bottom of both the first and third articles I’ve linked here. Click on any that seem interesting to you. (Fair warning, this being PubMed, you’ll find some things behind pay walls w/o access to methods or statistics. There are plenty for which that isn’t the case, though. I’ve been through most of these links myself.)

          From my perspective, the literature on the practical, harmful effects of giving a podium to racist speech are pretty clear. Beyond that, newspapers choosing what and what not to publish isn’t censorship, it’s basic curation. Especially in the case of an article as ludicrous as Maier’s.

          So I suppose, given the specifics of this situation, that I’d rather not give a platform to someone spouting racist vitriol. Sure, nobody can stop Maier talking and thinking the horrendous things she put in that article, but that damn sure doesn’t mean we need to give her a platform, especially considering how crap (I mean crap as a specific description, not a general substitute for “stuff” – that article is crap) like that just adds to the burden that minority students already have to shoulder every day. If racist speech is something we’re willing to defend over the physical and mental health of our peers, what does that say about us?

          • a) It’s not too surprising that conservatives are largely jumping on the free speech train now (in regards to the ’embarrassing supporters’). In recent years the socially liberal left has been winning – a good thing! – and as a result their beliefs are getting more harsh reactions and being put under the microscope. 10 years ago, it was the precise opposite – 10 years from now, who knows. I do kind of doubt that some of them would be consistent if the shoe was on the other foot. Motivated reasoning and all.

            But really, the point about speech is more important to me in either case, so in my mind I’ve never actually changed positions much.

            b) Again, I don’t even mind curation. Maier is not owed a platform. It’s the rhetoric of this article and the calls against the newspaper for publishing something that, ultimately, someone didn’t like.

            While the content was objectionable it certainly wasn’t in the realm of real threats/actual threats of violence/etc. Thanks for the results, but a lot of these are also examining the impact of actual discrimination on health – way the heck different than “someone in a newspaper is a moron”. Furthermore, engineering a situation in which people can’t take a certain viewpoint in a newspaper means absolutely nothing in regards to making the attitudes themselves go away. It certainly doesn’t stop the attitude from existing – indeed, to follow with my last example, the exact kind of social liberalism that got a sneer in George Bush’s America 10 years ago is now dominant, more or less. In this setting, at least this can be pretty easily counterpointed.

            And frankly I think the censor proponents’ have to frame their arguments around “violence” (still not buying this for a dumb written editorial) because they’re cognizant of the fact if they just argued that they don’t want these ideas to be published because of their fierce dislike of them, it would be way easier to get counterpointed. So if you build up this “words are destroying lives” mindset, then you’re really not censoring people, you’re protecting mental health/doing what’s needed for that poor Outgroup/somethingsomething censor it.

            c) As far as giving a platform, I actually do think college newspapers should consciously give an effort to views that exist outside the Overton Window. Free speech isn’t just a legal concept, it’s a social value – and I can think of absolutely no better place on the face of the Earth, outside of perhaps the arts, where the tone should definitely be that even the obscene, absurd, stupid, offensive, and all-around unthinkable should be printed than a college newspaper. This is a large part of the point of college.

            I would’ve felt that way about the kookiest leftist back in 1994, I feel that way about people like Maier today.

          • John Edwards Cummings says:

            Your links do not support any use for “trigger warnings” or existence of microaggressions (them being unfalsifiable in principle, “confirming” their existence would be a fine exercise in angel counting)

            But feel free to push your improved, revamped take on “Seduction of the Innocent” :p

      • BrownAnimalFarm says:

        “Very scientific basis. There’s been sooooo much work done on the psychology of microaggressions.”

        There is scant scientific basis for microaggressions. There is plently of scientific evidence that they are being used as ideological weapons for shutting down dissent and suppressing undesirable ideas. It actually makes perfect and disturbing sense that all of these people are lying.

        “Science aside, there have been so many people speaking up saying that this violence is real and that they experience it. Why do you think that isn’t real?”

        Because it is not real. It is not real, that’s why. “Microaggressions” and newspaper articles are not manifestations of violence. Do people at Brown actually believe this stuff, or are they trying to gaslight the rest of the us? Both prospects are terrifying. As long as it does not explicitly incite violence, words that offend or hurt your feelings cannot inflict violence on you. If these people who claim to be “experiencing violence” cannot emotionally and intellectually engage with offensive, hurtful content to the extent that they experience actual, real, debilitating distress, then they are in need of psychiatric help, and temporarily unfit for participation in an educational institution.

