Christianity, feminism, gender, media, politics, race, racism, religion, social justice, Uncategorized, white privilege

Why “Politically Correct” Is A Right-Wing Slur Designed to Silence Opposition

I was recently asked about whether “politically correct is correct”. Here is my response.

The term “politically correct” is a right-wing specter. I have never once in my life heard an informed activist for the LGBTQ movement, the civil rights and anti-racist movement, the feminist movement, etc. say to someone “We have to be politically correct”. It doesn’t work, it has a namby-pamby ring to it, it doesn’t express the appropriate outrage, and it is frankly not appropriate for activism.
There are so many problems with the assertions against “PC” (I will now call them “basic courtesy and accuracy”) arguments.

The most major one is that we are never discussing the mere use of a slur in isolation. Even when a comedian breaks decorum in some way that costs them popularity, like when Michael Richards (of Kramer fame) did it, no one was focusing just on the mere use of the n-word. It wasn’t as if Richards said, “Man, isn’t Al Sharpton cool? He’s my ni**a”. Rather, he said “Fifty years ago we’d have you upside-down with a f**king fork up your ass!” and “That’s what happens when you interrupt the white man, don’t you know?” In other words, Richards’ rant was racial terrorism. He evoked some of the horrible atrocities that happened to people who were lynched, including being burnt with blowtorches and having pieces taken off, and he asserted his white supremacy and the degree to which he belonged. Yes, that was all still rhetoric, but it wasn’t just the literal word: it was his aggressiveness against people of color.

Many defended Richards on this front. They defended him as if his opposition was just fetishizing a word, “ni**er”, and giving it magical properties.

Of course, each time I write out that word, that word that has been used with hate, my stomach churns. See, whites have the privilege of viewing that word as just being a word. For blacks and even many other people of color (especially Native Americans, Arabs and Muslims, who have been roped into it by “prairie ni**er” and “sand ni**er”), it evokes five hundred years of history. It evokes hundreds of years where that word was bellowed in an effort to kill, enslave, bomb, hurt, lynch, burn, terrorize, and mangle people. It evokes hundreds of years of fear.
White folks routinely have the privilege of pretending history doesn’t matter and doesn’t echo. Even I, as the son of an immigrant, have to know better than that. I know supremacy has a life and a breath all of its own.

When people on the political left and center-left bring up that we should call people “transgender” and call them by the gender pronoun that matches their new gender identity, we aren’t just saying that as an idle matter of decorum: we are saying it to people who want them to go into a bathroom that they will mentally and in many cases physically not belong, who want to cut their wages or kick them out of their community.

When people on the political left and center-left bring up that we should try to call “Mexicans” Chicana/os, Hispanics or Latina/os, we aren’t just talking to people who insist on calling people from Mexico Mexicans: we are fighting against those who would call them rapists and drug dealers, as if the entire group was just one raping, drug dealing apparatus or entity, some tentacled monster.

When people on the political left and center-left insist that we should use gender-neutral language (“firefighters” rather than “firemen”), we aren’t just fighting the rhetorical obliteration of females doing a job: we’re also fighting those who think women can’t be leaders because of their periods.
Notice how no one really organizes as a movement to say “Don’t call atheists ‘godless heathens'”, and yet they still encounter a widespread sentiment that they are inferior and dangerous.

See, conservatives seem to think, “You’ve won everything! Can’t you just leave the English language alone?”

Oh, no, brother (and it is so often a brother rather than a sister), you have it twisted.

