Friday, 7 November 2008

Hypocrite, thy name is me.

I have to recall a post I made in anger.

Lawrence Solomon, is an ignorant twat who should never be published......Knowingly disseminating false information has no value. It doesn't contribute to a debate, it kills it. When lies are allowed as arguments, the truth suffers.

Today, at Dr. Dawg I commented on freedom of speech, and whether ignorance should be censured and silenced (Disclaimer: I have no idea if the radio program linked was an example of total ignorance. But that's the thrust of the commentary that resulted.)

My closing argument in that discussion:

But, my last point is this. If the closed minded ideologue were silenced, and if they were not given their platform, then we would not know the fight for enlightenment need continue. We tend to take silence as proof that intolerance has gone away. It hasn't, its just hidden away, waiting for the proper moment to express itself. And you'd be surprised when the closed mind does open up and the truth is let in.

How do I know this? Because I was one of them. I grew up in small town, WASP rural Ontario. Faggot and Nigger were part of the vocabulary growing up. Women's equality was viewed askance. Its only through the open debate I've witnessed on TV, in the MSM and now online that my eyes were opened and my prejudices revealed for what they are. Many of my friends (and even surprisingly our parents) have gone through the same transformation. Not all of us were so enlightened, but our experiences show it can and will happen.

Progress might only be measured in inches instead of miles, but progress is made. I myself still have to overcome those natural prejudices, and by reading or listening to the opinions of those that still hold them, it shows how far I've come and sometimes how far I have yet to go. I cringe and am embarrassed when I read opinions I once held, but I take heart that they now offend me.

So to echo what others have said, the show should have aired. And the station should have offered up the opportunity for rebuttal and debate instead. The opportunity to learn history, how people view it and the good, bad and the ugly that exists in it all has been lost.

How do I reconcile that I called for the silencing of a Climate Change denier, and then turn around and recommend potentially racist or ignorant viewpoints be shared?

To be honest with myself I can't. As much as it pains me, I have to retract my earlier post and state that Lawrence Solomon should be allowed to write what he believes. He is still an ignorant twat though, and needs to be shown as such.

Truth doesn't win by enforced silence of the ignorant. It wins by belittling it, mocking it and showing it up for the logical inanity it is. And so the battle continues.

1 comment:

Ken Breadner said...

Perfectly understandable. I waver back on forth on this one, depending on how widely the twattery is believed. For we live in a nation of twats, and sometimes it seems like we're legitimizing the stupidity, you know?