        • WhitePersonWithHeadNotInAnus says:

          Hi. You seem like a wonderfully unpleasant person. Looking beyond that for a moment, let’s talk science. I’d point you towards the links I posted in response to KiteFlyer89’s comment below. Hopefully you’ll read them. I’d be very curious to see any of the “science” which you believe explains the use of these things as “ideological weapons”. Mostly I’m interested in watching you flounder and fail to produce legitimate content. Here’s hoping you won’t disappoint. <3

          • Here. Please read this: If you prefer the complete study instead of the excerpt, you will find a link to it there as well.

          • BrownAnimalFarm says:

            Hi back, WhitePersonWithHead deeply lodged between the Anus of those who view everything through the lens of oppression by white people. Here’s to hoping you manage to escape finding out the hard way that the kind of people whose practices you are defending always eat their own. <3 The links you cite are extremely weak, not just for one or two conceptual and methodological reasons and issues concerning agenda and bias, but a whole plethora of them. In fact, people would do well to cite the weaknesses and limitatons of the very studies you cite to show how the basis of things such as language-as-violence and microaggressions is paper-thin at best, politically biased, and often profoundly intellectually dishonest. I might actually have a tiny bit more respect for these tyrannical fools' call for censorship and punishment of dissent from the tacit party line if they didn't shamelessly use bad science to prop themselves up.

            As for the science of ideological weapons, that you so arrogantly dismiss, there are piles upon piles of case studies where hysterics and exaggerated or even false accusations of harm and subordination are used as psychological warfare. There is material galore for an empirical science of Playing the Victim as a Power Grab and anthropologically, it is a behavior you can even universally observe among primates and young children. It is happening right here. Yet bringing up science isn't even necessary to show how microaggressions and their sort are used as ideological weapons. The radical left (which apparently runs wild and unchecked at Brown, and A Critique of Pure Tolerance is the university Bible) explicitly and transparently grants perceived minorities the right to suppress the voice and actions of their "oppressors". "Freedom for me, but not for ye."

      • John Edwards Cummings says:

        There are lots of people who claim that they have been abducted by space aliens – little grey men and such.
        Should I now treat alien abductions as a credible national security threat ?

      • ” Science aside, there have been so many people speaking up saying that this violence is real and that they experience it.”

        There are also as many people who say they were abducted by aliens and rectally probed…I believe them more than the ‘microagression’ crowd.

    • “No it isn’t! You just made that up right now to serve the purposes of this article lol.”

      OMFG! That’s *exactly* what I said. Sympatico!

    • local_darwinist says:

      “Free speech is far more important than the hurt feelings of individuals” I, as well as an unrepresented group of Brown students, agree with this, and your whole comment, 100% – beautiful.

    • Vivian Hsiao says:

      This perfectly summarizes my frustration with the sentiments expressed in this (and similar) columns. There’s a real for us/against us rhetoric that I find alienating. There were so many claims in the original article that could have been challenged or discussed; the content was controversial… but calling it “violent” “traumatizing” “hate speech” is really a stretch by any means. To the authors of this article: have you ever thought about what it might be like if your own opinion were the unpopular one? What it would be like to fear saying something even moderately critical of public sentiment because you might be bullied, publicly denounced by your own school administrators and otherwise deemed a pariah? This is why we need free speech- it’s not a “pseudo-intellectual” argument, but rather a protection for people who think differently.

      • Konrad_Lorenz says:

        Probably the author believes that he is bravely voicing the radical minority opinion that non-whites are people too…

    • Please many of us black people do not agree with these White knights or crazy left-wing middle class blacks w priviliged guilt issues.

  6. lol glenn loury is black

  7. Fred Z in Ann Arbor says:

    “white” is an oldfashioned and primitive concept. European-American is a much superior term, and even that suppresses many obvious historical subtleties such as the differing relationship among Irish, German, English, Italian, Greek, Bulgarian- and other Americans.

  8. GamerGate Developer says:

    Oh god can you shut the hell up? You’re just as stupid as the idiots pretending to speak for a group of people that share some physical trait, please replace “white people” with “blondes” and “x of color with brunettes in your article and see how ridiculous you are

  9. Daily reminder that “people of color” is a fancy way of saying colored people.

  10. “The oppressed, by definition, can not censor their oppressor”

    Sounds dangerously close to the “minorities can’t be racist” nonsense you see spouted these days. What absurdly black and white universe do you occupy where a single vector of power exists and people occupy one end or another?