In fact, we have so far to go, from anti-discrimination law to basic tolerance in public spaces to people actually being informed about atheists. We are fighting institutional discrimination, prejudice and bigotry stemming from institutional racism and white supremacy, homophobia and heteronormativity, sexism and male dominance, anti-atheist and agnostic bigotry and Christian hegemony, anti-immigrant and anti-global attitudes and American hegemony, and classism and the dominance of the rich. Notice how, in each case, I listed not just the group that was being targeted but the group that was being elevated. Every time someone says “This is a Christian nation”, it is yet another rhetorical assertion of a dominance that they have come to expect and yet have no right to expect and have not earned because such an endeavor would be impossible. The sacrifices of Christians who came before gives no modern Christian a single claim to institutional supremacy. Their majority status does not either.
Even within the realm of language, we’re not just making individual words taboo. When someone says “Blacks have lower IQ”, they are repeating an essentialist, racist, bigoted, stereotypical notion of people of color as if they’re in a spreadsheet. Even when there is some evidence supporting it, that evidence is never deployed honestly or consistently. And many times, such evidence is just outright false and dishonest. We are fighting people’s racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic ideas of other human beings, arguing that other human beings are on average just as competent, decent, intelligent and kind as they are. And those biases are used to justify present inequities. The logic, even when it isn’t stated out loud, goes, “Well, black people are criminals anyways, so why bother feeding their children?” or “Well, blacks are more likely to commit a homicide anyways, so why bother getting lead off the walls?” Once again, we can’t separate language and cognition from political ideas. Martin Gilens, and researchers working in his vein, have repeatedly found that racist biases are massively deterministic of whether one is willing to support policies like welfare. Policy issues in America are racialized and sexualized. Masculine identity is part of militaristic policies, which in turn influences debates like gays and women in the military.
The second issue is that, even insofar as we’re rectifying language, this is what societies do.
No society within the history of the planet has ever said that all language is equally appropriate in public parlance.

Most societies had very strong rules about what one could say in public. Honor codes, rules about courtesy that governed not just what hand one shook with (often as part of an effort to avoid contamination and the spread of germs even before people knew about the modern germ theory), kosher rules… the idea that there are certain things one does not say and do is common to history. Two of the Ten Commandments concern speech: Not taking the Lord’s name in vain, and honoring one’s mother and father.

One could argue that this was the case of feudal, monarchic and non-democratic societies. But that is emphatically false. Courtesy rules, manners books and so forth still exist. There are numerous 1950s shorts about the proper courtesy and rules for having a family dinner together. These emphatically include ways of talking and not talking: don’t gossip, don’t monopolize speech, don’t put people off their lunch.

What astonishes me so much about this is the political cleavage. Naively, I would have thought that many conservatives, people who are concerned with courtesy and decorum, would naturally and easily come to accept that there are certain ways we should and should not speak as a normative fact. They would come to accept, “Ah, these human beings prefer to be addressed by the opposite gender. How boorish would it be not to accommodate it?” One would think it’d be punk leftists who would spit and say “They’re a dude!”

But of course this is accepting conservative self-image and propaganda. In fact, the right-wing across history, the forces that preserve tradition, have always been perfectly able to be rude, cruel, and decidedly non-courteous. They just pretended otherwise as a thin veneer of civilization.
And challenging the entitlement (not the right but the sense that one should not face consequences) of those used to being afforded unlimited latitude challenges their supremacy. And when their supremacy is challenged, they are willing to get mighty rude.
Now, of course, is there a balance to be struck? Of course. Certain taboos should always be challenged. A transgressive attitude is always healthy at the right time and the right place. If friends are hanging out and talking, and there’s a high degree of trust, then it can be reasonable to say some things one might not say in mixed company. And certainly artists, comedians, etc. need to be granted some leeway to break sacred cows without too much criticism in response.
But remember: So many of the same people who fight the “PC agenda” will loudly support Trump’s support of seditious libel suits against journalists, loudly insist that one shouldn’t use the Lord’s name in vain, demand that the American flag never be burned or defaced, and insist that one should always “support the troops” no matter one’s disagreements with American foreign policy.
And it is precisely that “high degree of trust” that is not to be taken for granted. When so many people are able to say “I’m not racist, I have a black friend”, or otherwise signal that they’re not “one of the bad ones” and should be given some latitude, they fundamentally misunderstand the trust people. People of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, atheists and agnostics… none of them can trust the rhetorical goodwill of someone they don’t know.
The final point is precisely what the original questioner asked: “Others believe that being politically correct limits opinions, and will restrain them from conversing and interacting with others. Because of this, it will create a barrier between different groups, and do more harm then good”.
In other words, for the need of social lubrication and discussion, once again people of color, women, LGBTQ folks, non-Americans, immigrants… they all must sacrifice their sense of humanity and how they wish people would speak to them for the good of society.
Never once must the dominant group sacrifice their own sense of comfort, even temporarily, in order to learn new language and to (much more importantly) unlearn their toxic, unfair biases.
Every human being has a right to say, “I demand to be treated with respect, and if you don’t, I will not interact with you, I will not speak to you, and I will not do business with you”. There is a bare minimum of treatment we can demand in order to interact with us in commerce and daily life.

