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  1. Objecting to a speaker is not the same as shutting down or physically harassing someone. Riots and physical violence provide reactionary provocateurs the response they want. Nonviolent demonstrations and alternative forums are a more productive response. Andrew Sullivan’s point about the religious fervor connected to terms like “intersectionality” rings true: there IS a form of political fundamentalism taking hold in the name of antiracism. Some of the problem stems from the one dimensional nature of social media – a tweet or a hashtag does not constitute substantive debate, it is just another publicity stunt. Requiring confession and penance person by person will not create the change demonstrators say they seek. Too often the current emphasis on changing culture is devolving into browbeating and disconnecting needed cultural activism from political activism aimed at policy changes. Building the movements needed to make change happen requires seeking unity and common ground, which will not be created by the constant ambushing of people with charges of privilege and racism. Such arguments are not based on historical precedent but on appeals to the current vogue in emotional expression. I think it will pass and something more constructive will come out of it.

  2. While we want to protect free speech, hate speech of any kind encourages Nazism and other forms of violence. It begins with speech.

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