AS196: Tommentary on Tump, Eli Bosnick Followup

I’ve got a couple Tommentary items to talk about that I promise aren’t trigger warning or safe space related… But then after that I go into the Eli Bosnick adventures both Cog Dis and I have had. I did a lot more research into the fact claims and came out in a pretty different place on them. Find out!

16 thoughts on “AS196: Tommentary on Tump, Eli Bosnick Followup”

  1. That’s precisely the problem with social justice warrior types, they’re more concerned with kindness, and being nice to people than they are with facts. Of course that concern only goes one way. If the person is part of what they consider an oppressed class you need to be kind to them, but if you aren’t then it;s justifiable to misrepresent, character assassinate, dox, no-platform, or anything else that can be done to silence, or destroy a person if they won’t be silent.

  2. You are SO right about Trump. He looks at himself as “the Chosen One,” the only one who knows how to fix things. In full-on Trump Mode he will not listen to anyone, never has—ever.

    But recently I’ve heard so many people say that they wonder if he hasn’t been tasked (or at least asked) by the Clintons to steal the wheels off of the Republican bus (apparently he used to be a friend of theirs).

    If he ends up making off with the wheels of the Republican bus, at the behest of the Clintons or in a rogue bid to be King of America or just out of spite because the party won’t let him be the nominee, that will probably wreck the Republican party. When Bill and Hillary are getting ready to vacate the White House in 2024, the OTHER party, the one that isn’t Democratic, whether they still call themselves Republicans or not, will have to be completely different people than they are now. If they’re not, they will end up permanently marginalized. Will Karl Rove and the Koch brothers let that happen? Maybe they’re covertly behind Hillary now, having realized the missing wheels aren’t the only thing wrong with the Republican bus, that it can’t be fixed and might as well be abandoned. Maybe they’ll donate it to NPR during a pledge drive for a tax deduction.

  3. I was born, and raised in Massachusetts, perhaps the most religiously liberal state in the country. First state with gay marriage, first state with universal healthcare. And based on my experience with the atheist community, we have them beat hands down in terms of our support for social justice. I want to add in defense of the critics, and I could be wrong, but I don’t think they would argue we’re worse, it’s just that they apparently expect more support than they think they’re getting from us. I would suspect the reason they aren’t getting more is because many issues they they take on faith that we skeptics don’t. They see are pushback on ideas like rape culture, or the accuracy of wage gap stats, or are criticism of Islam (while Muslims are being discriminated against), or the ant-free speech behavior on collage campuses, and they either believe or want to believe it’s motivated by sexism, racism, bigotry, homophobia. Since they are almost dogmatically certain their positions are correct, what else could it be?

  4. Interesting episodes, Thomas (and I agree with the person who said that your episode wasn’t too similar to Cog Dis, I wanted to hear your perspective on it so it was good). I’ve refrained from commenting directly on the episodes up until now as I wanted to see how it all panned out. I was really happy with Eli being able to clear up concepts like trigger warnings and safe spaces, and hearing you seem to agree with how the terms are used among people involved in social justice, but I fear you might have slid backwards a little with this episode (I’ll hopefully get to that later).

    You start the discussion on this episode by pointing out that a number of Eli’s facts were wrong. As an initial response to this I just want to point out that that isn’t a problem for the argument he made in the podcasts – if you remember he took the absolute most uncharitable view of his claims and still argued that his conclusion is right. I also find it interesting to note that many people suddenly become hyperskeptics overnight when it comes to “SJW” issues, where every claim is scrutinised even when it has no relevance to the overall argument, but the same skepticism isn’t applied to anti-SJW views (for example, in the infamous “Coddling of the American Mind” article, one of Haidt’s points was that he had heard of a professor who had colleagues who once reported that in their rape classes a student questioned the use of the word “violate” – but I haven’t seen a single article being skeptical of the claim).