Those who demand that people not correct other people’s speech… are correcting other people’s speech.
The anti-PC brigade have a fundamental hypocrisy: They say “I should be able to say anything I want, and you shouldn’t be able to say anything you want”.
To quote Jeremy Sherman’s astute analysis: “By accusing people of being PC we try to persuade people to be less sensitive, less influenced by other people’s opinions, but in declaring PC a universal moral error, we pretend that we could live in a world where no one influences anyone. Usually we do it as a way of claiming our right to try to influence others without being influenced. It’s like the current libertarian craze, motivated by ‘my freedom to say and do what I want, without getting hassled’ If you want your freedom to say and do what you want, expect the same from everyone else. The person who accuses others of being PC has his own PC sensitivities. He’s saying it’s politically incorrect for you to be politically correct. Anti-PC and libertarianism are often rationalizations for dishing it out without having to take it in”.
Either we accept that anything is okay to say or we accept that there should be voluntary rules that we choose, as civilized human beings, as to what we say or do not say. And if anything is okay to say, I get to tell someone else to shut up. If someone else gets to call a friend of mine the “n-word”, I get to call them a monster who shouldn’t show their face in public. If we’re going to make society an endless war of words, then we get every weapon just like you do. Either way, the anti-PC crowd is wrong. Either way, they are demanding “My rules for thee but not for me”.
See, what conservatives want is consequence-free speech, not free speech.
Not only is that not a right, not only is it a logical contradiction, but it is a moral absurdity.
You see, this entire battle is really a battle of entitlement against responsibility.

When we have rights as human beings, that gives us power. And with great power comes great responsibility.

If we have the right to choose how we speak, we have the duty to choose that speech carefully.

Those who argue against those calling on them to have respect and kindness for others are arguing to be moral children. They want the rights without the attendant responsibilities.
That is not good for them. And it must be obliterated as an idea.


6 thoughts on “Why “Politically Correct” Is A Right-Wing Slur Designed to Silence Opposition

  1. Roxanne says:

    It’s refreshing to read your work. I rarely comment or write anything online (although I find myself compelled, for the second time today, to do so) but after reading one of your answers to a quora question I couldn’t resist! You are Informed and positive, the elusive combo. Thanks for writing.

    • arekexcelsior says:

      Thanks! I’m particularly glad that you felt that this piece was positive. I don’t like being a Negative Nancy: I don’t like spending the time to diagnose problems because I strongly feel that we all have enough on our plate, and that what people need are real solutions and real reasons to act. Still, you can’t get to treatment without accurate diagnosis, and when it comes to matters of interpersonal conduct, there’s not much to do but to tell people why what they’re doing is wrong. Not taboo, not naughty, but actually mean-spirited and empty.

