Progressives Continue to Argue for Censorship While Claiming they Support Freedom of Speech
Earlier this year, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus ended its 146-year run, no more trapeze artists, acrobats, and contortionists. However, you can watch progressives/contortionists perform on major networks and cable news channels daily. Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett (Northeastern University) is a progressive contortionist who appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to explain to Mr. Carlson and his viewers how some speech is tantamount to violence and must be suppressed to protect its potential victims; she insists this is not censorship.
The motivation for inviting Barrett to appear on the show was an op-ed piece she wrote for The New York Times titled When is Speech Violence? in which she used “science” to argue for censorship and excuse the violent behavior of radical leftists who deny people the right to speak on college campuses; Barrett’s article is an homage to Lilia Stepanova. Sane people know one cannot simultaneously argue for censorship and freedom of speech, but Barrett did so for Carlson and his viewers like a contortionist in a body cast; her act needs work.
The crux of Barrett’s argument is that neuroscience has proven that some speech hurts; therefore, someone must ban hurtful speech. The following is the scientific foundation for Barrett’s speech code:
“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.
Your body also contains little packets of genetic material that sit on the ends of your chromosomes. They’re called telomeres. Each time your cells divide, their telomeres get a little shorter, and when they become too short, you die. This is normal aging. But guess what else shrinks your telomeres? Chronic stress.”
Chronic stress is the reason the “social justice warriors” use violence to suppress speech. If chronic stress is harmful to humans, why stop at censorship, why not ban everything that causes stress?
We know what type of speech Barrett considers violent, right? Any speech that does not comport with the progressive agenda must be squelched. Barrett is trying to indoctrinate the young adults at Northeastern University and she doesn’t need people like Charles Murray and Ann Coulter showing up on campus to provide an alternative to her Godless, immoral, tyrannical ideology; “Hello, I’m on a mission to indoctrinate these clowns and I don’t need conservatives coming around to provide an alternative to progressive utopianism.”
During Carlson’s exchange with Barrett, he pressed her on a fundamental question that she repeatedly dodged until it appeared out of exasperation she answered.
Carlson: “Who gets to decide what is hate speech and what can be heard?”
Barrett: “When a reasonable person is fearful for their own or the safety of someone else, that classifies as hateful speech.”
Barrett eventually defined a reasonable person as the “average person.” The professor has not spent much time ironing out the details of her censorship plan. What does she mean when she states, “A reasonable person is the average person.” The question that begs for an answer is who gets to define hate speech? In Nazi Germany, Adolph Hitler crafted the speech code. In the U.S.S.R., Joseph Stalin established strict limitations on speech and severely punished those who ran afoul of the rules. Who in America does Barrett want to define acceptable and unacceptable speech?
Barrett is unwilling to define hate speech or identify the progressive masterminds she wants to draft and enforce the speech code because she is walking a tightrope between pretending to support freedom of speech while advocating for censorship.
In her op-ed piece for The New York Times, Barrett mentions that it was “reasonable, scientifically speaking,” for the violent mob at the University of California, Berkeley to stop a provocateur and hate monger like Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at their school; the mob had to prevent the stress that Yiannopoulos would have caused them. Barrett writes, “He [Yiannopoulos] is part of something noxious, a campaign of abuse. There is nothing to be gained from debating him, for debate is not what he is offering.” People like Yiannopoulos are beyond the pale, so their opinions are illegitimate; therefore, they are not to be taken seriously. Barrett wants individuals who do not share her opinions to shut up.
Barrett is your typical disingenuous progressive who cloaks her opinions and motives in whatever fits the situation. Barrett’s claim that science compels us to limit speech is nonsensical and an endorsement of fascism. Barrett and her fellow progressives do not understand that mature, rational adults are onto them; you cannot lobby for censorship and support freedom of speech.