    On the Katrina party claim: I agree that that seems like he mixed up some issues but I’m not sure I understand your justification for being skeptical of it. Racist things like that happen all the time and I imagine what Eli has misunderstood was somebody talking about the problem with the current climate on college campuses, used that as an example in a discussion on Yale, and he conflated the two. The idea that a Katrina party has taken place doesn’t seem far-fetched to me at all especially when “gangsta parties” are pretty popular (where everyone dresses in low riding jeans, backwards caps, talk in AAVE, eat watermelon and drink grape juice, etc (like this “Kanye Western” party: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/08/ucla-students-at-kanye-western-frat-party-under-fire-for-alleged-blackface.html).

    On black girls not being invited in: You mention that this is a fact that Eli got wrong but I see no reason to think that he has. There were a number of girls that were reportedly turn down (and mention of a similar case the year before) and the only reason we have for thinking it isn’t true is that the frat released a statement saying it wasn’t true – but of course they’d say that. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true though given the serious and blatant racism problems with frats and sororities (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/10/30/southern-methodist-university-sororities-still-preach-segregation.html), especially at the SAE chapter (http://edition.cnn.com/2015/03/27/us/oklahoma-sae-fraternity-racist-chant/), and that there were similar stories from gay people being turned away. There’s a more thorough overview of the problems with SAE here: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/11/sigma-alpha-epsilon-fraternity-yale. So far from being “outrageous”, this is an extremely common occurrence – even if somehow the story at Yale turned out to be false, it’s so expected and common to students of colour that it’s relevant to their concerns.

    On the letter from the student group: This fact wasn’t wrong either. I can see why you and the Cog Dis guys got the impression that it was an administration or faculty group as the official page obviously only lists the deans and faculty members who are on it, but it is a student group. The distinction to be made is that it’s not a “student group” in the sense that it’s a club run and comprised entirely of students under the banner of the student union, but instead it’s a student group in the sense that it’s a group run by students, for students, with the official backing of the university. There’s a summary of the group here: http://www.yale.edu/equalopportunity/resources/docs/Yale_Diversity_EO_Booklet_Web-r1.pdf, where they write: ” The Council—which is comprised of
    students, faculty, and staff—offers educational
    and social programming to enhance the overall
    academic and developmental achievement of all
    students, while providing avenues for personal
    growth and increased advocacy, involvement,
    and support for the Yale community.”.

    It’s a student group, the email was written in response to the concerns of students that had been asking for some official support for their positions, and the students on the committee would have written up the email, got support from the board members, and sent it out.

    On the serious allegations: I still think Eli is right to call out the secular and atheist leaders on this point. How many leaders were using the video of the girl to dismiss social justice issues? Concerns of racism on campus? It’s still true that they complained about the professor who tried to remove a cameraman from their space, rather than complaining about the KKK driving around in a truck yelling slurs at black students.

    On it being a problem in the secular community: I think you’ve just missed the point here. When people say that there is a problem of bigotry in secular spaces, they aren’t arguing that we are worse than everybody else. They’ll be the first to acknowledge that the rest of the world is terrible as well.

    But the problem is that we’re supposed to be better. Saying that we’re not as bad as Westboro Baptist or whatever doesn’t exactly instill me with a lot of confidence. And the added problem for secularists is that because we should be better, we often assume that we are better and so we don’t need to do anything about it. But what social justice people are pointing out is that we are still far from anything reasonable when it comes to removing bigotry from our ranks. You suggest that about half of the secular community are perhaps “SJW”s, and the other half mostly aren’t anti-SJW, but that seems far too optimistic to me! Social justice issues get shouted down whenever they’re mentioned, and experiences of minorities always get dismissed. Just look at how much drama was started when women started asking for better anti-harassment policies at skeptic conventions – people hit the roof. You now have people like Thunderfoot releasing videos saying that those women killed conventions.

    On Erica’s email: I think you’re being too hard on Eli just because you have a different view of it. When I read it, it definitely came across as trollish. It was incredibly passive aggressive and dismissive of real concerns, and all couched in a really random appeal to her own authority where she doesn’t even end up making any references to research or principles that back her up. For example, when I was listening to the Cog Dis episode and you guys were reading out her email, I was waiting for someone to point out the obvious comparison to the line racists always use – the “I’m not racist but…” where she starts by saying something like, “I understand the seriousness of cultural appropriation and discrimination, but…” where she goes on to dismiss the existence and seriousness of cultural appropriation.