  2. Louis says:

    You make some interesting points but I think you’re confusing etiquette and PC. To me the problem with PC is its use to censor what people can say and force upon others what they must. Some things are not to be said no matter the situation and even though many do I am strongly against it. However the logical idea that racial slurs and such are hurtful and should not be used, do not fall under PC but etiquette. It is a rather simple way we are taught to discuss, interact or even argue politely without having to insult each other. Social Justice Warriors use ‘kindness’ as an excuse when they want exercise over what other people want to think and say. The left, quite incredibly, has become very intolerant and now practice what they preach against. Kindness is not always in the best interest of someone, for example a kid that you discipline will be sad in the short term so that they can behave in the long term. I think you are wrong when you assume that the right wants free speech for themselves but not others, it is not accurate and counterintuitive to the whole problem with PC. My very problem with PC is the loss of free speech and how it is more and more accepted by today’s millennials, you don’t have to study much history to understand the dangers associated with that. And it doesn’t only censor heavy historical words that are quite understandably hurtful but a much larger spectrum of words from controversial to very ordinary. The idea that I want free speech but don’t want it for you is quite stupid and not logical. You can say whatever you want and I can too as long as it is not hateful and flat out unethical. Free speech is crucial in society to identify problems, generate solutions, and find consensus, it is a crucial way for individuals to orient themselves in society. I strongly believe PC is an organized way to impose a political agenda without having to argue which is completely counterintuitive to progress, you say it is used by the right but I think it is used by the left A LOT more. We are creating a generation of self-proclaimed victims who will be sheltered from the real world which is in fact *spoiler alert* tough.

    Sorry if this is confusing or something english is my second language but thanks for your post I think it is more than valid on certain points and certainly made me grow as an individual, which is the beauty with freedom of speech 🙂

    • Fred B-C says:

      But Louis, how are PC and etiquette different? “You shouldn’t call people by names that they don’t want to be called” by is etiquette, and yet it’s “PC”. “You shouldn’t say certain things in public” is etiquette, and yet it’s “PC”. The issue is not that it’s not an etiquette and courtesy norm: it’s that it’s one that privileged people aren’t used to and don’t want to change into. Period.
      And it’s easy to prove. You could say exactly the same about those, let’s say on the right, who want their religion treated with courtesy. (I’ll put aside how often right-wingers define “courtesy” as “accepting, in perpetuity, my religion’s supremacy”). I’ll take quotes from yours and just make them about religion and the right instead of the Left, shall I?
      “Conservatives use ‘kindness’ as an excuse when they want exercise over what other people want to think and say. The right, quite incredibly, has become very intolerant and now practice what they preach against. Kindness is not always in the best interest of someone; for example, if you tell people that their religion is Bronze Age nonsense, they might become an atheist and hang out with the cool kids”.
      Only the last half of the last sentence is a change. The argument works perfectly for anyone demanding that people stop using particular language or engaging in particular conduct that is unkind or inoffensive. Your argument that a child needs feedback, for example, is something every asshole offers as a reason why it’s okay that he offered his unsolicited opinion to some adult about something, whether it’s that other adult’s Star Wars shirt or their political opinion.
      Let’s list what you just did, shall we?
      1) Implicitly infantilized black people, women, gays, Muslims, and others who are asking that their humanity not be constantly demeaned in public by the perpetuation of memes and assumption that furthers that dehumanization
      2) Engaged in psychologizing of your opposition without citing any specific individuals or demonstrating your point: Saying, in effect, “Leftists don’t REALLY care about kindness, contrary to all their protestations. I know their motives better than they do!”
      3) Arguing that your opposition is hypocritical based on your general, unproven assumptions.
      The idea that the left is becoming intolerant is a constant meme and it is laughable. It is based, each and every time, on a strawman misunderstanding. We are not saying that you can’t be intolerant of ideas. We are saying you should not be intolerant of people, especially to the point of ignoring their autonomy.
      Worse, by your reasoning, anyone who takes courtesy seriously and argues for it in public, or even has a single ethical perspective, must be intolerant. If I say “I believe X is morally wrong”, you can just offer the idea, “But you’re being intolerant to those who disagree!” No, I’m saying right is right and wrong is wrong. Can you identify me a difference, anywhere, between saying “You should apologize when you insult someone” and “You should apologize if you unwittingly use a slur that could offend”? How, precisely, do you propose we police negative behavior and courtesy-norm violations? In my sector of the world, we do that through free speech. Someone acts like a jerkoff, I tell them they’re a jerkoff, they whine that I’m censoring them. I am not. I am exercising my free speech.
      So you talk about the “loss of free speech”. Please tell me anyone who endorses, let alone has actually achieved, censorship on the Left by the government. Please identify specifically. I will then agree that that should be stopped. I am against censorship, even of hate speech, BY GOVERNMENT. I say that clearly, not because I think that First Amendment rights are moot elsewhere, but because that prevents goalpost moving that you and I both know will occur.
      You do not have a right, for example, for Facebook or YouTube to host your content. If someone posts hate speech to YouTube, YouTube taking them down is not censorship: it’s refusing to give a megaphone to a view they disagree with. Isn’t it amazing how often right-wingers who pretend they believe in property rights call that “censorship” and imply that the corporation has no right to control its own property?
      You have no intrinsic right to a megaphone and you have no intrinsic right to people not yelling at you if you’re a jerk. Period.
      And the idea that it is the Left making entitled twits who aren’t aware of the world is pretty laughable on its face. The right constantly wants to deny that injustice exists. They want to say that black folks in America really don’t understand injustice and just need to buck up. How the hell is that not massive entitlement? How is that not laughable? Did you know that many Trump supporters think racism basically only happens to whites and that this was the last chance to save the Republic? Did you know how many Christians will admit, in polls, that they think Christian persecution is coming? Do I even need to mention the whining over Christians not getting their special favorite coffee cups from Starbucks? No, as always, this is projection. It is the left that is telling people that the world is hard and we have to fix it and it is the right that is denying this.
      Read White Like Me’s final chapters, where Tim states that injustice may not be possible to fix at all and we may be condemned to fight a losing battle only to maintain our integrity, and please tell me again that it’s the left saying that the world is easy.
      These are strawmen. Perhaps you’ve seen this kind of behavior; I doubt it, frankly, since I’ve heard this nonsense meme so often and seen each time that it’s based in flat out propaganda. But it’s not representative. I do not advocate for censorship. I advocate for people to voluntarily improve their behavior. Your statement is diametrically oppiosed to my position.

