Reply by Simon Phearson 14 minutes ago
No one was defending Vilda’s use of the word “retard” or Vilda’s subsequent goading of Michelle when Michelle called Vilda out on it.
The problem with Michelle’s campaign was not its putative target or its ostensible motivation, but its method. Michelle responded (sometimes multiple times) to virtually every comment in which she could discern the slightest disagreement or irritation. She took offense at any suggestion that her technique wasn’t going to convince Vilda to cease using the word, and she openly declared that she would make this place hell for anyone who refused to see things her way or condone her methods. Throughout, she made evidently clear by her actions that her campaign against “hate speech” and “slurs” was really about her, about what was said in her presence, and how she felt entitled both to cast all of us as moronic enablers of hate speech while also spending hours among us.
Vilda’s actions were irresponsible, immature, and counterproductive. But Michelle’s actions ground things to a halt. Removing Michelle, as we’ve by now been able to see, has quickly returned this community to its prior equilibrium. Vilda’s continuing presence has shown no detrimental effect.
It’s simply unfair to the members of this community, and wildly inaccurate, to portray Lee’s banning of Michelle as establishing that the CL is a place where members will circle the wagons around bullies using “alienating language.” If anything, we have just demonstrated our willingness to ban one such bully – which is exactly what Michelle was.
Here are some things that always bother me when ‘Alice-In-Wonderland‘ speech starts getting tossed around:
Michelle was never a bully. About the only thing you could say was that ‘she stood her ground‘. This is exactly analogous to me approaching you in the school cafeteria and demanding your lunch money. But you being a bit of a wuss are afraid to tell me know and begin reaching for that coin purse where your mommy stores the $1.50 for the food each day. Suddenly this girl that really thinks that she has had enough of my antics tells me that your money is ‘off limits‘. I tell her that this is none of her business, it is between you and me. I turn my back on her and demand of you once again, your lunch money.
A teacher who has been assigned lunchroom duty is sitting at the next table and is watching all this. He is busy with his iPhone and the box scores on the games wherein he has bet money and does not want to divert his attention. The girl sees that the teacher is going to avoid this confrontation and again tells me that her friend is ‘developmentally handicapped‘ and should not be ‘taken advantage of‘. I tell her to ‘butt out‘ and again demand your money.
Our classmates are watching all of this, some with dread others are actually placing bets on the outcome. I finally tell her that the situation has nothing to do with her but is between me and the ‘retard‘. She calls me exactly what I am, a bully! I start shouting ‘retard, retard‘. The kid who is my good friend, ‘Jimmy Blackhead‘ takes up the chant, ‘retard, retard‘. She is now furious with me, and Jimmy but most exasperated with the doltish teacher.
Tears well up in her eyes and she cries out that what I am doing is not only theft, but I am adding insult to that injury by using ‘slur words‘. I decide to tell her that she is more than a bit overweight and that none of the guys at the tables around us would ever ask her out for a date. The guys from my posse, smile and nod knowingly. The pickup the chant and call you and her ‘retards‘. Jimmy says in addition that this entire scene is ‘retarded‘. He wants to know why she is trying to hold up my getting in line to buy lunch by interfering in something that has nothing to do with her.
She stands her ground and says in a very loud voice, that this is unfair and should not be allowed. The teacher keeps staring at his iPhone and watching the status of his bets. Finally you reach into your pocket and hand your coin purse towards me. As I reach for it she snatches it from my hands and runs off towards the principals office.
A few moments later she returns with the principal and points at me and the others who are chanting ‘retard, retard‘. The teacher who has been sitting by all this while, deftly places his iPhone in his pocket and explains to the Principal that this girl is something of a trouble-maker. He relates to the Principal that she has been shouting and frankly disrupting the lunch period for nearly a half hour and says that if he could he would have her suspended.