    To understand why it’s trollish I think you really need to understand the climate of Yale over the last decade (at least). This Halloween issue is just the latest and most popularised thing, it’s not the whole issue. There’s a great overview of the problems in this article here: https://medium.com/@aaronzlewis/what-s-really-going-on-at-yale-6bdbbeeb57a6#.haqmfv606, but basically what’s been happening is that black students have been pleading with Yale to do something about all the racial abuse they receive on a near daily basis, and for once a student group has stood up for them in an entirely uncontroversial way by asking students to be mindful of others, and this house master has jumped in and gone: “But what about free speech? People don’t develop properly if they can’t be transgressive. Can you guys just ignore the racism you face on a daily basis?”. They’re pissed, and rightfully so in my opinion. Either way though, I don’t think it’s an error on Eli’s part and at most it’d be a difference of opinion.

    On it “going too far”: I find this really hard to believe and I’m not sure what basis you have for saying that. We have people regularly wearing blackface and KKK outfits, and when an email comes out simply saying: “Hey guys, try to consider your other students when choosing your costume this year” the shit hit the fan and “freedom of expression” wins out.

    Your example is the pinterest link given in the email and the use of “Bane” but when I checked it out, it had nothing to do with cultural appropriation or racism. Nobody was saying “don’t wear it because it’s racist” or anything you and the Cog Dis guys were talking about. It seems like you guys fell prey to what you were criticising Eli for – engaging in exaggeration to be funny whilst seriously misrepresenting the facts. The reason for linking it seems to be a suggestion to simply avoid “fad” costumes because they’re overplayed, although a couple of the ones in the link would be relevant to the email (like the anorexic mother one, and blackface for Snoop Lion).

    Your example of “historical characters” seems to miss the entire point of the email as well. The complaint isn’t that if it’s historically inaccurate then don’t wear it. The point is that if you’re wearing something which perpetuates harmful assumptions then consider how that might affect others – which is an entirely uncontroversial no-brainer suggestion.

    On “offensive costumes”: You compare the situation to Cecil dressing as Cecil the lion but I think you’re conflating “being offended” with racial abuse, and I’m not sure why. The complaint about the Halloween costumes wasn’t that they were “offended”, it’s that they’re being racially abused and obviously the two aren’t comparable. Which leads into one of the major problems with Erica’s email: “If you think something is offensive, just talk to them about it”. How sheltered is this woman?! She wants black students on a predominantly white campus with serious racial issues to go up to a group dressed like the KKK and have a civil discussion with them? She’s asking these kids to get themselves murdered. It’s just sheer ignorance of the problem with racial issues on campus and how serious they are. And “Don’t look at it” – sure lady, those black kids can just hang out on another campus where they don’t have to face racial abuse, but then they get criticised for having a space where racism isn’t allowed and how “safe spaces” are against free speech.

    I also just want to clarify that the original email wasn’t attempting to ban any costumes or tell students not to wear them. That’s a common misrepresentation that gets put forward a lot and I think you accidentally slipped into suggesting that a few times. The email was simply asking students to police themselves and to be responsible for their own actions.

    On calling for her resignation: I don’t disagree with the calls for her job. Yale prides itself on its house masters and the idea that it provides a home away from home for students, and provides a safe environment for minorities free from discrimination. That’s what they promote and it’s why many minorities choose to go there. If a person fails in their duty by dismissing valid concerns and choosing “free speech” (or her bastardisation of the concept), then that would be a failure for her to do her job. It’s not like a personal attack or a consequence of disagreeing with her, it’s a claim about them seeing her as failing in her duties and her job being a consequence. On that note, I’m glad to see that she actually resigned.

    On safe spaces: You’re right that Eli was using a very specific definition but he’s still right in the fact that what most anti-SJWs mean by “safe space” isn’t the kind being used in the way they think it is. So in the example you raise about Goldsmiths, if you read their policy you’ll see that it’s not the kind of ‘safe space’ that people have in mind when they criticise the concept. They aren’t “banning dissent”, or not allowing free discussion, or whatever – they are banning discrimination, slurs, and threatening students safety. If you read the policy (here: https://www.goldsmithssu.org/pageassets/yourunion/governance/policies/Safe-Space-Policy.pdf) you’ll see absolutely nothing that’s controversial, and it’s practically the unwritten standards that any academic/scientific conference will abide by anyway.