      • Louis says:

        I really needed to read your last 3 sentences, before your false accusations or assumptions of me being a conservative, racist, privileged, christian, Trump supporter etc. It isn’t because on a certain topic my thoughts align with those who undeniably fight PC because they want to maintain a level of superiority through inequality and racism that they enjoy, that consequently, I do as well. I despise PC because I value free speech and perceive, in some cases it harms free speech and that people’s over sensitivity is arrogance. To me PC does contribute to harming free speech. This is what I mean when I say the left has become intolerant, unfortunatley if someone does not agree with you he becomes a bigoted, privileged, racist? I’m against hateful speech and propaganda, and I believe that it is common manners and etiquette that make it we are not all that way not PC. Same as not behaving in a bad and hurtful way whether it is involuntary or not. “by your reasoning, anyone who takes courtesy seriously and argues for it in public, or even has a single ethical perspective, must be intolerant” If you understood that from my reasoning than I am sorry because either I have not explained myself correctly or you are making connections that help you and your argument. I simply think that people from extreme right OR left can indeed be intolerant the right being obvious and left not so much due to the fact that it comes from a very compassionate ideology. (so did marxism btw)
        “Please tell me anyone who endorses, let alone has actually achieved, censorship on the Left by the government. Please identify specifically” I believe there is censorship in campuses around the world, from words and phrases like dad-bod or crazy. If you haven’t, take look at professor Jordan B Peterson from UofT and the way he was pretty much attacked and could have been criminalized for saying he wouldn’t use a preferred pronoun for his trans student under the bill c-16. It isn’t a matter of not using a slur it’s deciding not to use a word they say you must use. That too is the loss of free speech. And under that bill, from what I understand, if he was to have a discussion with someone on that matter and they had an audience of some sort, he could face problems(apart from in an official debate). It may seem like nothing but if government starts deciding what can be discussed we are approaching a world in the looks of George Orwell’s 1984. I don’t say the left think of the world as easy at all but that PC in the case of students now in school created some people who cannot handle difference of opinion and mean jerks that actually enjoy victimizing, however the world will never be exempt of them so it would be better to learn to deal with them without having to try to stop them forever. Teaching that words can be so hurtful and having safe spaces and emotional support advisors at the exit of academic debates is not preparing anyone to face a hard and mean world imo.
        I think my first comment wasn’t accurate and the wording was not as I intended because your interpretation of it confuses me. In short, I believe PC consequently leads to a loss of free speech. That yes, etiquette may fall under PC but does not equal PC. You’re for people to voluntarily improve their behaviour, great so am I. I just don’t think banning words and forcing others to be used is the way to do so, because it wouldn’t be voluntary. Anyway I may not be ‘qualified’ enough to talk about this but I have my opinion and I’d like to be able to express it without being put into categories by someone who doesn’t know shit all about me.

