For Anti-Free Speech Prof, We’re Just Bricks in the Wall

NYU prof Ulrich Baer recently penned a soft-sell piece for the New York Times advocating censorship. Baer would never claim his take is anti-free speech. The guy -- or is he a transgender[i]; we shouldn’t assume, huh? – is good at what left-wing college profs do: shill for leftist radicalism with measured words. Layer in probing research, analysis, and philosophic musings from obscure academics, and Baer’s radicalism gives the appearance of sober thought and conclusions arrived at judiciously.  

Baer, whose NYU bio photo makes him look like a recent puberty grad[ii] - or one of the Cowsills, given his mop-top – is only suggesting that in, oh, politics, “the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing.” Elbowing your way into the arena is just so… brutish and passé. Delicate sensibilities merit kid-glove treatment – despite young Master Baer’s counterclaim that feelings really aren’t the issue. Nowadays, “otherness” just isn’t up to the rough and tumble associated with 1st Amendment rights.

Unless you’re a spoiled brat left-wing street thug converging on Berkeley, there to harass Ann Coulter, destroy property, and assault anyone who looks normal. Check that. Harassment, property destruction, and assault have nothing to do with free speech. But aren’t those actions an attempt to “accommodate those who previously had no standing.” Leftist movements always have their muscle to help boost “standing.” Ain’t that how the Cheka started? 

Berkley’s brats will be permitted to romp through the streets of said community with near impunity – if we read the city’s new mayor correctly. Even Berkley’s cops are worried. 

Reports Fox News:  

Jesse Arreguin, the 32-year-old newly elected mayor facing his first major test in running a large city. Arreguin has been accused of supporting left-wing violence because he is a member of the Facebook group of By Any Means Necessary, or BAMN, a far left group that has incited violent protests across the country.

Arreguin, who resembles a fatter Latino version of Jonah Hill[iii], swears he was only following the two legit hate groups to monitor their activities. But, hey, Berkeley + By Any Means Necessary + BAMN = Suspicious.

When leftist bad boys sentient beings and bad girls sentient beings are bingeing on hate and working their candy arses off to shutdown Coulter’s speech and waylay passersby, what say Herr/Frau Baer, who serves as NYU’s Provost for Faculty, Arts, Humanities, & Diversity? Will Berkeley mob thuggishness compel him to publicly decry the perpetrators?

The betting is no. See, Coulter, in Baer’s cozy, tenured little universe, is a purveyor of hate speech. Per Baer, if Yale can keep George C. Wallace and William Shockley off campus, because of disagreeable ideas and opinions, then shutting out Coulter -- by lefty standards, a hate speaker extraordinaire -- is grand. Besides, the great Democratic scholar Howard Dean says that putting the kibosh on “hate” speech is A-Okay. And if UC Berkley’s wimpy gender-wavering deans and administrators, along with His Fat Otherness, Hizzoner Arreguin, can’t squelch Coulter, then, perhaps, rage in the streets is suitable payback? 

But let’s round back to Baer’s sophistry[iv]. He writes:

The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community. Free-speech protections -- not only but especially in universities, which aim to educate students in how to belong to various communities -- should not mean that someone’s humanity, or their right to participate in political speech as political agents, can be freely attacked, demeaned or questioned.

Transgenderism is progressive leftist vogue. Let’s measure transgenderism against Baer’s contention.

Verboten is the opinion that transgenders are deeply troubled men and women. Cosmetic surgery, hormone treatments, and wearing dresses or jockstraps aren’t the remedies many transgenders believed they’d be. Suicide rates among transgenders seem to bear that out. But to even suggest that’s the case discourages transgenders from “participat[ing] in discourse as fully recognized members of that community.”

First, what are “given” and “that” community? Rather murky, as is much of Baer’s screed. Is it a gathering of Catholic laymen? Congregants at a Sunday Southern Baptist service? A family dinner table gathering? An “otherness” bowling league? A college classroom, where inquiry and spirited exchange are supposed to be encouraged?   

By Baer’s logic, participation is lopsided in favor of the minority or once out-group. Transgenders can make any claim and assertion “validating” their experience. Counterpoints aren’t permitted, lest the transgender is discounted, marginalizing his, her, or its participation. Don’t dare raise the possibility that at the root of transgenderism is a sad pathology.[v]  

Baer wants us to believe that changed attitudes about free speech are inevitable. An out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new Geist is afoot. Generational and demographic changes are sweeping away old broad agreement that free speech needs to really be free, however odious or distancing.

