Uninvited, deplatformed, and shunned

Berkeley, the home of the Free Speech movement in the 1960s, has been censoring conservative voices of late. But their latest “deplatforming” is someone who you’d never think in a million years would be the target of their ire.

Richard Dawkins. Yes, that Richard Dawkins.

But the thing is, while they might agree with him on that vast majority of the positions he takes — both spiritually and politically — there’s one particular position that was apparently a bridge too far.

What that position is, and how it exposes their other hypocrisies, is in this episode.

Mentioned links:

Anti-Free Speech Left Cancels Another Speaker at Berkeley…But This One May Surprise You

Bernie Sanders Makes Rare Appeal to Evangelicals at Liberty University

Atheist Richard Dawkins’ ‘abusive’ Islam statements lead Berkeley radio station to cancel his event

Uproar over Trump-themed ‘Julius Caesar,’ but none for Obama version at Guthrie 5 years ago

The Many Differences Between ‘Obama-Caesar’ and ‘Trump-Caesar’

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Show transcript

Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro; what do these names have in common? They have all been uninvited from the University of California at Berkeley. Yes, what was once the center of the free speech movement has now become the center of the censorship movement. No, not everyone wanted them barred from campus, but those that were loud enough, and who destroyed enough property, exercised the Heckler’s Veto and won. Not something you’d expect from what used to be a bastion of free speech.

I guess it’s kind of like Bernie Sanders going to speak at Liberty University, home of the late Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority, a Republican voting bloc if ever there was one. Yeah, just like it…except for the fires and property destruction…and the whole thing about being barred from speaking…and except for people shouting him down. Other than that, yeah, exactly the same.

When I started this show over 5 years ago, I asked the question that, between a liberal and a conservative, which one is more likely to give you a hearing, let alone a fair one? Back then I said I thought that question answers itself. Today, I think students and professors from around the country are answering it.

And just recently, another speaker was disinvited from speaking, this time at a radio station in Berkeley. As if to make the point that it’s not just people associated with the university that can’t bear to hear things they disagree with, station KPFA cancelled an interview with a prominent speaker because there were those that considered him offensive and hurtful and abusive. Ultimately, the station said that they agreed with this description of the views of…Richard Dawkins.

Yes, that Richard Dawkins, the prominent atheist and card-carrying member of left-wing intelligentsia. After you get over that surprise, let me drop another bomb and tell you why he was cancelled. It was because of his statements berating the religion of…no, not Christianity or Judaism; Islam.

That’s right. For the grave sin of being consistent in his views on religion, liberals in Berkeley, California wanted his voice silenced. And KPFA agreed, issuing a statement that included these lines, “KPFA does not endorse hurtful speech. While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech.” Does the Left even understand what the phrase “free speech” means? This from the allegedly “tolerant” Left. C’mon, let’s be honest here. They don’t want tolerance; they want compliance.

Apparently, many on the left believe that bashing religion is OK, as long as that religion is one of the disfavored ones. That’s “free speech” to them. As much as I disagree with Dawkins on the subject of religion, he is at least being consistent, and he is (though I’m sure he didn’t mean to) exposing the hypocrisy of so many other ideas of the Left; ideas that you must comply with or you’re censored.

On medical care, the Left has no problem with requiring parental permission for a girl to get her ears pierced, but none is necessary for an abortion. On womens’ rights, there’s very little if anything said about the abuses in Muslim countries, while they strain at the gnat of sexist “microaggressions”. On human sexuality, they insist that how you feel about your gender is fluid and changing, but how you feel about your sexual preferences is set in stone so that they can redefine marriage. A dress designer is perfectly within her rights to refuse to make them for Melania Trump, but a Christian baker must be punished for choosing not to participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony. Assassination fantasies abound by major figures today, but mere policy differences were “racist” just a year ago.

And as I said, criticism of religion itself is fine. Mostly.

Their beliefs and values are as fluid as they claim gender is, so that they can redefine their terms every time they use them. Criticism of their favored groups are “hateful” and should be banned, but criticism of anyone else is free speech, and they reserve the right to add or remove people from those favored groups at a whim.

Is it any wonder that conservatives don’t trust liberals when they say that the Constitution is a “living document”, and can be reinterpreted by just 5 Supreme Court justices based on today’s standards? Oh, and by “today’s standards” they mean their standards. Today. Tomorrow, who knows?

And the whole “both sides do it” mentality just doesn’t cut it. A listener pointed out to me that a version of Julius Caesar was performed where the part of Big Julie was played by a black man, so that was clearly Barack Obama, and so that’s just the same as the Central Park performance with a Trump look-alike. That’s a case for both sides doing it, but consider this. Did the national news cover the Obama version like they did the Trump version? Did they cover it at all? Did the patrons cheer and applaud when the Obama-Caesar died like they did for the Trump version? Here’s the thing; it happened 5 years ago, in a theater in Minneapolis. It may have been covered locally, but if it was covered nearly like the Trump one, wouldn’t we remember that? The mainstream media discovered it suddenly when Republicans complained about the major Central Park performance, but otherwise it’s a small footnote in the Twin Cities arts scene from 2012. Even in the Minneapolis paper, it’s not clear whether the intent was for the actor to be an Obama stand-in, or if it was just a bit of diversity.

So we throw a stone…maybe, then they drop a bomb, and then claim both sides do it, so no big deal. Sorry, but proportion matters. Joe Schmoe in rural Georgia with an Obama effigy is not at all equivalent to Kathy Griffin feeling confident enough to do an ISIS pose with a bloody Trump head. Sure, both sides do it, but really.

And in the meantime, while Richard Dawkins is wondering what happened to free speech, Bernie Sanders is grateful that some still practice it.

Filed under: Free SpeechGovernmentPartisanshipReligionTolerance and Diversity