    The specific example you raise is just a discussion over whether the safe space policy applies to that speaker or not, and admittedly it is a fine line where the students and union needs to determine how they see it. Looking through this page (http://www.islamophobiawatch.co.uk/maryam-namazie-and-her-allies/) I think there’s definitely a reasonable claim that she’s an islamaphobe so I think discussion of how she affects the feeling of safety of students on campus is definitely one that needs to be had. She has a record of stirring up fear of Muslims and tying Islam as a whole to terrorist actions, and that’s not something an intellectual institution should implicitly endorse.

    On “not being able to invite someone”: This seems a little disingenuous. It doesn’t matter how small the classroom is, how few people attended, or the fact that it’s not mandatory or a commencement speech, etc. The fact is that students feel that the speaker promotes ideas that cause them to fear for their safety. Remember that Muslim students face a lot of harassment for misrepresentations of Islam and stereotyping them as terrorists, so there is a real concern there even if we want to ultimately conclude that the speech should be allowed to happen.

    But to compare it, imagine that a student group got a grand master of the local KKK to give a speech on why we need to protect women (since that was one of their goals, with obvious racist implications). Should that be allowed on the basis of how small and non-mandatory it is? Do the students not have any right to be like: “Dude, this guy is literally advocating for my death – are we really the kind of institution that prioritises his right to speak over my safety?”. That’s a more extreme example but the logic applies.

    On “known Islamaphobe”: Why would you side with the anti-SJWs just because people get labelled according to how society sees their views? It’s not “blacklisting” to call a KKK grand master a “known racist”. We can criticise how accurate it is, and maybe it doesn’t apply in this case, but again the logic behind it is fine. If someone has a history of hatred, and you’re at a good institution which attempts to curb hatred and promotes safety of its members, then it’s worthwhile to bar people based on their known history. Your defence of her didn’t make much sense though – yeah she’s an ex-Muslim and has faced some horrors at the hands of it, but she can still obviously be an Islamaphobe, just as women can be misogynists, black people racists, and gay people homophobes.

    On the LGBT group supporting the Islamic group: I don’t understand why you think things are “turned around”, just because one group defends the human rights of another even if members of that other group say shitty things about them? I don’t know if the leader of the Islamic group is bigoted or anything but assuming he is, how does that change anything? Suddenly Muslims don’t have a right to feel safe on campus because the leader is an asshole?

    I’m glad to hear you are convinced of the user of trigger warnings now. They’re so uncontroversial that I never figured out why people were against them.

    On hearing more: I definitely want to hear more, but I do get frustrated when I feel like you guys are missing the point on a lot of issues. It’s the problem with privilege where we all want to state our points of view, and things seem so “obvious” to us, but we’re just blind to contradicting views or evidence that would change our position. Thinking that Erica’s suggestion to talk about costumes that “offend” you or to look the other way, or the suggestion that we can’t have a climate of hate if it’s just a small speech on a campus are just prime examples of privilege and how easy it is to think that these problems are small and trivial when they don’t affect you. I’m sure most of the black students on Yale would absolutely love to have an academic discussion on whether “free speech” should be prioritised over safety, or whether supposed facts of childhood development recommend students be transgressive, but they’re just a little too busy trying to survive day to day.

    I know you make an effort where possible but it would be great to have a minority with some knowledge or experience in the area to come on and explain some of these concepts and issues. The trans* episode was great but it seemed very specific and didn’t delve into broader issues.

    Sorry if I’ve been too critical here and hopefully I’ve avoided being unfair, but it’s obviously a frustrating topic for everybody involved and I just really feel like you’re the kind of person who’d get it if someone could take the time to address all the concerns you raise.

