The New York times recently outdid themselves with a laughable column about why speech is violence.
The piece, which is titled “When Is Speech Violence?” was written by Lisa Feldman Barrett and is as exactly as outlandish as it sounds. The simple answer to “when is speech violent?” is a simple almost never.
However, that message clearly never made it to Barrett.
She wrote in part:
What’s bad for your nervous system, in contrast, are long stretches of simmering stress. If you spend a lot of time in a harsh environment worrying about your safety, that’s the kind of stress that brings on illness and remodels your brain. That’s also true of a political climate in which groups of people endlessly hurl hateful words at one another, and of rampant bullying in school or on social media. A culture of constant, casual brutality is toxic to the body, and we suffer for it.
That’s why it’s reasonable, scientifically speaking, not to allow a provocateur and hatemonger like Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at your school. He is part of something noxious, a campaign of abuse. There is nothing to be gained from debating him, for debate is not what he is offering.
It’s sad that now in America we’re no longer debating what makes us the greatest country with the greatest people on the planet, but are instead debating whether or not our words can cause violence.
Here’s a reality check for Barrett and all those who follow this spineless belief: violence is getting shot by a gangbanger or a woman getting raped by an individual. Violence is not spoken. It’s a physical act.
Perhaps Barrett has lived such a sheltered life that she doesn’t understand this simple fact. Perhaps she thinks real violence is something she sees on television but isn’t something that is actually happening.
I wonder: Would the brave men who stormed the beaches of Normandy agree with her thesis that mean words can ruin lives? I have a feeling that after witnessing the atrocities of the Nazis, an individual isn’t quick to minimize what real violence is.
See, if everything is violence then nothing is violence. If we are to truly believe and accept that mean words are the same as getting shot then we are already lost as society.
A cop firing his Glock at a meth dealer during a shootout is violence. A SWAT team blasting through a door to save a hostage is violence. A soldier picking up a rifle to defend his position as his brother in arms lies dying next to him is violence. A father protecting his family during a home invasion is violence. Those actions can and often do cost lives.
Simply speaking in America doesn’t cost anybody their lives or safety. To pretend it does is laughable and pathetic. I’m sure plenty of spineless losers will applaud this “brave” column from the NYT. How about the New York Times has the bravery to publish a column telling these morons to shut the hell up and get a life. I can’t wait for that column to hit the internet.