  11. Stop your garbage says:

    You’re right about one thing: it would’ve been preferable and far more productive for Maier’s article to inspire debate over its content as opposed to this drawn-out debacle over free speech. Ironically enough, your cries for the removal of her article have effectively guaranteed that its (arguably offensive) commentary be glossed over in favor of a free speech debate.

    I don’t think a single student, professor, or alum to argue for the preservation of free speech in the BDH has even acknowledged Maier’s points as intelligent or well-articulated. Students of color and white-guilt mongers alike can complain all they want about the “harm” caused by its content, but these arguments are really a futile (and failed) cut at the core issue: If it was so poorly-written and ill-articulated to begin with, the BDH could have decided not to publish Maier’s article at all. But they did, and they removed it because of student complaints, which is unjust, unconstitutional, and censorship.

    In all your talk of whiteness and privilege, you (along with far too many students on this campus) fail to acknowledge a crucial point – that from the moment they walk through Van Wickle Gates, ALL students on Brown’s campus are endowed with the enormous privilege of an Ivy League education. This is not to deny or de-legitimize institutionalized, racism, sexism, etc., which all still exist and are exercised even on Brown’s campus. However, what it also entails is that students at Brown are all permitted access to speak out and speak freely, through outlets like the BDH and more. Brown is supposed to promote this kind of speech, even when it acts as a response to bad speech. The students who have spoken for and against free speech in previous weeks have been of diverse backgrounds and races, and present a perfect example of this system. You are not a voice for white students, and you should not aim to be. Speak for yourself and let others do the same.

  12. Between the 5 of them that’s almost a billion dollars of tuition wasted.

  13. Instead of throwing general words about freedom of speech, let me address your article directly. I will not talk about specific events in Brown, just about your arguments regarding free speech.

    1) “We address this to other white people on campus and to
    anyone who has found the arguments for free speech compelling. The five
    of us have been complicit through our silence.”

    No white people (grrr) on campus are not complicit to anything they did not do. Do you expect every Muslim in Saudi Arabia to reject 9/11? And Muslims in Saudi Arabia are NOT oppressed. Furthermore, “white people” is not even monolithic group: different background, religions, wealth, countries of origin, political views, etc. To expect that all “white people” react in the same way as you is buying too much into identity politics.

    2) “Productive discomfort involves questioning systems of
    power and recognizing our privileges and assumptions; it does not
    involve questioning the humanity of others.”

    Do you understand that “questioning systems of power and recognizing our privileges” is something that people with your views like to do a lot these days? It’s like raison d’etre. Therefore, I find it ironic that you define good “productive” discomfort as something that you very much enjoy doing. Something that you are are comfortable with.

    3) “The academy, and Brown in particular, is not a vacuum in which we can expect to discuss ideas in isolation from social systems”

    It’s true about every place. Should free speech be prohibited everywhere? If anything academia is at least somewhat isolated from the real world. In that professors can ensure that discussions occur in a civilized fashion, people understand historical context, background and so on. So many advantages of being exposed to many different ideas while in academia. IMHO, you should be craving that. Not avoiding that.

    4) “Censorship has a particular meaning that has been lost
    in these debates. Censorship is the exercise of power to suppress
    challenges to the status quo.”

    No. From wiki: Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or
    other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful,
    sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by
    governments, media outlets (!), authorities or other groups (!!) or institutions(!!!).

    I’ll stop here before it gets too long.

  14. mosseinteriste says:

    So you are taking on behalf of all white people on this campus? Of all ethnic groups, nationalities, etc? Right.. Can we please stop labelling a group of people as “White”, regardless of where they are from, because I could be white from Chile, white from Libya, white from Estonia, carrying with me a different culture and identity (and last name for that matter) and somehow still be responsible to carry the burden of American white people (of anglo-saxon descent)

    • White Man of Chilean Descent says:

      As a white American of Chilean descent, I think it’s important to recognize that one’s experience with race and racism is contingent mostly on their appearance, not their heritage. For example, my Chilean heritage does not (and should not) give me a “pass” because racism privileges me in the same way that it privileges white people of anglo-saxon descent. This is why I agree with the writers that we can’t shy away from actual conversations about race and racism. All white people need to listen to people of color in order to understand their experiences and make Brown a more welcoming and safe place for them. Why would you not listen to someone who says they are hurt? Why shrug that off because “it’s not your problem” or your family had nothing to do with it?