      • Fred B-C says:

        Louis, my point isn’t to say you’re right wing or not. My point is that the accusation is meaningless because it equally applies to everyone. When an argument can be applied to all sides of every issue, it’s just noise. It’s a subjective impression or a fallacy or something of the sort. That’s my point. When I point out that no one, not even anyone I’ve seen on the Left in Facebook discussions or YouTube comments or what not, calls all Republicans child molesters because Dennis Hastert was one, I’m making clear that precisely no one actually believes that you can just cherry-pick a few people you don’t like in your opposition and pretend their personal flaws swamp the arguments. In fact, the only conversation worth having is the arguments, in my mind.

        The threat for government deciding what we discuss is Trump. He wants to “open up” the libel laws, he wants to run what is basically state TV, he has constantly feuded with the press. He is Orwellian to the extreme. The reason why I bring up the conservatives here is because I’m wondering why you’re launching this accusation at me. I am a lifelong defender of free speech, including for neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, misogynists, etc. I do not believe in hate speech laws.

        But there is a kind of childishness on this position that I believe you are showing. People claim that they are being censored when someone deletes comments on their YouTube channel. No, that is not censorship, and to claim it is trivializes censorship and shows a massive entitlement complex.

        Similarly, as Tim Wise points out, the correct response to a racist asshole should be to make clear that you believe they are a racist asshole or that their arguments are racist and assholish. Lots of libertarians on campus leap to defend the free speech rights of bigots, as they should, but then don’t make clear that they actually oppose the views. It’s cowardice.

        Just a few days ago, I had to point out that someone not being allowed to come to speak, even at a public university, is not censorship. The government does not owe anyone a platform.

        So when you tell me there’s censorship in campuses around the world, you move the goalposts and I know that you know it. You can’t actually identify me anyone on the Left who is insisting on government censorship because there are very few. (Not zero, just so few as to be irrelevant). Censorship on campus is not a violation of any free speech right. You do not have an absolute right to attend college or to speak on someone else’s dime and time. If a college has standards that says that certain kinds of speech will get you ejected, in order to protect the rights of everyone else paying to attend a campus that won’t dehumanize them, that is not necessarily a violation of free speech. Do you believe, honestly, that me having to sign a gag order or an NDA for a job is a violation of my free speech rights? Adults voluntarily give up their rights all the time for benefits. When you get married, you effectively lose the right to testify against your partner because of spousal privilege (obviously with exceptions). So when a college restricts its students, let alone outsiders, from speaking, that is not “censorship”, that is them refusing to hand people a megaphone. And no one owes you, or me, a megaphone. The only right we have is the right to speak as loudly as we can and hope people can listen.

