atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#536: Don't gloat too hard


I'm no fan of Nazism, the KKK, or white supremacy. I was raised to be color blind and to understand that it's what's inside that counts, not what's outside--and I'm glad I was.

But I'm going to talk about what is wrong with that article.

First, before I even talk about the substance of the article, I have to get this off my chest: when you pluralize a word, even if it ends with a vowel, you do not add an apostrophe before the "s". Okay? The plural of "Nazi" is not "Nazi's". People do this all the time on the Fiero forum and say "Fiero's", and it drives me nuts. The only time you use an apostrophe to pluralize is when you're pluralizing a number or single letters (eg 2's, G's).

"Nazi's" is a possessive, as if you were saying "the Nazi's uniform". If you are talking about more than one Nazi, you say Nazis.

The article is written in a gloating tone, saying, "Ha ha, we made you mad!" It's kind of childish. It's also riddled with grammar errors that a high schooler would be embarassed to make. The writer doesn't know how to quote. There are comma splices everywhere and several inappropriate uses of hyberbole; all of which, taken in sum, keep me from taking the article seriously.

Of course, I am not the article's intended audience. It's not written for me; it's written for leftist radicals.

The most eloquent comment: "Look, I know the KKK sucks, but having an unbiased account of the event would help. This is journalism, not Rocky IV."

* * *

Okay, that done, now on to what I really want to talk about.

The political system in America depends, really, one one thing: the free competition of ideas. This means that everyone has a chance to speak his piece before the populace decides. That's why the First Amendment is so important; it keeps government from silencing people who say bad things about it.

Just as important, it gives us the right to freedom of assembly: the Boy Scouts don't have to let openly gay people be scoutmasters. It gives us freedom of religion: Americans don't have to worship the same way George Bush does. (Which, by the way, is what the establishment clause really means, not this "separation of church and state" BS...but that's a topic for another time.)

It means that government is not allowed to control who we hang out with, what we say, or how we worship; in aggregate it means freedom of expression, which is vital to the functioning of a free society. And that is what makes the subject of this article so pernicious.

The author is gloating over silencing someone he doesn't agree with.

That is wrong, whether it is done by government or a mob of "counter-protestors". It turns public debate into a contest of who can shout the loudest.

The First Amendment--the entire concept of freedom of expression--isn't meant to protect popular speech. It's meant to protect unpopular speech. It's meant to protect the very people who were shouted down, whether we like them or not, whether we like their ideas or not. It has nothing to do with whether they are right or wrong; it has everything to do with their rights as American citizens. The most pernicious, evil sentence in English goes something like, "They shouldn't be allowed to say stuff like that!"

That's exactly what the writer is gloating over, though; he thinks the "Nazi's" shouldn't be allowed to speak in public, and he is ecstatic that they were shouted down. But it's the equivalent of a lynching: government is not silencing the "Nazi's", so a group of counter-protestors does it. That they used humor to do it does not change the fact that they did it.

The writer comes from a political group which thinks the average person is too stupid to take care of himself, which is why "dangerous" ideas must be silenced. Of course, the "enlightened" like himself will decide which ideas are "dangerous" and which are not, and as long as we leave such matters to them the world will be wonderful. These people think they have struck a blow for "freedom" and "equality", when what they have really done is strike a blow for oppression. But it's okay with them because it's the "right" sort of oppression, because none of their ideas are being suppressed.

The average American is a lot smarter than the writer's ilk think. White supremacist groups make themselves look bad; they don't need help from a posse of clowns.

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