Not that this emerging understanding arises from any dialectic. Dialectics are too harsh, too conflictual, and can alienate. Change comes with smothering submission. The fate of dissenters? Marginalization, loss of status, employment, and, perhaps, in good time, a reeducation camp stint. Why not? Lefties have always loved reeducating anyone with the brass to oppose their unassailable worldviews.      

Herr/Frau Baer is a creature -- dare we say, prisoner -- of his time and milieu. He’s a cloistered, precocious, smart little boy with some letters after his name. With unendearing smugness, he declares to have his finger on the pulse of the age. From his office at academic Olympus, he presumes to speak for Millenials. Get past Baer’s prof-ese and what is he? Just another garden-variety enemy of free speech -- when that speech disagrees with his.

If you can’t win the argument, shut it down -- right, Ulrich?[vi]  

 

[i] Speech Code Violation # 1: “Transgender” has specific and protected application. Using the term as an epithet -- or in any way that assumes to demean the “otherness” of transgenders – is prohibited and subject to penalty.  

[ii] Speech Code Violation # 2: Ageism is a pernicious form of discrimination. Post-pubescent college professors’ arguments need to be weighed on their utility to the cause. References to age are discriminatory and prohibited and subject to penalty.

[iii] Speech Code Violation # 3: Assigning Jonah Hill’s comedic qualities demean a being “who previously had no standing.” “Fatter Latino version” seeks to marginalize an “other” based on sheer volume. Both are prohibited and subject to penalty.    

[iv] Speech Code Violation # 4: The term “sophistry” is reserved for professors of German, Comparative Literature, English, and Vice Provosts for Faculty, Arts, Humanities, & Diversity who like to take snapshots. Grad students must seek written permission. Otherwise, use is prohibited and subject to penalty. 

[v] Speech Code Violation # 5 Public dissent from the politically correct consensus that transgenderism is a choice based on feelings, which are as natural as, well, the sex organs you’re born with, is prohibited and subject to penalty. 

[vi] Speech Code Violation # ad infinitum: Any idea, comment, opinion, analysis or thought that disagrees with the utterances and writings of Ulrich Baer is strictly prohibited and subject to really bad penalties.   

NYU prof Ulrich Baer recently penned a soft-sell piece for the New York Times advocating censorship. Baer would never claim his take is anti-free speech. The guy -- or is he a transgender[i]; we shouldn’t assume, huh? – is good at what left-wing college profs do: shill for leftist radicalism with measured words. Layer in probing research, analysis, and philosophic musings from obscure academics, and Baer’s radicalism gives the appearance of sober thought and conclusions arrived at judiciously.  

Baer, whose NYU bio photo makes him look like a recent puberty grad[ii] - or one of the Cowsills, given his mop-top – is only suggesting that in, oh, politics, “the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing.” Elbowing your way into the arena is just so… brutish and passé. Delicate sensibilities merit kid-glove treatment – despite young Master Baer’s counterclaim that feelings really aren’t the issue. Nowadays, “otherness” just isn’t up to the rough and tumble associated with 1st Amendment rights.

Unless you’re a spoiled brat left-wing street thug converging on Berkeley, there to harass Ann Coulter, destroy property, and assault anyone who looks normal. Check that. Harassment, property destruction, and assault have nothing to do with free speech. But aren’t those actions an attempt to “accommodate those who previously had no standing.” Leftist movements always have their muscle to help boost “standing.” Ain’t that how the Cheka started? 

Berkley’s brats will be permitted to romp through the streets of said community with near impunity – if we read the city’s new mayor correctly. Even Berkley’s cops are worried. 

Reports Fox News:  

Jesse Arreguin, the 32-year-old newly elected mayor facing his first major test in running a large city. Arreguin has been accused of supporting left-wing violence because he is a member of the Facebook group of By Any Means Necessary, or BAMN, a far left group that has incited violent protests across the country.

Arreguin, who resembles a fatter Latino version of Jonah Hill[iii], swears he was only following the two legit hate groups to monitor their activities. But, hey, Berkeley + By Any Means Necessary + BAMN = Suspicious.

When leftist bad boys sentient beings and bad girls sentient beings are bingeing on hate and working their candy arses off to shutdown Coulter’s speech and waylay passersby, what say Herr/Frau Baer, who serves as NYU’s Provost for Faculty, Arts, Humanities, & Diversity? Will Berkeley mob thuggishness compel him to publicly decry the perpetrators?

