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« Profundus wrote on Friday, Apr 04 at 01:34 AM »
Twain, a man responsible for all manner of acidic social criticism once opined that it is better for a man to avoid using five-dollar words when a fifty-cent word will suffice. So I will adhere to this wisdom; The author is a fool. This article reads as if it was penned by a 13-year old. If you scrolled all the way down to the comment section without reading the verbal diarrhea above, do yourself a favor and type 'Slippery Slope Fallacy' into your browser's search bar and read that article instead. This is pretty much a text-book example. Now that we've appeased Twain's ghost we can proceed with this abortion of an article. Prior posts have deconstructed the factual inaccuracy of the piece so I will not reiterate that criticism. Instead, I will discuss the series of brain-numbing logical fallacies that seem to underpin the entire article. On that front, you might as well rename the piece; "Hate Speech: The Lard-slick Slope to the Weagle Apocalypse" because in our dear author's mind, posting a sign on the wall of a bathroom telling a squadron of drunk anti-Semites to contain their Jew-bashing to the privacy of their own double-wides puts us all on a direct line to the utter depopulation of civilization in a 200-mile radius of Auburn University (see, if you're going to bother with awful hyperbole you might as well follow the Auburn Creed, go 'All In.'). His first assertion is literally nonsense. So much so that it took me 20-minutes and a half-can of Arizona iced-tea to unravel all the stupid. Essentially it reads; "I don't think there is a problem but the university administration should do something about the problem-that-doesn't-exist that makes the students feel good about it not existing. Maybe a party. We can roll the Corner with special toilet paper printed with Aubie giving himself a high-five and finish the night with a nice reach-around from DoS representatives! Then we we can all walk around not feeling discriminated against." After solving this crisis, the author moves on to bigger and better things; conflating the ethical positions of a failed Austrian poet-turned-fascist -dictator with a pigskin fight song written by notorious racist (actually, on this he's not too far off. Guess a broken clock really is right twice a day. Regardless, the logical leap necessary to equate the two is mind-boggling and completely unexplained. Still, it's not hard to understand the relatively banal request of a sign chiding folks not to hunt down and verbally savage anyone different from themselves when it KEEPS HAPPENING EVERY YEAR. But this was merely a warm-up act for the author's final act. A literal coup de grâce of unfounded speculation, cultural isolationism, and outright denial of reality. For you see, Auburn (the University and the city it resides in) has no tradition of hate or discrimination! Yes, it's true folks. It goes like this. First God created Man (using some leftovers to cobble a woman-thing together), then He made the great United States of America, and then in 1983 conjured the city of Auburn right here on the plains with a shining beacon of hope and decency at it's heart, and from that moment forward it beat with the pounding throb of progressive equality and social justice for all. Amen. Really, riveting stuff. It's as if the huge murals depicting the shameful and disappointing history of the Univerty's interaction with its browner sons and daughters hasn't been sitting in the center of the Student Union for 3 months. But I digress, this guy clearly uncovered the Secret History of Man and is kindly doling out chunks to the slobbering masses. However, even the aforementioned revelation pales in comparison to his final act where, like any prophet worth his salt, our kind author reveals to us the dystopian sci-fi future that awaits us all if we try to remind ourselves not to be towering piles of excrement to our follow man. He hath seen the future, and it is grim! Any visible attempt to chasten hate-speech on-campus will cause the state of Alabama to slide off Gulf shelf into the churning seas from the tectonic unbalancing of thousands of terrified families fleeing the epicenter of Hate on the plains. Behold, the Orwellian Hellscape of a world where the mere mention that collegiate d-bags must remove their d-baggery from the sheltered confines of a public sporting event causes a Biblical Exodus of the Auburn faithful! This flood of humanity will take with it everything! Crushed beer-cans, vaguely racist taunts, and the ever important season ticket holders! Endowments will shrink! Parents will counsel their little angels to attend bastions of equality and tolerance like Ole Miss! Those who remain are subject to the fickle whims of the ODMA psychic thought-police who won't hesitate to unleash the dog-mounted hose-squads on those who even imagine the word 'Bammer'. No more rolling of the Oaks. No more Toomer's lemonade. No more fight-songs. No more dorm-bongs. No more tacitly ignored underage drinking on-campus. No more casual disdain of minorities (of all stripes) and the poor. No more insular regional myopia. No more strange, cult-like obsession with the preservation of an antebellum utopia where difference is vilified the underclass is all one-color and wouldn't dare to make eye-contact as they collect your garbage in the library lest you feel an ounce of shame at your own oblivious privilege in a land in such desperate need. "No!" our brave author cries, "we must preserve TRADITION for tradition's sake!" A tradition of silence, perhaps, akin to rolling in circles in the grass with thumbs jammed so firmly up one's ear-canals that they nearly brush grey-matter. From this cowering position, he claims, we can merely wish all of our problems away. Racism? Sexism? Classism? Ism-ism? If you just tell yourself they don't exist, eventually everyone will forget about them too and we will live together in harmony! In his fever-dream we must not acknowledge vileness of vile behavior in public spaces. Not because it is any less dehumanizing and awful but because doing so makes it REAL. You see, once something bad is real, it demands that you make changes in yourself and enforce those changes with others, and isn't it much easier to make people ACT like they want to make change (when they really don't) than it is to FORCE them to make that change? Sounds like the entire history of American South to me. Perhaps the author's true lesson for us could have been summed up in one line; TLDR; I don't want to try and be better than I am, and you can't make me.
« JokerInk wrote on Thursday, Apr 03 at 10:49 PM »
« JokerInk wrote on Thursday, Apr 03 at 10:40 PM »
« melissamm wrote on Wednesday, Apr 02 at 10:01 AM »
I'm afraid Ben doesn't understand the No Hate Resolution. Considering the number of outraged people who did not attend the meetings, I think I understand his confusion. Let's clarify a few things: 1) Students of Auburn University have already agreed to abide by the official Harassment Policy. This is not new information and, while I agree that it can be difficult to enforce, there have been a NUMBER of Title IX reports this year alone when students have reported acts of discrimination. As per an SGA senator in regards to the initial No Hate Resolution that called for real action: "For one, in conversations with administration, the Harassment policy does extend to the athletic events and all the associated facilities. That is already the case, and legislation asking for it is redundant and unnecessary." 2) "Damn" and "hell" are not considered hate speech--unless of course you're shouting at someone that they are going to hell unless they marry a damn member of the opposite sex. Hate speech is "is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group." Basically, the resolution was referring to calling people racist/heterosexist/ableist/etc. slurs or being threatening. If one can't make it through an Auburn football game without these tactics, this resolution will be the least of his/her concerns.(War Damn Eagle!) 3) The ACTUAL resolution publicly denounces hate speech and urges the university to create a committee to come up with a plan of action (price: $0.00): THEREFORE LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, we, the Auburn University Student Senate, categorically denounce and deplore discriminatory, hateful and demeaning speech that creates a threatening environment and apologize as student leaders on behalf of the student body to the offended party for the hurt and negative feelings that were experienced. THEREFORE LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, we urge the Division of Student Affairs and the Student Government Association to form a committee, including but not limited to, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Department of Athletics, and Department of Public Safety and Security, to seek the best method for streamlining and clearly communicating a single process for reporting, investigating, responding to and documenting all cases regarding harassment and discrimination on Auburn’s campus. 4) I wish the editors of the Plainsman would require a basic understanding of the topic presented (also apparent the the Op Ed Gloria Steinem/Feminist piece). I'm all for sharing opinions but basing them in fact prevents a lot of the salacious arguments and knee-jerk reactions and provides a space for actual discourse.