The fetishization of “opinion” and “free speech” is horrifying, people thinks it means they can saying anything anywhere
without ever being criticized or held accountable or disagreed with regardless of their education on a subject.
Free Speech Zones, which were a real thing and not a plot element in a particularly ham-handed dystopian novel.
The phrase “hidey hole.”
Watching a budget surplus become a massive deficit that was bigger than it even looked because the White House was just like, “Okay, we’ll just not put the wars on the books and just ask for more money for those every few months.”
The sheer number of times Alberto Gonzalez said, “I don’t recall,” to Congress regarding war crimes and human rights violations.
“…now watch this drive.”
“The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence,” “yellowcake uranium,” Condoleeza’s “mushroom clouds” fearmongering, and all the other bullshit we were fed to get into Iraq.
The President of the United States said so many stupid things that there were one-a-day calendars consisting of an individual quote for each day of the year. They didn’t all have the exact same quotes.
there’s an american veteran on the telly that genuinely believes that his going and fighting in Iraq was ‘to defend your right to protest’? Nobody even queries it… it’s just interesting how this wildly implausible piece of magical thinking gets treated as some sort of natural truism by people whose job it is to ask questions. It’d be great if just once someone was asked to talk us through it, like how going and fighting in Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan is related in any way to the american people’s right to free speech or protest - how did you get from A to B there
from what i’m seeing of report backs from the airport protests, there is a significant shift in behaviour and attitudes compared to the normal protest culture, far more significant than a broken window or slightly larger black bloc.
these are spontaneous protests in countless cities not normally known for protest including many people who have never protested before or who have only attended sanctioned protests before. people are directly contesting the actions of government and its enforcers at the site they are being carried out; this is as close to mass direct action as we’ve seen in a long time. while there are exceptions, many crowds are spontaneously occupying and shutting down infrastructure, terminals, and roads, breaking out of caged “free-speech zones” and disobeying direct orders of police.
liberals and previously “nonpolitical” people are joining in chants linking american borders to palestine, calling for “no borders no nations” and challenging the police with “who do you serve” and “who protects us.” they are (again with exceptions) realizing that law enforcement in the police and DHS may not be on their side and challenging that authority. they’re also not being pacified by concessions and constitutional measures. a legal stay has been disobeyed by law enforcement and people are taking note of that, and not dispersing to place their faith in the normal processes of government.
this is what radicalisation looks like. not as we’re perhaps used to seeing it, but in a new and more open form. maybe it dissipates briefly but i’m not convinced this is just a momentary flare-up. i think real changes in people’s belief systems and how they relate to power and authority is occurring right now as they gain these new experiences and internalize them.
people are flexing and testing power and authority, and realizing they have far more ability to contest it than they previously thought
im sending this bc i keep seeing the “freedom of speech” argument come up, but i read this online article by a professor for the NY Times that basically explained that what people say is “radical leftists taking away others’ right to speak” by protesting speakers like Richard Spencer is the antithesis of restricting freedom of speech. The whole point of rejecting people like him and their speeches is to protect the rights of others… specifically the marginalized groups that those speakers dehumanize through their views
i.e. Richard Spencer is a white supremacist. When he engages in a discourse on race, his expressed views and by extension his very presence in that discourse deny and invalidate the identities of nonwhite groups - his participation alone in that debate involves denying the rights of another group of people
The fact that one of the few nations with free speech has a large movement that supports stopping free speech honestly makes my heart sink and I’m honestly not sure if anything, family, life, friends, nation, people, anything will matter if free speech is destroyed. If free speech dies, I will go with it.
No doubt a lot of the same people defending can a nazis like Richard Spencer, the same people who erroneously include hate speech in free speech, the same people talking about offended liberals, the same people fawning over pos like Milo Yiannopoulos and “trump won so get over it!” are a lot of the same folks getting upset over a show pointing out racism.
I was talking to my mom today and we got on the topic of how our upbringings and social environments were so vastly different. A lot of parents don’t understand that due to our sociopolitical circumstances, a lot of us carry a very wary nihilism and cynicism about us. My mother grew up in the wake of Vietnam, after which was a reasonably prosperous time. There were dark times, yes, but it was things that had happened while my mother, and most of her generation, were already grown.
Our generation was born into a war. One of my earliest memories was of 9/11. I was 4, so I didn’t understand at the time. I saw the footage, the collapse, the jumpers. 4 years old. And then the war started, or rather, picked up where it left off in the 90s. I can vaguely remember Bush’s “free speech zones”. Cages lined with barbed wire, often times people were locked in them by police. People were treated like zoo animals. The war, the attacks, suicide bombers. I thought it was normal because I’d never known anything else. I had never known peace. None of us had. Then the housing crash, the outsourcing, the foreclosures. In my hometown of Flint, MI, everyone worked at the general motors plants. The pay was good, until they began outsourcing. Plants closed, tens of thousands lost jobs. Flint had been in decline already but when the plants closed, it was over. We became an unsalvageable, polluted wasteland. Crumbling roads, burnt down houses, abandoned factories like ghosts along the sides of the highway. The water. We haven’t had clean water for years. We grew up poor, and so we learned to be happy without money. We learned to enjoy experience instead of material things. Baby boomers cant understand why no one in our generation wants a house, of course not, our hand had been burnt before, with the housing crash. Protests, riots, police gunning down children with no consequence. We’ve never known peace, so we’ve made our homes in the ashes of what came before us.