Here comes the Green Stasi where free speech is white cis-male privilege and micro aggression lead directly to macro violence.
I think Millennials are so feral about policing micro aggressions for three reasons.
The first is that they are the first generation totally brought up by neoliberal values of selfishness above all else. Gen Xers were the first user pays generation but they had a class culture of challenging state power, Millennial’s were brought up believing only their special little selves mattered. The Individual uber allas. We can’t blame them for that self absorbed reality, they are a direct product of neoliberal cultural mythology where individual success is your birth right and economic failure a personal responsibility. It’s luck egalitarianism without the luck.
The second reason is that Millennials, for all their rage, can’t do a damned thing about the neoliberal economic hegemonic structure, can’t change climate change, can’t move out of perversely insecure working environments, can’t gain a foothold on the property ladder – the only thing they can challenge is how individuals interact directly with them and so every interaction they don’t like becomes subjectively raised to the level of war crime with all the hysteria that demands.
The third reason of course is social media, where debate is shaped by outrage olympics and algorithmically fuelled by subjective rage.
Allowing this Millennial micro aggression policing culture to define hate speech is deeply dangerous because it could easily become horribly counter productive and actually help create the very fascism it is claiming to fight.
If a micro aggression is the brith place of sexist and racist violence, then killing the micro aggression is the obvious answer.
This was Susan Devoy’s response in the wake of the Christchurch atrocity on the Millennial Spin Off to Jacinda’s rallying call that this was not us …
“Do not write an op-ed today crying about how shocking [the Christchurch] murders were. Because you helped make it happen. You helped normalise hatred in our country. You helped those murderers feel that they were representing the thoughts of ordinary New Zealanders.”
…let those words drip onto your consciousness. As far as Devoy is concerned, all white people in the media are directly to blame for a foreign white supremacist agent provocateur’s terrorist violence.
That’s a lot of people who will need to go to re-education camps under Devoy.
Andrew Little’s ridiculous over reaction to a stupid and crassly racist pamphlet that was dropped into the woke neighbourhood of Pt Chev gives little in the way of comfort that adults will be directing this reclassification of hate speech.
From the above image, it looks like the Greens want to redefine hate speech to cover groups, like women, or trans, or refugees, or migrants.
How many times could you disagree with Lizzie Marvelly or Alison Mau before it becomes hate speech against women?
How many times could you disagree with Gholriz before it becomes hate speech against migrants?
How many times am I allowed to ask these questions before simply asking the question is suddenly a hate crime?
This is the kind of middle class woke identity politics crap that only ends up alienating voters while feeding and empowering racists! Climate change is an existential threat to our species and they want to waste time on limiting free speech? No wonder the Greens are stalling in the polls.
Could you imagine the woke green activists roaming like morality police across social media policing these new free speech infringements? Do you really want the Wellington Twitteratti defining hate speech based on their subjective feelings?
Apart from this woke censorship enabling and feeding radicalisation, the real danger in allowing Millennial micro aggression policing culture to define hate speech is that is likely to go the other way.
We all think these new hate speech laws will protect the weak, but it rarely ever works out that way. If groups can be redefined as needing hate speech protection from the State, you can immediately see where this will go. Imagine Bob Jones taking someone through the hate speech process because they claimed he exhibited white male privilege.
Well known lefty Kenan Malik at the Guardian highlights the dangers of allowing identity politics to dominate the debate…
You turned the issue on its head,” someone said to me after I gave a talk on identity politics in Melbourne last week. “I’ve never thought of it that way round.” It always was on its head, I said to her. It’s just that we’ve never noticed.
I’ve been in Australia over the past week talking, among other things, about the politics of identity. The issue has, in the wake of the Christchurch mosque massacres, acquired new resonance. The gunman, who has been charged in a New Zealand court with 50 counts of murder, was Australian. It has led to much soul searching about white nationalism and its roots and about the role of mainstream media and politics in fuelling hatred.