      • You don’t get to steal my time and resources simply because you think you are hurt about a supposedly ‘racial’ remark. I choose to spend my time and resources and funds fighting serious problems, like Parkinson’s Disease which is invariably fatal.

        • White Man of Chilean Descent says:

          No one’s stealing your time, horn, and it’s awesome that you fight Parkinson’s. You imply that all of this is somehow interfering with that, and I don’t see the connection. I encourage you to read the statements made by Native Students at Brown, Black Student Leaders, Asian-American Students, and others. You will see that they do not simply ‘think’ they are hurt, they really are. I don’t think listening takes too much time.

      • The correct response to someone who is offended by an argument is “too bad, but you’ll live.” That’s all. I’m sorry if that’s not sufficiently tender for you, but there isn’t an option where we never say anything that’s hurtful to anyone else. We’re going to have disagreements, and we can either work them out with words or with violence. Which would you rather have?

        It is valuable to know what other people think, ESPECIALLY if what they think is completely repugnant to you. I think Harvey Silverglate put it best (paraphrasing here): “I’m Jewish. If there are Nazis in the room with me, I want to know about it. I want to know who I shouldn’t turn my back to.” Besides that, only when you know what other people think can you actually persuade them to change their minds. Speaking is not violence; it’s speaking. If you don’t like what’s being said, you can listen to someone else’s speech. Using force to make people speak a certain way, on the other hand, is most certainly violence.

    • Konrad_Lorenz says:

      Why should you escape collective racial guilt just because you’re from Estonia? Contemporary white Americans didn’t do any enslavement either. If we let you off the hook they will want to be let off too. We have to be consistent. Collective guilt attaches to *races* not nationalities.

  15. Hm

    5 white writers. 5 people with histories of agriculture. 5 beneficiaries of the sword, the gun, and the printing press, 5 English- speakers, 5 beneficiaries of the Columbian Exchange.

    Oh the irony.

  16. “There is a difference between promoting productive discomfort and inflicting pain and harm on members of our community. Productive discomfort involves questioning systems of power and recognizing our privileges and assumptions; it does not involve questioning the humanity of others.”

    Doesn’t this seem awfully one- way? Productive discomfort, in “questioning systems of power and recognizing privilege” requires a condemnation of the wrongs of the world. By these liberal SJWs own admission, questioning systems of power…. and ultimately concluding that they are useful or valid is “questioning the humanity of others”, while questioning systems of power and ultimately concluding that they are harmful, unfair, invalid, or oppressive is “productive discomfort”.

    “Productive Discomfort” requires self- righteous disagreement, and “questioning” equals condemnation. You’re free to think what you want, just so long as it is precisely what we want you to think.

  17. “In their Oct. 9 open letter, President Christina Paxson P’19, Provost Richard Locke P’17 and Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey ’91 MA’06 deemed the pain inflicted by the Herald columns valuable: an uncomfortable, yet overall productive learning experience. They are wrong.”

    In your opinion.
    Aren’t you happy you are in a place where you can express your opinion?

  18. bullybreedlover says:

    I’m white and I agree with Maier

    You don’t speak for me.

  19. I call on the illustrious Editors of The Brown Daily Herald to reject this pernicious parody. This is a serious topic and making light of it at the expense of POC is an embarrassing manifestation of hate. The authors claim that “Pain is not useful.” To quote them, “[t]hey are wrong.” This entire op-ed is a hateful mockery. We can only hope that one day their shame will educate them.

  20. WhenWillThisEnd says:

    Literally the only thing I got from this article was that the writers have tremendous white guilt…..the fact that native american students have published their articulations of why they disagreed with Maier proves that they were not silenced…in fact…the fact that there have been protests and countless articles articulating their points means that they have enjoyed the exercise of free speech far more than Maier did…as her article was pulled because people found it discomforting. Also the whole…please refer to statements made by people of color but we’re still going to write a long article articulating our white guilt and the white guilt of all white people at Brown pretty much sums up why this article is ridiculous. You can’t pick and choose ladies and gentlemen. If you want the opportunity to spout your ridiculous opinions you have no choice but to grant the same to others. White guilt is not useful or productive….and you have articulated nothing in this article other than that.

    • In order to feel guilt, one must have a conscience. You try to make guilt a negative thing. It took those with consciences to end the centuries of legal discrimination in this country.

