This is the second example and there is nothing speculative about it whatever. It is how the left actually goes about it.
There is a phenomenon, well-known, whereby a blogger will post an exposé in, say, 2006, then keep adding examples of it over the next few years. The conclusion is that there is a political philosophy using certain tactics. We call it “left” but it could be labelled anything.
As post after post goes up by various people who’ve noticed it, there’s a wealth of information on how these people operate. However, blogposts go off the front page, don’t they and into archives and most bloggers are in the here and now.
In 2015, a blogger might run yet another exposé and now, with all these previous posts by various people in mind, he uses the term “bloody leftists” and is called out on it – what evidence has he that the left does anything wrong? And of course, missing is all the evidence of those previous posts which led to the use of that term.
And it’s going to happen again today. It will be shown below how the left really do operate in one arena, that there really is a left – and its do-gooder manner and attempt to be outwardly “fair” disguises an attempt to control debate and learning, so that only “well-formed” outcomes result.
It is the same technique a magician uses, relying on very carefully setting-up, at speed, with sleight of hand and the suppression or rechannelling of natural reactions. If you think this is talking out of the backside, you might read a very old post from long ago on the matter.
The post could have been better written but remember we were only just finding out about those things then, observers were still pioneering and I was reporting on that which I could get my hands on. Some of the links no doubt no longer work. Since then has come the Internet of All Things, Information Awareness and so on. The bastards keep reinventing and renaming.
They have the advantage over anyone fisking, debunking or rebutting them because we are always playing catch-up and they have built this contingency into their plan. To fisk in detail is far too ponderous for the average blog-reader and no Twitter user, with that even shorter attention span, would bother.
In short, they’re onto a winner. The EU is another perfect example. They put together a committee, draft legislation for the Commission to look at, it’s modified then adopted by the EC, recommended to the rubber stamp parliament, thence to national governments and ours enthusiastically adopts the measures. The original committee, meanwhile, has been disbanded and so no one is responsible any longer for this legislation. It just is.
And so onto today’s little snippet, courtesy of haiku. It’s headlined by the NYT as “hiding from scary ideas”, that is, do-gooders trying to shield young people from harm and to prevent nasty people – us – from bringing ideas to children. Bringing, say, coerced sexuality to adolescents is fine of course but bringing, say, libertarian ideas is immoral, racist, sexist and has to be run off campus. In fact, it’s met with hysterical reaction by these supposed adults.
KATHERINE BYRON, a senior at Brown University and a member of its Sexual Assault Task Force, considers it her duty to make Brown a safe place for rape victims, free from anything that might prompt memories of trauma.
So when she heard last fall that a student group had organized a debate about campus sexual assault between Jessica Valenti, the founder of feministing.com, and Wendy McElroy, a libertarian, and that Ms. McElroy was likely to criticize the term “rape culture,” Ms. Byron was alarmed. “Bringing in a speaker like that could serve to invalidate people’s experiences,” she told me. It could be “damaging.”
Ms. Byron and some fellow task force members secured a meeting with administrators. Not long after, Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.
The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma.
Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.
Safe spaces are an expression of the conviction, increasingly prevalent among college students, that their schools should keep them from being “bombarded” by discomfiting or distressing viewpoints. Think of the safe space as the live-action version of the better-known trigger warning, a notice put on top of a syllabus or an assigned reading to alert students to the presence of potentially disturbing material.
Some people trace safe spaces back to the feminist consciousness-raising groups of the 1960s and 1970s, others to the gay and lesbian movement of the early 1990s. In most cases, safe spaces are innocuous gatherings of like-minded people who agree to refrain from ridicule, criticism or what they term microaggressions — subtle displays of racial or sexual bias — so that everyone can relax enough to explore the nuances of, say, a fluid gender identity. As long as all parties consent to such restrictions, these little islands of self-restraint seem like a perfectly fine idea.
Every business, every government, tries to have its own ideas implemented, its own products to the fore. But there’s an ethical way to do it and an unethical. What we’ve just read is unethical, in fact it is wrong and when unethical behaviour is aided and abetted by those who feed it down, then we’re starting to look at organized evil.
This is suppression of debate. But it’s far more than that. The softening up by everyone from the feminist head of the university, down through the professors, lecturers, tutors to all the facilitating henchwomen creates a coercive environment. Henchwomen “detecting” a distressed student at the debate would move up and suggest the “safe space” to get them away.
This is a university, for goodness sake, a place where debate between ideas is meant to occur. And for staff from the top down to collude to prevent that is, as mentioned above, organized evil. It’s pernicious. It’s institutionally embracing lies to the student body and they’ll take those skewed notions out of the university and into the workplace.