They walk off together and sure enough by the final bell of the day she is called into the office and told that her disruptive behavior is not welcomed in this quiet school where parents pay ‘good money‘ for a quality education for their children. Her parents are called told about the situation and she is expelled.
After school I and Jimmy and our buddies stand around at the corner outside the school and jeer her as she drives off with her mother having been suspended. By the following morning my parents have notified the Principal that because she said unkind things to me and that these things were offensive, our educational foundation would no longer be contributing to his retirement fund and would have something to say when the School Board met.
That very day he meets with the School Board in a hastily called meeting and the girl is kicked out of the school altogether. When asked the reason for all of this her parents are told that she was a disruptive influence in the school cafeteria and that she had used foul language. And so having been removed from the school, I proceed the very next day to take your money, while dozens of kids look on, fearing to tell me that this is wrong and secretly wishing they had the cojones to be so bold.
‘Elites‘ have enjoyed the upper hand in American Society since its inception. That will continue. Because they control both the purse strings and the places where justice is upheld, it means that those who are not part of their cabal, do not eat with them at lunch and do not move in the same social circles will forever be on the outside. And to these people, this is as it should be.
But oddly enough some ‘elites‘ do not like that title. They prefer the term ‘activists‘ and imagine themselves to be waging war on ‘elitism‘. But the fact is they are ‘hypocrites‘.
The Big Lie
Michelle’s problem was not that she ‘held up the progress of the thread’. That is the lie that the moderator is likely to tell because it sounds officious. What is sadly the truth is that the ‘moderator‘ and the ‘bully‘ are incensed that anyone would ‘call them out‘. Doing this means that you are either ‘anti-elitist‘ or ‘a rule breaker‘. Why does this make sense?
Well how do you explain, someone on a completely different blog, speaking their mind and never being able to ‘hold up their threads‘ being the target of their anger? Shouldn’t their response simply be to ignore that person and never mention their name? One would think so but as with all ‘bullies‘ even ‘calling them out‘ in a different school cafeteria is unacceptable.
You folks can spin your explanations as often as you choose to but ‘you will never make the lie stick‘.
The Inoculation Hoax
‘Elites‘ like to act as if they and they alone have a serum which inoculates them against ‘sin‘.
They believe in their minds that if they are African-Americans it is impossible for them to be racists. They have a perfect right to complain about having been treated as if they were mere animals during Slavery Times and made to work until they died. And those same folks see nothing wrong with taking pit bull dogs and making them fight to the death, so that they can earn a few dollars and enjoy a blood sport in much the same way their white slave owners did a hundred years ago.
If they are Jews they might feel justified in exerting their Right To Free Speech against a class of people whom society once lumped them into and used as a justification for sending them to concentration camps.
If they are LGBTs they might decide that payback against a group of folks who once tried kicking them out of their condominium collective is just fine. So they harass these folks with loud music, cigarette smoke, drunken parties and whatever else seems to annoy them.
If they are Muslims, they might decide to get some payback for years of war in their homeland and decide to behead a journalist who actually came to tell their story.
If they are Feminists who have been hounded for being outspoken, they might decide to bring trumped up charges of sexual harassment to even the score.
I apologize for not having better examples but I think it prudent to quit while I am not too far behind. I am an African-American and yes I can be a bigot. I can in fact be an equal opportunity hater of any group of people who are not black. I can in fact also decide to hate blacks. That is in fact something that bothers every person who is hoping that what they want themselves to be identified as is enough to excuse their personal failings.
It cannot. We are all frail when it comes to our personal behavior. Being a member of the ChainLink Forum or an Urban Cyclist does not make you better than a Lycra-clad roadied or a weekend bicyclist or someone whose bike costs as much as an automobile. Wearing tattoos and nose rings do not make you better than those whose skin is unblemished. Nothing about the hipster lifestyle is any more appealing or life affirming than being a Buddhist Monk or anyone else.
It is not what you contrive to appear as it is what you do and what you say.
What Defiles a Man
10After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. 11“It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” 12Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”…