Freedom of Speech in America

Op-Ed by Scott Lazarowitz

The Daily Caller has an article about an Art professor who was run out of town by militant LGBT morons and made to resign from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. According to the Daily Caller, Michael Bonesteel “was lecturing on the work of Henry Darger when he displayed a particular painting showing young females with male sex organs. Bonesteel suggested that the disturbing scene might indicate that Darger was a victim of sexual abuse as a boy. This theory apparently outraged a transgender student in his class, who issued a formal complaint.”

Now, first of all, this is an Art class, not a Psychology class. The professor’s psychoanalysis doesn’t really add up to me. But anyway, it really takes a lot of chutzpah for that student to actually file a complaint against the professor, just because the student felt offended by some little discussion of a painting and its sexual connotations.

The young people these days are incredibly narcissistic, and, rather than the student trying to deal with his/her “triggered” fragile sense of being, instead he/she initiates the process of destroying the professor’s career. That is how pathologically selfish many of today’s young people are.

And then another student “made ‘accusations of racism and homophobia’ against Bonesteel and objected to the teacher not offering advance warning that he was going to say ‘rape’ during the class discussion. Another complaint was lodged.”

Can you believe this? You have to warn the delicate snowflakes that you might say a word that might “trigger” something? So, these little dysfunctional creeps want to force others to have to be self-conscious of every word they might utter, that might offend, trigger, or “microaggress.” How can anyone live that way?! It’s nuts!

According to the Daily Caller, Bonesteel “has since described the art institute has having a ‘toxic environment’ [Ya think?] and working at a college that ‘feels more like a police state than a place where academic freedom and the open exchange of ideas is valued’.”

The colleges and universities used to be the places where freedom of speech flourished, and where there was actual tolerance of various forms of speech that some people might have thought to be “offensive.” But no more, unfortunately.

One problem with the young people is that so many of them now are brainwashed with irrational beliefs and assertions. They act like trained robots responding to the official “offensive speech” of the day, or anything remotely similar to that.

Unfortunately, many faculty and college administrators are going along with the fascist anti-free speech persecution of those who may not have neurotically planned every single word and syllable precisely in a way that would be permissible every second of the day in the classroom or outside the classroom.

Do we really want a society in which everyone must be completely conscious of every word one is saying or might say, for fear that some moron might report us to “the authorities”? In Germany during the 1930s and 1940s, it wasn’t just the secret police that people feared. Germans were encouraged to report on their neighbors, co-workers, and family members any kind of speech or behavior that could be considered disloyal to the regime, although, according to historian professor Robert Gellately, the motivations of many Germans for reporting on people included jealousy, greed and other “petty differences.”

Why does it seem that that is happening all over again? But this time it isn’t “loyalty to the regime” (except when Obama was the Dear Leader, of course), but adherence to idiotic political correctness and obsession with race and gender. The brainwashing includes denying that human beings consist of two and only two sexes, male and female, and a viciously enforced bias against “white males,” as well as this extra protection for little snots from hearing “triggering” words or phrases, particularly in the racial area.

And this made-up “transgender” stuff. And yes, that’s all made up. No one is “transgender,” but there are people now who are confused about their actual gender or in denial of it, which is probably a part of a larger confusion about themselves and their lives in general. And I have a right of freedom of speech to express my views about that, by the way. Just as any college student or otherwise young person has a right to question today’s irrational politically correct speech codes, and not be punished for it.

Which brings me to the people who have more power over the rest of us than some pathetic fascists on college campuses: The U.S. Congress. What are they up to now? On behalf of AIPAC, Congress is set to pass restrictions on what Americans may or may not say or think about Israel. According to Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Grim, the bill is to criminalize support for the international boycott of Israel, making that a felony, and those who violate the law “will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.”

The article points out that the bill has many sponsors in both the House and the Senate, and so far, not one member of Congress has denounced the anti-freedom of speech bill. That’s because many of them are gutless wonders, and they know that any criticism of Israel causes one to be accused of anti-Semitism or “Holocaust denial,” accused reflexively by ignorant people who do not seem to actually think about what the critic has said.

Now, I’m not a part of any boycotting campaign. However, I do think that the U.S. government should cut all foreign aid to Israel and every other country, because the U.S. Constitution doesn’t authorize the federal government to distribute U.S. treasury funds to foreigners. It also doesn’t authorize the government to have its military bases and troops stationed on any other foreign territory that is not U.S. territory, so all U.S. foreign military bases need to be closed down and all U.S. troops need to return to the U.S. But I digress.

You see, the campaign to criminalize speech won’t stop at just supporting a boycott against Israel. It will then include any criticism of Israel in any way, which some countries have attempted to outlaw or have outlawed, such as Canada and France. I’ve already written plenty of criticism of Israel and Zionism, including explaining why I am not a Zionist. And a lot of that is online. My criticisms are legitimate, and those who feel “offended” can write their own criticisms in response rather send the speech police after me.

In America, the so-called founders seriously believed in the protection of speech, thought and conscience, and the protection of the people’s criticism of government officials, of the Regime, of noteworthy public figures, of religion and religious figures and of other social matters and norms, and of other countries. That is why the early Americans wrote the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

It might be helpful for members of Congress and college professors and students to take a look at the Constitution and at some literature that has been written about the First Amendment and freedom of speech. Because, eventually, they will see their own views and expressions suppressed or criminalized by the people in power later on.

Scott Lazarowitz is a libertarian writer and commentator. Please visit his blog.

Image Credit: Banksy

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