Ahem, I mean "Raaaaacism!"
An interesting conversation on the "Racism" charge, hosted by Jeff Goldstein. Key takeaway:
But — and here’s the rub — at what point is one justified in opening up a public examination on high profile websites — and what should the ground rules for such a case be? Finally, are there other motivations at play here? — a wish, for instance, to preen unsullied amid the harsh spotlight of political correctness at the expense of forever closing down legitimate areas of inquiry and the free exchange of ideas?
Be sure to stick around through the comments (moderate language alert), as the conversation so far is totally worth it. (Also take notice of how much more productive it is when it's not all one-way, as Charles Johnson tends to prefer.)
For the record: Snapped Shot strongly encourages the open exchange of ideas, no matter how offensive some of them may be. It's a position I've been quite vocal about, in fact. We're all adults here, y'all understand that this site's opinion ends above the "Add new comment" link.
Which reminds me: If you've got something to say, you might as well get on with it.
By the way: Allow me to add that I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that Robert Stacy McCain is not a racist. Unequivocally.
Does he argue from points of view that some find uncomfortable? Perhaps... But you know what? It's not like this is the first time this has happened.
Martin Luther said plenty of things which made the Catholic church uncomfortable. Would it have been better for him to have been silenced, and lose the modern Protestant movement as a result?
John Locke sure as heck made the English government uncomfortable. Would the world have been better off if he shut up, and the Enlightenment never happened?
(Okay, don't answer that last one.)
My point is this -- Anything that is written can be construed as being offensive. Anything. For Patterico to huff and puff about how "pure" he is by loudly denouncing the (carefully selected) written words of McCain, to the point where the intent is to silence Stacy, gets us absolutely nowhere.
And that wraps up my thoughts on this whole affair for now. Am I right? Or do you think I'm way off base?
Your thoughts, as always, go here.
Update: Jeff continues to unload a vicious (yet deserved) torrent of fire-hot logic. In fact, of all the points he's made, I think his observations re: the common tactic of besmirching the messenger via a preselected message are some of the clearest I've ever seen--
Got that? He hasn’t suggested RSM is a racist. Instead, he’s only suggested that the statement was racist, and he’s comfortable with the distinction.
Which is hardly surprising, given that the distinction raised is what provides the out — just as it did with Oliver Willis and co., back when they went after Ed Morrisey for his use of the term “articulate.” That is, it allows one disavow chargers that he was condemning the speaker by laying the blame on the speech.
Be sure to click on over for the rest of this fantastic life lesson in logic.
It's almost as if a wolverine picked up a keyboard, even if but for only a moment.