Why Free Speech For Racist Assholes Is A Good Thing
Unexpressed racist ideas don't cease to exist -- they just exist in places nobody can take them on.
Robby Soave, at Reason, rightly applauds Pitzer College's free speech wall, where an RA ranted about how white girls shouldn't get to wear hoop earrings -- a rant which she continued in a campus-wide email:
It's great that Pitzer has a free speech wall, and it's great that Martinez exercised her right to contribute an offensive, racist statement to the wall. Free speech means letting people say offensive, racists things. Which, to be clear, is exactly what Martinez did. If racist has any meaning at all, it must describe the belief that people should be disallowed from participating in certain facets of modern life because of the color of their skin. The doctrine of cultural appropriation--that marginalized people should keep to their own customs, and white people to theirs--is just old-fashioned racism given a fancy name for the purposes of ensnaring liberals.
Loved this, too, from Soave:
In any case, now that Pitzer's white girls are being derided for how they dress--and here I was thinking fashion-shaming was a microaggression--perhaps they will actually share in the sense of feeling collectively oppressed? I have to imagine being told by your RA that you have to change your clothes because there's something inherently wrong with you is a fairly marginalizing experience.
Why argue against racism when it's so much more satisfying to go all mean girl and participate in it?
Oh, and also, college geniuses, best to take five seconds to Google before publicly making a claim. There's this from the beginning of Soave's piece:
Hooped earrings "actually come from a historical background of oppression and exclusion," wrote Alegria Martinez, according to The Claremont Independent. "Why should white girls be able to take part in this culture?"
In antiquity, earrings were one of the most popular forms of jewelry. The crescent-shaped gold hoops worn by Sumerian women around 2500 B.C.E. are the earliest earrings for which there is archaeological evidence.
By 1000 B.C.E., tapered hoop (also known as boat-shaped) earrings, most commonly of gold but also of silver and bronze, had spread throughout the Aegean world and Western Asia. In Crete and Cyprus, earrings were embellished with twisted gold wire, clusters of beads, and pendants stamped out of thin sheet gold.
Sumer. Part of Mesopotamia. Modern-day southern Iraq.
Modern historians have suggested that Sumer was first permanently settled between c. 5500 and 4000 BC by a West Asian people who spoke the Sumerian language (pointing to the names of cities, rivers, basic occupations, etc., as evidence), an agglutinative language isolate.
These conjectured, prehistoric people are now called "proto-Euphrateans" or "Ubaidians", and are theorized to have evolved from the Samarra culture of northern Mesopotamia. The Ubaidians (though never mentioned by the Sumerians themselves) are assumed by modern-day scholars to have been the first civilizing force in Sumer, draining the marshes for agriculture, developing trade, and establishing industries, including weaving, leatherwork, metalwork, masonry, and pottery.
Sounds so oppressive!
UPDATE: Geoffrey Miller has a point:
@amyalkon Why does everyone assume it's OK to 'culturally appropriate' the whole concept of 'going to university' from medieval England? 😉— Geoffrey Miller (@primalpoly) March 11, 2017