    1. Goldsmiths Students’ Union Student Assembly Policy 2012/13 2
      “GSU is
      committed to operating as a space which is inclusive and
      supportive in which no forms of discrimination are
      tolerated.
      Racism, homophobia, biphobia, sexism, transphobia,
      disablism or prejudice based on age, ethnicity, nationality,
      class, gender, gender presentation, language ability,
      immigration status or religious affiliation is unacceptable
      and will be challenged”

      Who decides what qualifies as any of those things. Based on that policy I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say someone who says Islam is worse than Christianity is at least implying Muslims are worse than Christians. A college in Cali, perhaps it was Berkley, listed things like holding a position opposing affirmative action, or saying “everyone can succeed if they work hard enough” is racist, an opinion echoed by Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.
      No one is suggesting the Grand Poobah of the KKK should be allowed to speak on college campuses, but these policies, and sentiments are being used to no-platform people like Maryam Namazie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Bill Maher. It’s creating a climate where colleges are electing not to invite anyone who anyone might find problematic.
      OBVIOUSLY at the moment this is not as big a problem as racism, sexism, Islamophobia etc. No reasonable person is saying it is, but it is a growing problem, and it’s not unreasonable to point it out. Just today the University of Wisconsin adopted a sweeping free-speech statement addressing the issue.

      1. “Who decides what qualifies as any of those things.”

        The same as at any other university or place of employment that has codes of conduct.

        “Based on that policy I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say someone who says Islam is worse than Christianity is at least implying Muslims are worse than Christians.”

        Sure, but that wouldn’t violate the policy. It would only exclude things like Islamophobia, not criticism of Islam.

        “A college in Cali, perhaps it was Berkley, listed things like holding a position opposing affirmative action, or saying “everyone can succeed if they work hard enough” is racist, an opinion echoed by Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC.”

        Sure, those things are pretty racist and ignorant, so depending on the context and situation it would make sense to oppose them.

        “No one is suggesting the Grand Poobah of the KKK should be allowed to speak on college campuses, but these policies, and sentiments are being used to no-platform people like Maryam Namazie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Bill Maher. It’s creating a climate where colleges are electing not to invite anyone who anyone might find problematic.”

        Firstly, Thomas’ arguments that I addressed in my post can be used to defend having to allow a leader of the KKK to speak.

        And secondly, you haven’t explained why those people aren’t comparable in threats to safety as a leader of the KKK. They are known for promoting harmful attitudes towards Muslims (and not just attacking the religion), and people like Ali have actively advocated for reducing the civil rights of Muslim people (https://reason.com/archives/2007/10/10/the-trouble-is-the-west/singlepage).

        We’re living in a time where Muslim is equated to “terrorist”, where people think that Islam is inherently violent so people who follow it must be violent or insane, and this is leading to many of them being attacked and killed (https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2015/fbi-bias-crimes-against-muslims-remain-high-levels), so comparing people who are viewed as spreading this hatred to the KKK is not at all hyperbolic here. Especially when the actual KKK is on board with the anti-Islam message and are repeating the same things about “the religion” (which are really just attacks on the people).

        “OBVIOUSLY at the moment this is not as big a problem as racism, sexism, Islamophobia etc. No reasonable person is saying it is, but it is a growing problem, and it’s not unreasonable to point it out.”

        You say this, but people are ignoring problems of racism, sexism, and Islamophobia, just so that these people can speak at universities. They will defend their right to spread hate before even lifting a figure to help their victims.

        “Just today the University of Wisconsin adopted a sweeping free-speech statement addressing the issue.”

        I can’t find anything in that statement or document that contradicts what people interested in social justice are doing. They’re not against free speech in any meaningful sense.

        1. “Firstly, Thomas’ arguments that I addressed in my post can be used to defend having to allow a leader of the KKK to speak.”

          Just wanted to clarify. The fact that no one is suggesting it, in no way means I would oppose it. I simply meant that people aren’t finding safe space policies problematic because they want to see someone like that being given a platform. They are problematic when it comes to the gray areas. (people like Maryam Namazie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Bill Maher). You don’t need such policies to keep a KKK leader out. It’s unlikely people who are clearly racists, sexists, bigots, or people inciting violence will be invited regardless.