      • BrownAnimalFarm says:

        No, you don’t get to brand those who reject the incoherent, Original Sin-modeled concept of “white guilt” don’t have a conscience. It is an embarassingly intellectually lazy and hollow rebuttal. Tell us, why are the authors of this op-ed trying to redefine free speech as “dangerous rhetorical devices”, and turn civil discourse into a negative thing? Gosh, they must lack a conscience, as denial of these basic liberal values led to the legal subjugation and slaughter of millions.

      • WhenWillThisEnd says:

        Guilt is a negative thing. It is condescending. Social justice for the sake of making yourself feel better and in order to get some sort of pat on the back “You are a good ally. You are not the bad kind. Thank you for your service.” is disingenuous and transparent. It is not useful and it is completely self-serving.

      • Stop your garbage says:

        White guilt did not end centuries of legal discrimination, but free speech certainly played a role! Guilt is a largely useless and unproductive emotion, and in the case of these writers, it serves to be extraordinarily self-centered. I can’t think of anything more narcissistic than five white students composing an article condemning ALL other white people so they can get a big pat on the back from students of color. Congratulations! Your fight against Maier’s right to make her crappy argument has single-handedly ended institutionalized racism. The angels of social justice warriors will now descend upon earth to grant you your “Ally-of-the-year” buttons.

  21. This is garbage. Anybody with a vested interest in causes of social justice should be a first amendment absolutist. Free speech provides these movements with the platform they require to spread their message. The authors act as if free speech is not the important topic here; it reality it is the only topic. Free speech and censorship are what this entire debacle is about. The amount of people taking the “pick and choose” approach to freedom of speech on this campus is reason enough to have these discussions. To somehow identify these as “misguided” as you have here is ridiculous.

    As others have already, I would also urge you to pick up a dictionary and rethink your “definition” of censorship. A thorough read of the First Amendment might do you well also.

    “The problem is that freedom of speech is not a universal reality. Free speech assumes a level playing field among speakers that does not exist.”

    What you don’t seem to get is that freedom of speech is the ultimate equalizer. Unless of course it isn’t applied absolutely and universally, which is strangely what you all seem to be calling for.

    • “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”

      George Orwell- “Animal Farm”

  22. This is pathetic. Absolutely, incoherently pathetic. Do you even like the oppressed minorities you claim to be fighting for? Because free speech is the absolute best friend the oppressed have ever had. Free speech is what allows good arguments to eventually win out over bad ones. Free speech is what allows minority groups and opinions to be part of the discussion at all – without free speech, the people with the most power will always control what is said. Before we settled our disagreements with words, we settled them with knives and bullets. Would you like to go back to doing it that way?

    As Ken White said not too long ago on Popehat, your theory seems to be that The System is invariably and irreparably racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, and all kinds of other terrible things, but somehow, you believe that exceptions to free speech will be enforced by Good People in a totally fair, humane, and egalitarian way. And I believe he used the correct descriptor as well: “almost indescribably moronic.”

    Brown students, I’m pleading with you to listen: these writers are not your friends. Anyone who wants to limit your freedom to say what’s on your mind and listen to other people and discuss it is not your friend. Anyone will only stand up for your rights as long as you adhere to the predetermine party line is not your friend.

    And anyone who thinks you’re too weak to live with freedom because you aren’t a straight white Christian man is DEFINITELY not your friend.

    • Thank you – I’m a Brown student, and I couldn’t have said it better. It’s incredibly frustrating that so many of my peers buy into this insanity. We’re not all like this, I promise.

      • I know you’re not, don’t worry. I teach at a different university that will go unnamed for now, but that has similar demographics to Brown (I realize that eliminates very few of them). Most of you actually have it in you to be very thoughtful and even-handed. As for the rest of you, I take it as a daily reminder that it takes all sorts to make a world.

        • This is a very kind, thoughtful, and probably much needed response to “thank you’s” previous post. The last bit also made me chuckle. Thanks you for that.

      • KiteFlyer89 says:

        100% sincere question – I get the sense Brown, what with being Ivy League/upper class, would be a haven for the type of activism the OP is deriding and that you seem to dislike. You say a lot of you aren’t like this, but how prevalent do you think it is there? Is this a loud 10% or so?

        Basically since 2013 I’ve held that the culture wars being waged by thinkpiece writers/Tumblr SJWs/etc is actually a very small amount of people. They have a more focused base of enemies (especially nowadays) which are also probably ultimately a small amount of people; and a much larger group of people who can’t fully articulate a ‘side’ but vaguely think a lot of the material seen in editorials like this one are counterproductive and going too far.

