Thursday, August 08, 2013

Sticks and stones

A friend and I got into a discussion of the Riley Cooper kerfuffle. I'll make a few brief observations:
i) As a Christian, I don't condone racial slurs or racial epithets. 
ii) That said, when two men get mad at each other, when they get into a heated, face-to-face confrontation, it's not unusual for them to swear at each other. And this is never truer than in sports. I think cussing matches are pretty common in sports. I'd add that nowadays, a lot of women and teenage girls are just as coarse. 
In that setting, many men will resort to every salty epithet in the urban dictionary. The fact that Cooper cursed someone out goes with the territory. 
Is that sub-Christian? Sure. But many of the pundits who revile him aren't Christian. 
Indeed, his liberal critics are very fond of expletives in their own discourse. So their Victorian reaction in this case is pretty rich, all things considered.
iii) It also illustrates the triviality of liberal ethics. Their fanatical obsession with speech codes. With words
Liberals have these ersatz moral tripwires. If you use a certain word, like a "homophobic" slang word, that's a death sentence. Your doom is sealed. That's a career-killer. Off to Siberia. 
Fact is, words are only hurtful if you give the speaker power over you. If you care what he thinks of you. That's quite different from objective harm. Liberals promote many objectively harmful policies. 
iv) Historically, what made the N-word so demeaning wasn't the use of the N-word all by itself. Rather, back in the antebellum South or Jim Crow South, a white man could demean a black man with impunity, and he knew it. He knew the black man had to sit there and take it. This gave white cowards the chance to play king for a day, knowing they could demean a black man without fear of reprisal. 
What makes the N-word so demeaning was the veiled threat behind the N-word: a whipping or lynching if the black got uppity with a white man. It was a taunt. "I dare to you talk back to me!" 
But nowadays, there's nothing behind the word. The calvary won't come riding over the hill to save your bacon. If a white man walks into a Harlem bar and starts throwing the N-word around, the next stop is a trip to the E.R. 
So it doesn't pack the same punch. It's a fighting word, but one you use at your own risk. Those who fish in troubled waters end up as lunch meat for sharks.
v) Liberals presume to be the moral arbiters for everyone else. They take it upon themselves to dictate to the rest of us what's virtuous and what's out of bounds. They get away with it because they have just enough people cowed by their act to let them get away with it. They recruit Quislings to enforce their totalitarian strictures. 

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