          1. “Just wanted to clarify. The fact that no one is suggesting it, in no way means I would oppose it. I simply meant that people aren’t finding safe space policies problematic because they want to see someone like that being given a platform.”

            I think you presume a little too much there. Many people do in fact oppose safe spaces because they think people like neo Nazis or KKK members deserve a platform.

            “They are problematic when it comes to the gray areas. (people like Maryam Namazie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Bill Maher). You don’t need such policies to keep a KKK leader out. It’s unlikely people who are clearly racists, sexists, bigots, or people inciting violence will be invited regardless.”

            I’m not sure if you’ve spent much time at universities but this simply isn’t true – well-known racists, sexists, and other forms of hate-filled bigots are regularly invited to talk on university campuses because these talks are arranged by students, not the university themselves.

            Every month there will a new story about someone getting protested or kicked off campus for being a bigot, and this has been going on way before safe spaces became a ‘thing’. Most university codes of conducts included “safe space” policies like Goldsmiths, it’s just now that we’re calling them “safe space” policies.

          2. “I think you presume a little too much there. Many people do in fact oppose safe spaces because they think people like neo Nazis or KKK members deserve a platform.”

            I call strawman, particularly if you are suggesting that motivates the discussion. The numbers of such people (depending on your perception) who are, or would be invited to speak on college campuses is vanishingly small. That being said you would probably put someone like Donald Trump (as distasteful as he may be) in that category. Whereas I would not. Even right wingers who sometimes stawman ideas like safe spaces, or terms like politically correct aren’t looking for permission to have speakers who want to use the N word to insult, or propose the lynching of black people, but they do have a point when students at Lebanon Valley College want to change the name of “Lynch Memorial Hall” because of the racial overtones of the word “lynch.”

            Read more: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Pennsylvania-College-Building-Lynch-Memorial-Hall-Racial-Overtunes-Lynch-Clyde-A-Lynch-Lebanon-Valley-College-361200551.html

    2. “Social justice issues get shouted down whenever they’re mentioned, and experiences of minorities always get dismissed. Just look at how much drama was started when women started asking for better anti-harassment policies at skeptic conventions – people hit the roof. You now have people like Thunderfoot releasing videos saying that those women killed conventions.”

      I won’t get into the details of all of this because it’s long, and convoluted. What I will say is TF is correct. It was a combination of the call for atheism plus, and the calls to blacklist people like Dawkins, and Harris from conventions, accusations of sexism, and misogyny against D. J. Grothe (TAM organizer) and unfounded accusations of rape against Michael Shermer by the same feminists you claim JUST wanted sexual harassment policies implemented, Which came following unfounded claims that women were in danger at these conferences. Both creating a climate that made women less inclined to attend, and understandably made the conference organizer less inclined to be receptive to their demands. In response to these claims that the meetings needed such policies because women were unsafe Harriet A. Hall wore a t-shirt saying she felt safe and welcome at TAM.

      So now we have two tiers of conferences. The ones reasonable people attend in large numbers like TAM, and where people like Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins are welcome, and those where the best they can do is get PZ Myers, and his SJW associates to speak, and attend.

      1. “I won’t get into the details of all of this because it’s long, and convoluted. What I will say is TF is correct.”

        I’ll be honest – I’m skeptical of anything which starts by asserting that Thunderfoot is correct about well, almost anything.

        “It was a combination of the call for atheism plus, and the calls to blacklist people like Dawkins, and Harris from conventions, accusations of sexism, and misogyny against D. J. Grothe (TAM organizer) and unfounded accusations of rape against Michael Shermer by the same feminists you claim JUST wanted sexual harassment policies implemented, Which came following unfounded claims that women were in danger at these conferences. Both creating a climate that made women less inclined to attend, and understandably made the conference organizer less inclined to be receptive to their demands. In response to these claims that the meetings needed such policies because women were unsafe Harriet A. Hall wore a t-shirt saying she felt safe and welcome at TAM.”

        I think blaming the women who felt unsafe and those who were harassed and raped by those people for “creating a climate” where women didn’t want to attend is ridiculous.