  23. Limiting freedom of speech can’t possibly work. First of all, if you’re going to decide that certain things can’t be published, where does it end? The Bible, the Quran, and many other religious texts contain passages that could be seen as deeply offensive. And not only could they cause psychological harm, as students are claiming about Maier’s articles; religious texts have caused real physical harm through the countless religious wars that have plagued humanity for centuries. But would the writers of this article suggest that we ban all religious texts? And furthermore, should we pull Hitler’s Mein Kampf off the shelves? For years people have studied this book in order to understand Hitler’s ideology better. As Prof. Ken Miller mentioned in an article about censorship, learning directly about Nazi ideas allowed him to see for himself exactly what was wrong with these arguments and also to understand what made these dangerous ideas so seductive to Germans at the time.

    Second of all, who among us could be deemed so virtuous that they would be allowed to decide for the entire campus whose views deserve to be published and whose views should be suppressed? Even a person with good intentions could end up censoring valid opinions because those opinions do not fit in with his/her ideology.

    And thank you to everyone who pointed out the incorrect definition of censorship! There seems to be a popular trend lately in which people just make things up in order to support their views. (Or perhaps this has always been a trend… sigh.)

  24. You lot are misguided fools. I’m sure calling for the censorship of individual ideas and expressions from your ivory tower is comfortable and convenient. However, people are different and are going to interpret things differently. What may be offensive to one may not be to another. Once you drawn that line, it provided the subjective and arbitrary power to censor and silence any dissenting view. No individual’s “hurt feelings” warrant a curbing of free speech and free expression. I’m sure you all have an idealistic frame for the world built from your values, but that doesn’t give you the right to impose it on all others and wave your arms, spit and cry when others disagree. People are going to say things that you disagree with or that are “offensive” throughout your whole life. That is there right, it is not your right to prevent them from doing so. Clearly, you individuals need to either grow up into mature adults some time or you need to get thicker skin. Moaning and crying because “feelings are hurt” won’t cut it.

  25. Lemuel Sangich says:

    Given the tensions created by some recent op-eds, reactions and retractions in the BDH, it was welcome comic relief to read the parody of self-righteous anger, “On whiteness, free speech and missing the point.” The imitation of totalitarian language, served up like a tantrum, in the voice(s) of “white students” pretending to advocate for others, was spot-on; and I thought the use of Stalinesque show-trial rhetoric was especially effective. True, the portrait of a certain sort of cluelessness concerning rights and constitutional principles was perhaps exaggerated (and not that funny), but I had to admit that the howlers worked very well as a set piece when considered all together. I only wish you had been able to publish it last Friday, so that everyone at Brown for Family Weekend could have enjoyed the authors’ sense of humor.

  26. ĽuďomJebe says:

    I think it’s high time for the opinion of a complete outsider.

    First of all, let me say that Identity politics is the worst possible policy to achieve equality. I come from a country which was governed by Communism. As you all know, it was centered around identity politics. The most oppressed have been considered the most virtuous and given privilege and lead. The reversal was almost immediate, and the oppression of people with merit was murderous. Another form of government which springs to mind which was based around Identity is monarchy. I hope you need not be taught how the serfs were treated. I can go on and on, every form of government based around identity was tyrannical towards at least a certain group without exception. Other examples include: Apartheid SA, pre civil-war US, pharaoh Egypt, pre-British India. British India. You might argue that modern society is still oppressive towards certain groups, but you need to realize that that is because Identity still takes hold over merit, and not because the identity ladder is badly organised. If we want true equality, this ladders needs not exist instead of being reordered. Otherwise you’re simply exchanging the ruling class, and another reversal and revenge would follow.

    Second is the brand of forced equality you people seem to push for. Simply put, this cannot exist. Social combat is an ever existing thing which cannot be removed. Even slaves have been known to have a social ladder. Regardless how low a group is on the overall ladder, and even if it’s impossible due to the form of government to break out of this group, there is still infighting withing the group for the best place in the sun. Completely removing merit out of the equation, simply moves the battlefield and it will continue on the field of identity, as the case of Rachel Dolezal clearly illustrates. This is no conjecture. This is lived reality, and it is exactly what was happening in my country during the communism era. The only equality we can objectively strive for is the equality of chance, and the only way for all people to have equal chances is to suppress the importance of identity as much as possible.

    Thirdly, freedom of speech. What you’ve said in your letter hurts and offends me, I believe that you should be jailed, and sentenced for either gulag or the shooting squad.

