The right-wing attempts to suppress views they don’t like isn’t just being done by shutting down talk show hosts.
It’s also being done on college campuses in a stunningly hypocritical fashion.
You’ve probably heard rumblings about this, but it’s hard to actually see examples of how the right-wing wants to control speech. But this exchange happened online, showing exactly how hypocritical the arguments are, and how they’re clumsily trying to use the same tools we’ve used to protect minorities.
Here’s what happened first: A college student said she’s afraid of being stereotyped because she’s a Republican in college.
As a Republican in college, I am genuinely afraid to speak about my conservative views in fear of being stereotyped or labeled negatively
— michelle shampton (@michelle_sham) March 17, 2017
…which already should have you scratching your head. "I’m afraid of being labeled as or associated with other people who have the same views I do when I speak about my views" is a tortured bit of logic.
My pal Patrick Tomlinson pointed out that our LGBT friends are genuinely afraid of being murdered.
@michelle_sham That’s terrible. My lgbt friends are genuinely afraid of being murdered by Republicans. But your fear is totally important.
— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) March 22, 2017
And another student (at least, she is according to the "Daily Caller") says that fearing being murdered is a "personal problem".
@stealthygeek @michelle_sham sounds like a bit of a personal problem
— Melissa Bailes (@mamabailez) March 22, 2017
My Patrick Tomlinson ripped into them at that point.
It’s arguable that Patrick was rude to these two self-labeled conservatives.
But we’re seeing a huge metric ass-ton of hypocrisy here, and in an attempt to make it so these conservatives don’t feel judged for… well, doing things like calling fearing murder a "personal problem".
Oh, and to just answer their later claim that one shouldn’t feel "threatened by an opposing viewpoint", it’s not the viewpoint that’s threatening, it’s the real-world violence that’s on the rise.
Here’s a quick factchecking note: Hate crimes are up by a 20% – 50% in the United States. Source, source, source, source. You can find more – this was just what was on the front page when I did a web search.
Oh, and then there’s also this kind of relevant article:
L.G.B.T. People Are More Likely to Be Targets of Hate Crimes Than Any Other Minority Group
This would have disappeared into the wilds of Twitter except that the Daily Caller decided to make a stink about it. (If you’re not familiar with this "news" site, Ann Coulter is a columnist for them, which probably tells you all you need to know.)
This whole exchange is important, because it shows the kind of argument that conservatives are using to silence others by misusing the protections designed for minority groups. Luckily, the "logic" here falls apart pretty quickly if you restate it clearly.
So let’s summarize this again.
When told that people are genuinely (and legitimately) afraid of being murdered because of certain views, these two self-described conservatives say it’s a "personal problem".
And then the students, the Daily Caller, and a bunch of commenters proceed to be super upset that a guy on Twitter called them names.
The hypocrisy is not just that they’re ignoring the hate crimes and real world violence to LGBT people (and all sorts of minorities).
They’re also ignoring the Bill of Rights. It guarantees you the right to free speech. You do not have a guarantee that nobody will be upset by what you say.
Perhaps those students – along with the Daily Caller – should go back to their high school civics class.