The betting is no. See, Coulter, in Baer’s cozy, tenured little universe, is a purveyor of hate speech. Per Baer, if Yale can keep George C. Wallace and William Shockley off campus, because of disagreeable ideas and opinions, then shutting out Coulter -- by lefty standards, a hate speaker extraordinaire -- is grand. Besides, the great Democratic scholar Howard Dean says that putting the kibosh on “hate” speech is A-Okay. And if UC Berkley’s wimpy gender-wavering deans and administrators, along with His Fat Otherness, Hizzoner Arreguin, can’t squelch Coulter, then, perhaps, rage in the streets is suitable payback? 

But let’s round back to Baer’s sophistry[iv]. He writes:

The idea of freedom of speech does not mean a blanket permission to say anything anybody thinks. It means balancing the inherent value of a given view with the obligation to ensure that other members of a given community can participate in discourse as fully recognized members of that community. Free-speech protections -- not only but especially in universities, which aim to educate students in how to belong to various communities -- should not mean that someone’s humanity, or their right to participate in political speech as political agents, can be freely attacked, demeaned or questioned.

Transgenderism is progressive leftist vogue. Let’s measure transgenderism against Baer’s contention.

Verboten is the opinion that transgenders are deeply troubled men and women. Cosmetic surgery, hormone treatments, and wearing dresses or jockstraps aren’t the remedies many transgenders believed they’d be. Suicide rates among transgenders seem to bear that out. But to even suggest that’s the case discourages transgenders from “participat[ing] in discourse as fully recognized members of that community.”

First, what are “given” and “that” community? Rather murky, as is much of Baer’s screed. Is it a gathering of Catholic laymen? Congregants at a Sunday Southern Baptist service? A family dinner table gathering? An “otherness” bowling league? A college classroom, where inquiry and spirited exchange are supposed to be encouraged?   

By Baer’s logic, participation is lopsided in favor of the minority or once out-group. Transgenders can make any claim and assertion “validating” their experience. Counterpoints aren’t permitted, lest the transgender is discounted, marginalizing his, her, or its participation. Don’t dare raise the possibility that at the root of transgenderism is a sad pathology.[v]  

Baer wants us to believe that changed attitudes about free speech are inevitable. An out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new Geist is afoot. Generational and demographic changes are sweeping away old broad agreement that free speech needs to really be free, however odious or distancing.

Not that this emerging understanding arises from any dialectic. Dialectics are too harsh, too conflictual, and can alienate. Change comes with smothering submission. The fate of dissenters? Marginalization, loss of status, employment, and, perhaps, in good time, a reeducation camp stint. Why not? Lefties have always loved reeducating anyone with the brass to oppose their unassailable worldviews.      

Herr/Frau Baer is a creature -- dare we say, prisoner -- of his time and milieu. He’s a cloistered, precocious, smart little boy with some letters after his name. With unendearing smugness, he declares to have his finger on the pulse of the age. From his office at academic Olympus, he presumes to speak for Millenials. Get past Baer’s prof-ese and what is he? Just another garden-variety enemy of free speech -- when that speech disagrees with his.

If you can’t win the argument, shut it down -- right, Ulrich?[vi]  

 

[i] Speech Code Violation # 1: “Transgender” has specific and protected application. Using the term as an epithet -- or in any way that assumes to demean the “otherness” of transgenders – is prohibited and subject to penalty.  

[ii] Speech Code Violation # 2: Ageism is a pernicious form of discrimination. Post-pubescent college professors’ arguments need to be weighed on their utility to the cause. References to age are discriminatory and prohibited and subject to penalty.

[iii] Speech Code Violation # 3: Assigning Jonah Hill’s comedic qualities demean a being “who previously had no standing.” “Fatter Latino version” seeks to marginalize an “other” based on sheer volume. Both are prohibited and subject to penalty.    

[iv] Speech Code Violation # 4: The term “sophistry” is reserved for professors of German, Comparative Literature, English, and Vice Provosts for Faculty, Arts, Humanities, & Diversity who like to take snapshots. Grad students must seek written permission. Otherwise, use is prohibited and subject to penalty. 

[v] Speech Code Violation # 5 Public dissent from the politically correct consensus that transgenderism is a choice based on feelings, which are as natural as, well, the sex organs you’re born with, is prohibited and subject to penalty. 

[vi] Speech Code Violation # ad infinitum: Any idea, comment, opinion, analysis or thought that disagrees with the utterances and writings of Ulrich Baer is strictly prohibited and subject to really bad penalties.   

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