  27. Richard Sanderson says:


  28. youngidealist says:

    Does it make sense to you, the authors of this article, if I were to say that this message is not effectively convincing people of your point? There’s a new idea out there which is making headway regarding how to engage people effectively. Rather than repeating your conclusions, which are already established and agreed upon, it would be more productive to focus on asking people why they have the conclusions that they have. The only downside of this genuine speculation of another human being is that you will also be vulnerable to having your mind changed if your position is actually the less rational one. The alternative is to let this broken record keep spinning. #StreetEpistemology

  29. free_thinker says:

    Goodwhites self-flagellate in public penance, part XXIV.

  30. You Disgusting Pigs says:

    Please, for the sake of humanity and the Brown community, find a hard wall and continuously bang your head against it until 1 of 2 things happens. 1: You get some sense knocked into those excuses of brains 2: You die.

  31. Vivian Hsiao says:

    After the publication of Maier’s columns, our silence allowed the conversation to shift from the rights of Indigenous peoples and scientific racism to an all too familiar pseudo-intellectual defense of free speech

  32. “After the publication of Maier’s columns, our silence allowed the conversation to shift from the rights of Indigenous peoples and scientific racism to an all too familiar pseudo-intellectual defense of free speech”

    Actually, it’s the censorship that did that, isn’t it?

  33. Genderless Dystopia says:

    Very happy to be graduated and living in the real world now, as opposed to the insane white guilt echo chamber Brown’s campus has turned into.

    As a half black, half white, alumni, I can quite honestly say it is truly insipid and condescending how much the authors have taken it upon themselves to write as if they are all each paragons of social and racial enlightenment.

    Thank you, Brown students, for your continued prostrated sacrifices to the gods of social justice and white guilt. As of now ,your op-eds and safe space forums have completely resolved the following social ills:

    -The civil war in Syria
    -Child soldiers in Africa
    -Domestic gun violence
    -Sexual assault
    -The wealth gap
    -The gender pay gap
    -The thigh gap
    -My lack of something to read while I sit on the toilet

    As a person of color, I accept your apology. Thank you for standing up for me and the racial trauma I carry with me each day. With your help, we can Make America Great Again.

    -Alum, ’15, he/him/his

  34. Man with Axe says:

    “every white person on this campus fosters the environment.” No more than every black person fosters the environment in a violent ghetto neighborhood.

    “an all too familiar pseudo-intellectual defense of free speech.” This is mere name calling. If the arguments for free speech are “pseudo-intellectual” that would be news to the extremely powerful intellects who have made them throughout the last century, from the Supreme Court to the law schools. If you make that charge you should prove it with arguments.

    “White people in particular are taught that our voices are always worth being heard. When we believe in free speech, we do so because it works in our favor.” Free speech works in everyone’s favor. If whites have all the power and there is no free speech how are blacks supposed to make their case?

    “Power always affects interactions and what people can and do say in the context of a given relationship, institution or society.” Who has the power these days? Ask Brendon Eich. Ask Memories Pizza. Ask Tim Hunt. Ask Darren Wilson. Ask Matt Taylor. Ask Paula Deen. Power is not just in the hands of the institutions. It is also in the hands of the mob. The more that free speech is restricted the more power the mob has to destroy people of whom it doesn’t approve. You could see this dynamic in play at the Bernie Sanders rally when BLM protesters took over the entire event.

    “calling for “civil discourse” implies that expressions of pain and anger by people of color are not civil and have no place in the conversation.” This is about as blatantly racist a comment as I’ve seen in quite a while, at least from people who don’t think they are racists themselves, and are bending over backwards to prove they are not. Are you saying that blacks don’t have the self-control to be civil when they experience pain and anger? Are they babies? Savages? Aren’t whites supposed to be civil even when angry and in pain? Then why not blacks?

    “The oppressed by definition cannot censor their oppressor.” Even if this were true, who is the oppressed? Is Barack Obama oppressed? Loretta Lynch? Eric Holder? Ben Carson? Glenn Loury? Black students at Ivy League universities? The mob can censor. If only the oppressor can censor, then the mob is often the oppressor, even if that mob is made up of blacks and their white apologists.

    “Pain is not useful.” This is the most untrue of all the false statements in this article. Of course pain is useful, and not just in the medical sense of warning that something is physically wrong. People who avoid pain cannot grow emotionally. Life is pain, as the Man in Black said to Buttercup, and he was right. The sort of pain that one experiences when reading an article that he doesn’t agree with is so minor compared to what life has in store for you that if you cannot deal with this little pain you will be destroyed by the great pain that is surely coming your way.

