A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone of Democracy

[For the journal (guidelines, focus, etc.), go to www.theamericandissident.org ].
Encouraged censorship and self-censorship seem to have become popular in America today. Those who censor others, not just self, tend to favor the term "moderate," as opposed to "censor" and "moderation" to "censorship." But that doesn't change what they do. They still act as Little Caesars or Big Brother protectors of the thin-skinned. Democracy, however, demands a tough populace, not so easily offended. On this blog, and to buck the trend of censorship, banning, and ostracizing, comments are NEVER "moderated." Rarely (almost NEVER) do the targets of these blog entries respond in an effort to defend themselves with cogent counter-argumentation. This blog is testimony to how little academics, poets, critics, newspaper editors, cartoonists, political hacks, cultural council apparatchiks, librarians et al appreciate VIGOROUS DEBATE, cornerstone of democracy. Clearly, far too many of them could likely prosper just fine in places like communist China and Cuba or Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Russia.

More P. Maudit cartoons (and essays) at Global Free Press: http://www.globalfreepress.org

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kamden Hilliard

Wade Wallerstein, editor of the student newspaper, The Phoenix (Sarah Lawrence College), did manifest unusual openness by publishing my letter to the editor and two cartoons I'd sketched on SLC Professor Marie Howe, Poet Laureate of New York (see http://www.sarahlawrencephoenix.com/editorial/2014/8/26/letter-to-the-editor-g-tod-slone-of-the-american-dissident). 
He would not, however, publish the above cartoon, nor permit me to respond to the four students who criticized the two cartoons published.  Thus, in the spirit of OPEN DEBATE, as opposed to ONE-SIDED NON-DEBATE, I include the four student responses and my un-published response to them. 

From mikey:  This is idiotic/absurd and i have no idea why you published it
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Bottom ofFrom Jake:   None of this is "hateful" or "immature". I'll grant that it's a vague, rather masturbatory attempt at anti-establishment criticism. But there is nothing wrong with calling into question what is a very observable phenomenon: that too much of leftist, academic discourse these days is concerned with 'sterilizing' conversations. Some call it political correctness, others call it censorship. But it is important to always have voices from the other side reminding everyone that, sometimes, truth is unpleasant. And that's my takeaway with P. Maude.
Though I'd like to add that I think this cartoonist would do well to actually read Dark Phrases because it is a wonderful publication and I agree that it is important and necessary to have a platform for minority voices. There is nothing "racist" about that.
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From Katherine:  As the editor-in-chief [Wade Wallerstein] of a publication widely distributed, read, and discussed in the SLC community, you have the power to amplify a voice that has been ignored. You also have the responsibility to decide when it is appropriate and constructive to do so. I fail to see how these cartoons and this letter contribute truth, fact, or reason to any community dialogue about race (or poetry, or democracy? It's unclear). It is well-known on and off campus why spaces for people of color and other minorities exist, and trying to spark a debate about it only leads to beating a long-dead horse. Mr. Slone is welcome to take his personal objections directly to the editors of Dark Phrases. Publishing his immature and hateful rhetoric seems unnecessary.  And how is it constructive to call for a statement from Dark Phrases? Its editors have better things to do than justify, for the thousandth time, their very existence and the mission of the publication.
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From Margaret Caroline Pless:  Wow. These cartoons are worse than unfunny... I have to read them three of four times and I'm still not sure what P. Maudit's deal it. Is it Marie Howe's poetry? Women named Brooklyn? The fact that SLC exists and has spaces like Dark Phrases for authors of color? That poetry doesn't matter? Ugh, someone sound the hetero-normative white guy klaxon. Batton down the hatches and sit tight until he no longer needs to explain to all us non-guys and non-whites why we're wrong. Confidential to P. Maudit: I know for a fact white students can submit to Dark Phrases. They can even go into Common Ground and participate in QPOC meetings. The question is whether or not they have anything to contribute to said spaces; some do and some won't. You don't, so go back to your blog (and it is a blog; it's hosted on "blogspot") before I lampoon your terrible site (including it's lulzy list of publishers who ignore you) on mine.
To mikey, Jake, Katherine, and Margaret:  So, just dismiss what you don’t like as “idiotic/absurd,” “masturbatory,” or “immature and hateful.”  No counterpoint argumentation at all necessary!  Bravo!  Is that what your professors have been teaching you?  Ad hominem is always the lazy way out.  Instead, they should be teaching you to be precise and underscore untruths, if there are any.  Use logic and fact to support your denunciation of purported untruths.  If you couldn’t find any untruths, well, then I guess that’s why you resorted to kneejerk ad hominem to protest, as in how dare he criticize one of our own professors!  Moreover, because you cannot understand something does not automatically make that something “idiotic/absurd.”  Point to the lies.  Prove they’re lies.  That’s what an educated person should do.  To only publish minority voices is indeed racist against white students and staff members.  How else can an un-indoctrinated individual possibly perceive it?  It is time people rejected such double standards!  Imagine a journal that only published white voices at Sarah Lawrence College.  Yes, let’s call it White Phrases.  Yeah, then we’d have the KKK accusations.  Well, shouldn’t we then have the Black Panther accusations regarding Dark Phrases?  Ah, the double standards, of course!  But REASON should always trump DOUBLE STANDARDS.  Period.  Are students being taught that anytime someone stands up for reason against PC-indoctrination and provides an unapproved point of view, he or she must be dismissed as “immature and hateful”?  BTW, the editors of Dark Phrases decided not to respond.  Period.  After all, what could they say?  It’s okay to be racist and EXCLUSIONARY if you’re a minority, but not if you’re white?  Wow.  Yes, we’ve come a long way, baby.  Oh, yes, of course those editors “have better things to do” than to justify their lack of INCLUSION.  So, why is it fine for minorities to publish exclusionary literary journals, but not fine for whites to do the same?  After all, two wrongs do NOT make a right!  Now, Margaret, how does it feel to be a hateful, PC-anti-white, heterophobic racist, as in “Ugh, someone sound the hetero-normative white guy klaxon”?   Again, the double standard trumps reason.  The statement on Dark Phrases clearly stipulates that “artistic work of students, faculty, and staff of color” is featured.  Period.  It is that statement that I contest, for evidently even if whites are published in the journal, clearly they are not encouraged to submit their writing to it.  That statement needs to be changed.  Period.  How can you not comprehend the message in the cartoons?  It is not complex!   Oh well.  Please DO lampoon me and/or The American Dissident blog site.  Don’t simply threaten to do so!   I am not fearful, nor EASILY OFFENDED like you seem to be, of valid criticism.  Often, I create from it!  Again, try finding a lie, something NOT factual, on the blog site, rather than simply calling it stupid or some other inane, puerile epithet.  Come on, you’re supposedly getting a college education!  Try taking a course in LOGIC 101.  Or has that been replaced by Political Correctness 101 at Sarah Lawrence College?  Anyhow, thanks for commenting.  Democracy demands citizens of different persuasions communicate and debate.  I only wish Professor Howe would instill that in her students (you guys!)… by example. 

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