There is, though, in Australia as elsewhere, a strange disjuncture in such discussions. There is a heated debate about identity politics, which focuses primarily on the left, and on whether it makes sense to adopt such politics. There is an equally heated, but separate, debate about white identity and white nationalism.
Rarely, though, have the two debates been linked or the relationship between the identity politics of the left and that of the right been explored at any great depth. Which is why when you do place the two debates within the same frame, it can feel to some as if the issue has been turned on its head.
One of the consequences of the bifurcated debate is historical amnesia about the origins of identity politics. Most people imagine that its roots are on the left. In fact, they lie on the reactionary right, in the counter-Enlightenment of the late 18th century. It wasn’t then called the politics of identity. It was called racism. It is, however, in the concept of race – the insistence that humans are divided into a number of essential groups, and that one’s group identity determines one’s moral and social place in the world – that we find the original politics of identity, out of which ideas of white superiority emerged.
Where reactionaries adopted an identitarian outlook, radicals challenged inequality and oppression in the name of universal rights. From anti-colonial struggles to the movements for women’s suffrage to the battles for gay rights, the great progressive movements that have shaped the modern world were a challenge to the politics of identity, to the claim that an individual’s race or gender or sexuality should define their rights, or their place in a social hierarchy.
Only after the Second World War did the relationship between left, right and identity change. In the wake of Nazism and the Holocaust, overt racism became less acceptable. The old politics of identity faded, but a new form emerged – identity politics as a weapon wielded not in the name of racism but to confront oppression and to challenge inequality.
Faced with a left often indifferent to their plight, black people, women, gay people and others transformed the political landscape by placing their own experiences of oppression at the heart of new social movements. But what began as struggles against oppression and for social change transformed over time into demands for cultural recognition by myriad social groups. The social movements of the 1960s gave way to the identity politics of the 21st century.
The nadir of this process came with the demand that white people, too, be culturally “recognised”. Over the past decade, in the face of populist hostility to immigration, especially Muslim immigration, many mainstream commentators began arguing that white people should be able to assert what the political scientist Eric Kaufmann has called their “racial self-interest”.
The identitarians of the far right seized on the opportunity to legitimise their once-toxic brand, reclaiming their original heritage. Racism became rebranded as white identity politics. And, having spent decades promoting the politics of identity, the left found itself paralysed in the face of this shift.
…it is very easy to see how this can quickly get out of hand and become ridiculous…
On 23 February, Oluwole Ilesanmi, a Christian street preacher, was approached by two uniformed police officers outside an underground station in north London. Donned with an earpiece microphone and a bible, Ilesanmi had been proselytizing to people as they passed on the sidewalk. In a video of the exchange, which has since gone viral, one of the officers says that if he doesn’t stop what he’s doing and leave, he’ll be arrested. Ilesanmi quickly declares his intention to continue preaching, and—within seconds—the officer makes good on his promise: he’s stripped of his bible, handcuffed and dragged away. When questioned by a bystander filming the arrest, the officer reportedly said that Ilesanmi was being detained for Islamophobia. This, presumably, was a reference to his attempt, moments earlier, to convert a Muslim.
The arrest and subsequent release of a street preacher for a speech crime is not the only sign there’s something rotten in the state of England. Three weeks later, it was revealed that police had an open investigation into a UK journalist. The journalist in question, Caroline Farrow, is a columnist who writes from a Catholic perspective. Following an appearance on the TV show Good Morning Britain, where she paneled alongside transgender rights lobbyist Susie Green, Farrow took to Twitter to inform the world she was being investigated under the Malicious Communications Act. The transgression? In a series of tweets from October 2018, she’d allegedly misgendered Green’s adult child, who was born male but identifies as female. What is perhaps most disconcerting is the investigation not only constitutes an infringement on free expression, but on a free press. While the term is often overused, the adjective Orwellian comes to mind.
You would have thought after the colossal clusterfuck the free speech debate caused last year where the woke inadvertently empowered Don Brash and two crypto-fascists that they would be far more careful treading on fundamental rights within a democracy.
Mark my words, unless cooler heads with sharper minds prevail, this will explode in the face of the Left.