Snowflakes don’t like being called snowflakes. The derogatory term perfectly encapsulates both their extreme fragility and their tendency to melt down at a moment’s notice, so they really can’t stand it. It probably causes them a lot of stress. So, of course, people keep using it.
That, if the New York Times is to be believed, could probably be considered some sort of assault.
People who say things often do so without any regard for the health and safety of those who might hear their words. At best, they’re callous and selfish. At worst, they’re murderers. Their weapon of choice? ...Unpleasant opinions.
Well, the Times isn’t going to take this lying down. On Friday, they wondered: Is there really any difference between speech and physical violence? If there is, what is it?
The answer might seem obvious: Physical violence is physically damaging; verbal statements aren’t. “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
But scientifically speaking, it’s not that simple. Words can have a powerful effect on your nervous system. Certain types of adversity, even those involving no physical contact, can make you sick, alter your brain — even kill neurons — and shorten your life.
Your body’s immune system includes little proteins called proinflammatory cytokines that cause inflammation when you’re physically injured. Under certain conditions, however, these cytokines themselves can cause physical illness. What are those conditions? One of them is chronic stress.
Chronic stress, it seems, can hinder the process by which the cells in your body divide. The more stress you endure, the faster the cellular replication degrades, and the sooner you die. According to the New York Times, words you disagree with are very stressful. Therefore, it only stands to reason that certain forms of free speech are so inflammatory that they’re actually sending people to an early grave.
If words can cause stress, and if prolonged stress can cause physical harm, then it seems that speech — at least certain types of speech — can be a form of violence. But which types?
The answer is simple: types you don’t like. ...And, if you’re a fine, upstanding, New York liberal who views the Times as the planet’s only newspaper that’s worth reading, that probably means “conservative speech.” As always, those evil republicans are trying to kill you - in this case, by expressing different opinions.
Those ideas you don’t agree with are more than just annoying, they’re so incredibly horrifying that they’re potentially fatal. So, they should probably just be silenced.
That’s also true of a political climate in which groups of people endlessly hurl hateful words at one another, and of rampant bullying in school or on social media. A culture of constant, casual brutality is toxic to the body, and we suffer for it.
That’s why it’s reasonable, scientifically speaking, not to allow a provocateur and hatemonger like Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at your school.
There it is. The inevitable justification of the fascism that progressives crave - the unnatural state to which their ideology inevitably trends. If they can’t compete in the realm of ideas (and the fact that they’re currently at their lowest level of power since the 1920’s suggests they can’t) they’ll just silence their opponents. After all, eliminating opposing points of view is so much easier than trying to make a bunch of middle-American idiots understand the superiority of their position.
The column cites Milo Yiannopoulos as an example of speech that should be given no quarter. Silencing him, they claim, is a matter of public health. While I tend to agree that Milo is little more than a provocateur, I’m also old enough to remember when progressives demanded such speech be protected. Back then, the mantra was “protect the speech you despise to guarantee the speech you love.”
These days, I guess that’s changed. Today, we’re supposed to “silence the speakers we despise, to guarantee only the speakers we love are heard.” Or, in other words, “fascism is great, if it ensures that the ‘left-wing bubble’ is protected.”
Before the New York Times decides to run another pro-fascism piece, they should probably ask themselves a simple question:
Let’s say you silence Yiannopoulos. Who will be next? There will always be another person with whom you disagree - another ‘Neanderthal conservative’ whose ideas you find odious - and you’ll have to silence them all. Remember, failing to do so will end up killing innocent people. If even one of these mouth-breathers is allowed to speak, there’s a chance an innocent child could hear their words - and words can kill. You can’t rest until that child is safe, so every last dissenting voice will need to be extinguished.
If I was running a slowly failing coastal newspaper that caters to a very specific minority viewpoint, that might be the kind of precedent I’d view as “troubling.”
...Because God help you when the ideological pendulum swings back the other way.
Robert Laurie’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.comCommenting Policy
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