        Now, let me be clear: I do believe in positive rights. I think that it’s worrisome that so much of our power to speak and our public square is now in the hands of unaccountable corporate tyrannies like Facebook and Twitter. And I think that colleges need to be proactively committed to free speech norms. Freedom of speech means nothing if you can’t practically talk to anyone.

        But the kind of people who insist that they have a right to come speak at a public university are overwhelmingly not the kind of people who give a damn about positive rights. Milo sure as hell doesn’t.

        As for safe spaces: You are objectively, demonstrably wrong, and once again I know that you know it.

        First of all, it’s adorable for anyone to well women, people of color, etc. how THEY should cope. Even if you are a POC, a woman, a transgender person, etc. to pretend that other POCs, women, etc. don’t understand real oppression and don’t need a break from it is mind-numbingly idiotic.

        But there’s a deeper problem. Cancer is not oppression nor is alcoholism. And yet there are “safe spaces” for those. We call them support groups.

        So, please, tell me: will you go, today, to your local AA meeting and tell them that they need to face a “hard and mean” world map and they shouldn’t have support?

        You are acting wounded now because I am reacting to you. You know damn well that speech can cause people distress. It can be annoying, if not hurtful, to feel as if you are taken out of context.

        Now imagine facing daily slurs, while you are going to better yourself.

        This is what safe spaces do. I am not saying that safe spaces should be 24-7, and neither is ANYONE ELSE. Rather, what groups like BLM use safe spaces for, and every person objecting to this could learn if they just asked (which means every single objection to safe spaces is based on dishonesty, strawmanning, intellectual dishonesty and not having the guts to actually ask why other people do what they do) is to have a space, a time, where people who are dealing with some shit can talk about it.

        Even MRAs know this, Louis. Men’s rights advocates loudly proclaim that men need their own space to talk.

        Remember the “locker room” excuse for Trump’s BS? Your position that it is people of color, gays and transgender people who need to be reminded that the world is harsh is adorable given that an entire society bent over backwards to accommodate a man talking, in public, about sexual assault, because of some norm where guys can talk privately, even though he wasn’t in a locker room, he was miced, and it wasn’t private. That’s the reality. It’s white men who have safe spaces. We call it “society”.

        So do you inveigh against white men needing to abandon their safe spaces? Did you call out the “locker room” talk for the BS it was? Because that’s the only consistent position.

        If you are not going to cancer groups and telling them that they need to stop whining, you don’t believe a word you are saying. You’ve just internalized a narrative without thinking.

        If I were black in this country, I would appreciate being able to talk to other black folks and maybe some trusted sympathetic white folks in a space where I could let loose my frustrations. This is not mutually exclusive with being tough. It’s actually part and parcel of it. Being tough is knowing how to manage your shit.

        What you’re advocating is basically for PTSD victims to expose themselves to loud noises and for everyone taking psychiatric medication to stop. Really. Your position on safe spaces is that grotesque. It’s implying that someone is weak if they recognize that they can’t do everything on their own without help. Do you believe that? Do you believe that people should throw away their psychotropics?

        The reality, of course, as you will find, is that those who use safe spaces will be some of the toughest people around, precisely because they get to take a breather while everyone else is just running a constant marathon with no rest. I will debate anyone, any time, on any issue, loudly and aggressively, as you can tell, precisely because I know how to manage the stress as a result.

        Your position is fractally wrong. I didn’t misunderstand it. I didn’t misrepresent it. You’re just clueless. I’m sorry that I have to be this aggressive about this, but when you think that we’re teaching people that words are hurtful rather than acknowledging the actual fact that they are and not lying about it, you are just out of touch with reality.

        Talk to some people of color, women and transgender folk. Really talk, as in you ask questions then shut up. See if you still think that they have just had some leftist agenda that tells them that they should take words seriously. The actual reality, as you will find, is that the words always stung, and now they are demanding that it stops because now people are standing in solidarity with them to end it.

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