Friday, November 27, 2009

Mark Steyn On Political Correctness

Major Hasan was Enabled

Mark Steyn wrote a fine article about the problems the real world gets itself into when it adopts political correctness.

He starts off with quoting the Queen of Censors herself:
Ever since this magazine attracted the attention of Canada’s “human rights” regime, defenders of the system have clung to a familiar argument. In a letter to Maclean’s, Jennifer Lynch, Q.C., Canada’s chief censor, put it this way: “Steyn would have us believe that words, however hateful, should be given free rein. History has shown us that hateful words sometimes lead to hurtful actions that undermine freedom and have led to unspeakable crimes. That is why Canada and most other democracies have enacted legislation to place reasonable limits on the expression of hatred.”

“Hateful words” can lead to “unspeakable crimes.” The problem with this line is that it’s ahistorical twaddle, as I’ve pointed out. Yet still it comes up.
As if what J Ly said was not sufficient, it was mirrored when Messrs Steyn and Levant tag teamed the House of Commons Committee on truth justice and the Canadian way:

It did last month, during my testimony to the House of Commons justice committee, when an opposition MP mused on whether it wouldn’t have been better to prohibit the publication of Mein Kampf.

“That analysis sounds as if it ought to be right,” I replied. “But the problem with it is that the Weimar Republic—Germany for the 12 years before the Nazi party came to power—had its own version of Section 13 and equivalent laws. It was very much a kind of proto-Canada in its hate speech laws. The Nazi party had 200 prosecutions brought against it for anti-Semitic speech. At one point the state of Bavaria issued an order banning Hitler from giving public speeches.”

And a fat lot of good it all did.

But still the old refrain echoes through the corridors of power: vigorous honest free speech will lead to mass murder unless we subject it to “reasonable limits.”

The problem with political twaddle of any sort, but particularly that which demands to be correct, is that is sounds good coming off the tongue, as long as those in earshot are similarly inclined to receive said twaddle. It withers when confronted by someone who is more inclined to the truth, a la Steyn.

As Steyn points out political correctness has finally come home to roost, though most are still trying not to see it that way:
Actually, the opposite is true: a constrained and regulated culture policed by politically correct enforcers leads to slaughter. I’m not being speculative here, as Commissar Lynch is about my murderous prose style. It’s already happened, just a couple of weeks back. Thirteen men and women plus an unborn baby were gunned down at Fort Hood by a major in the U.S. Army. Nidal Hasan was the perpetrator, but political correctness was his enabler, every step of the way.
As Steyn goes on to point out in detail, Major Hasan is what happens when people who know try to hide themselves behind political correctness. The people did not have to die. Someone, one someone had to speak up, and shut Hasan down.

Read the rest of the article, please. Help stamp out political correctness. Engage your brain.

1 comment:

John Byrnes said...


The dilemma caused by the shooting at Fort Hood by Major Hasan exemplifies how the current programs in place to protect us have all failed us. When supervisors, counselors and task forces members rely on subjective references of culture and mental illness, observers miss the signs specific to aggression referenced in post analysis. When observers focus specifically on aggressive behavior, the objective and culturally neutral signs of “aggression” standout, providing the opportunity to prevent these violent encounters.

Major Hasan was under surveillance by two Terrorist Task Forces, one with Department of Defense oversight and the other with FBI oversight. So why wasn’t he stopped?

The use of subjective/qualitative indicators, prone to stereotype individuals by culture or religion; versus quantitative indicators and the use of mental health references know to mislead and misconstrue, fails us repeatedly in our attempts to prevent acts of violence. Only when we use the specificity of “aggression” and its objective, culturally neutral indicators can we get-out-in-front of these acts of aggression and prevent them. Why are current systems uses on campus failing us?

The answer is quite simple – The military does not have an objective and culturally neutral system that collects information and evaluates it to determine the degree (or level) of aggression an individual is displaying, nor has it people who have a clear responsibility to observe and report this information. Learn more about the problem and the solution by reading our Blog: