Saturday, September 23, 2017

Colonialism article might be censored

I mentioned an essay justifying colonialism, and now the author writes:
I have asked the Third World Quarterly to withdraw my article “The Case for Colonialism.” I regret the pain and anger that it has caused for many people. I hope that this action will allow a more civil and caring discussion on this important issue to take place.
Wow. Obviously he must have been threatened with firing or ostracism.

No, there cannot be a civil discussion of this issue if merely raising the issue causes so much pain and anger that academic articles must be censored.

Obviously the article must have contained a lot of uncomfortable truths. That is why articles get censored.

I am not an expert in colonialism, but it is probably good if the arguments for it are so valid that the only way to refute them is to censor. And if Third World scholars are not capable of discussing an issue without pain and anger, then maybe those countries are not competent to rule themselves.

The NY Times reports:
BERKELEY, Calif. — The class is called symplectic geometry, a high-level course in mathematics that provides elite graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley, a better understanding of, among other things, planetary motion.

But symplectic geometry will not be meeting for its scheduled session on Tuesday because the professor, Katrin Wehrheim, is one of dozens of faculty members who have canceled classes ahead of a series of scheduled appearances by right-wing speakers next week in the latest round of Berkeley’s free speech wars.

“It’s just not safe to hold class,” Professor Wehrheim said. “This is not about free speech. These people are coming here to pick a fight.” ...

“I think a person needs to hear stuff that they don’t agree with,” Ms. Piper said. “They need the opportunity of discovering that they are not going to melt and go down the nearest drain as a puddle if somebody says something ugly to them. I don’t think we should be protected from those experiences.”

In stark contrast to this position is Professor Wehrheim, the symplectic geometry expert, whose German heritage informs a stance that certain speech should be banned from campus.

“Americans are missing the profound analogies between present day U.S. developments and German history,” Professor Wehrheim said.

In Germany today, Professor Wehrheim said, “you will get jailed for certain speech — and I think that is absolutely the right thing.”
So this German professor wants to jail citizens with dissenting political opinions?

The dissenting opinions are not even particularly unusual. They are similar to views expressed by President Trump, who got 60 million votes. They are not in any way a threat to symplectic geometry. These leftist professors are disgusting.

It is funny that the NY Times would pick a German math professor for the anti-free-speech position. He sounds like some sort of Nazi, with his eagerness to jail citizens for their opinions. Most of the leftist-activist-white-hating professors are from soft departments like English and African-American studies.

Update: A widely publicized Brookings poll claimed that about 20% of students agreed with "A student group opposed to the speaker uses violence to prevent the speaker from speaking." It appears that the margin of error is higher than what was first reported, but even so, it is hard to have free speech if 10% of the students believe in using violence to block a campus message.

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