  35. TrannyWithFemalePenis69 says:

    lol millennial logic at its finest

    • InternalMonologue says:

      I just wish I could be a little fly on the wall when these snowflakes encounter their first real problems.

  36. This is why I’m proud to call myself a college dropout. Why any self-respecting white man would attend an institution so thoroughly loaded with cultural marxist brainwashing is beyond me.

  37. In what sense do “students of color” lack free speech at Brown? As students at a top university, they have as much free speech as perhaps anyone in the world has ever had. No one is silencing their voices.

    Freedom of speech doesn’t mean “freedom of nice speech” or “freedom of kind speech” or “freedom of speech that doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings”. It means freedom of all speech. If you disagree with someone’s idea, debate the idea. Don’t pretend that you’re debating the idea as you’re calling for their speech to be shut down.

  38. Lev Bronshtein says:

    Tip to students at Brown: you’re not getting much bang for your education buck. Once you graduate, you’ll be mental and emotional cripples, only capably of emoting righteous indignation. You’ll be physiologically addicted to righteous indignation, and your lives will be a wreck.

  39. Lev Bronshtein says:

    Watch the girl in the video melting down in agony. That’ll be you.

    (At 1:30 and 2:50 she is in agony.)

    This is what Brown is turning you into.

  40. “The problem is that freedom of speech is not a universal reality. Free speech assumes a level playing field among speakers that does not exist.”

    It’s true, most whites are naturally more eloquent and intelligent, which translates into being more persuasive.

    This is why any open forum will strongly favour whites, even if the primary podium or main articles are directly handed to people of other races to manage.

    Meritocracy is racist. Nature is racist. Life is not fair by modern standards.

    The only way to try to emulate modern ‘fairness’ is to be brutally racist in ones own way by directly favouring those nature did not, though censorship of criticism against them and giving them lower standards for entry and lower expectations and thus be directly racist in their favour against the more naturally capable races.

    Forced equality is because of nature heavily racist.

  41. Charlie Mike says:

    I hope the authors didn’t take out student loans, because they didn’t learn a whole lot at Brown.

  42. How Orwellian can you get? Grow up. White people are not standing in your way. If you want to go through your lives thinking of yourselves as victims, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  43. plasmacutter says:

    As a Jew, I’d just like to point out that we’ve seen efforts like this to clamp down on “hate speech” before, in Germany in the 1920’s.

    It ended up suppressing dissent, stirring discontent among the people, and eventually propelling a man named Hitler to power.

    The more you tighten the iron fist in the velvet glove, the more people you alienate. The more you shut down civil discourse, the more likely you are to see actual violence.

    If I end up before an alt-right firing squad because of what you have done, I will curse you from the after life forevermore.

    In the mean time, I and many others have abandoned leftist political parties until they put people like yourself into the doghouse.

    I’d rather have liberty and be made poor by the right’s economics than live in an Orwellian dystopia and be “no-platformed” from my job for “wrongthink”

  44. One cannot give offense, only take offense. You (or really, your ego) have to be receptive to offensive words in the first place for words to pi– you off. It doesn’t matter anything about power structures or race or history or majority culture or whatever. The power completely rests with the individual to whom those words are directed. Only I can invest power in words spoken to me, which is totally independent of the intentions of whoever spoke them. And if I am offended, the other person doesn’t take power from me, rather, I am purposefully giving it to them. People who believe that words can take the power of others don’t actually understand what real power is. The whole point of having power is that it isn’t easily taken, and if it is, then it really isn’t power at all. I mean, if power were that easily unseated, white people would long ago have been ousted from power as the majority culture.

    I can’t control the world, I can only control me, and self control, esp over one’s emotional life, is the only real power that is permanent in the world. All other forms of power are temporal. I really can’t figure out why this isn’t obvious to these kids. I don’t walk around letting people rifle through my wallet, so why would I let them rifle around in my head?

    So to me, a person who refuses to take offense even when it is directed towards me, the very idea of microagressions is incomprehensible. The notion that I would (or worse, should) let small slights offend me when I don’t even let intentional slurs offend me, is patently absurd.

  45. Donald Miller says:

    Once again, somebody always gets it backward. The problem is not too much free speech. The problem is that there’s not enough of it.

  46. > Whether or not we agree with the content of the articles, every white person on this campus fosters the environment that allowed M. Dzhali Maier’s ’17 pieces to be published. We are all complicit.


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