        1. When the claims are unsubstantiated then yes they to blame. If there were good reason to believe the problem was as significant as claimed, or if rape had actually happened, or even benn reported, it would be a different story. Apparently you don”t believe evidence is required.

          1. Evidence is absolutely required and it can’t be dismissed because it doesn’t suit our personal beliefs. It was supplied and people still ignored these women, because their reports, statements, findings, etc, weren’t taken seriously.

            It’s the same problem we have in all of society, just look at the Bill Cosby case. All the women were piling in with their experiences and people were dismissing them as “not real evidence”. It took 35 of the same reports for anyone to even begin to take them seriously.

  5. I wanted to make a comment in defense of myself, where Eli was concerned. Before I listened to him on your show, and cogdis I didn’t know him from Adam. I don’t think it was unreasonable based on that, and the things he had to say to label him as both a liar, and an SJW.

    I’m also not sure, contrary to the sentiment I heard on your appearance on cogdis, that Eli would oppose shouting down, or no-platforming people. Again this is based on what he said, He supports doxing, by his own admission, which essentially has the same goal as those things. You expose people to public ridicule so that their safety, livelihood, and even life is at risk if they continue saying, or doing things you don’t like. In a sense it’s worse than no-platforming, or shouting someone down.

    Next I’ll defining doxing for you Thomas. It’s publically releasing personally identifiable information about someone. That can be as little as someones personal facebook page, email address, or twitter handle, or as significant as their full name, and address.

    Finally something I agree with you about, and that’s Gad Saad. The first time I heard him was on the Rubin report. I liked what he had to say there so I subbed to him on youtube. Within a week I unsubscribed, For the reasons you mention. Additionally I made a comment mildly critical of him, and his response was basically “this video has 98% thumbs up so your criticism is obviously idiotic”. He’s one of those guys who gets a sycophantic following, and thinks their support is evidence he’s right.

  6. One last comment/suggestion. You should do a show on social justice warriors. It’s a very misunderstood/misrepresented term. At least as it’s used by rational people on the left. Wikipedia’s non-definition is wrong.

    “Social justice warrior, pejorative term for someone who raises social justice issues for personal aggrandization”

    Rationalwiki’s definition was clearly written by SJW’s. The closest definition as I see it is the 7th one on urban dictionary, which I have modified some, but I’m sure it could be significantly improved.

    “These initials stand for Social Justice Warrior. This is a particular class of internet denizen who is on a crusade to push their liberal social agenda through tumblr/reddit/social networking. The SJW sees him/her/itself as a knight in shining armor who is fighting to right the wrongs of the world. They see the world as divided into two camps – the oppressors and the oppressed.

    The truth, however, is that the SJW is a hypocritical, fundamentalist demagogue. Their morals only exist to further their own agenda, which is always right. An SJW holding a reasonable discussion or fair debate is almost unheard of. Their modus operandi is to spew a deluge of words rivaling Tim Buckley, filled with labels, slurs, and provocation. Their favorite tactic is to label their opposition as “privileged/cis/racist” etc. to instantly put them on the defensive.

    They consider all disagreements with them to be the result of patriarchal oppression, sexism, bigotry, racism rather than rational thought, even while they blindly follow dogma. They champion equal rights, while trampling on the rights of anyone who upsets them through defaming, harassing, and ganging up on them. They are completely unaware of the sheer hypocrisy of this. SJWs are the sophists and zealots of the internet age.”

  7. OK I lied, I have another comment. Just finished the last several minutes of your cogdis visit, and agree about Eli claiming opponents don’t understand safe spaces. From my perspective I suspect, and another reason for my hostility towards him, that he knows what is problematic about safe spaces, but is intentionally trying to, in a sense, strawman the reasons for the opposition when they are used as a club.

    I also don’t understand how the guy on cogdis didn’t understand your point. What you were saying, and I thought it was clear, that they were using the idea that the entire campus is supposed to be a safe space to justify their disrupting the event. So yes they are connected, not 2 seperate issues. Arguing otherwise would be like saying kicking someone off campus for soliciting is unrelated to the campus rule against soliciting on campus. Sure technically the rule is one thing, and enforcing it is another, but one is the reason for the other.

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