Free Speech

Beyond The Interview: The Top 10 Cave-In Artists of the Year

Sony is far from the only institution to cave in to demands for self-censorship this year.

|

Interview
Sony / Youtube

Sony copped a lot a flak for caving in to the mysterious Guardians of Peace and pulling The Interview from theaters. It may have since rediscovered its spine, allowing the movie to be released in a few theaters on Christmas Day and making it available online too, but the impact of its act of self-censorship continues to reverberate. It has rightly found itself lambasted for initially hiding away a piece of culture at the behest of a yammering mob making threats and wailing about feeling offended.

But we shouldn't single out Sony as the sole jeopardizer of artistic freedom, for it is far from the only institution to cave in to demands for self-censorship this year. 2014 has been the year of the self-gag, the year of institutions silencing themselves in response to shrill hollers of "You can't say that!" Here's a countdown of the Top 10 cavers of 2014, all of whom helped set the stage for Sony's behaviour.

10) ITV2

The British TV channel dumped its sexist comedian Dapper Laughs in response to a virtual uprising of pearl-clutching, prudish souls. Dapper, real name Daniel O'Reilly, is a 25-year-old funnyman who gave advice to twentysomething blokes about how to pull "birds" (women) and get "gash" (pussy). Sensitive commentators churned out op-eds slamming his misogyny. An online petition was launched, calling on ITV2 to "Cancel Dapper Laughs": 62,000 people signed it. Outrageously, 44 comedians wrote an open letter denouncing Dapper, bringing to mind the regime-friendly artists of the GDR who would shop their less right-on arty pals to the Stasi.

The censorious virtual mob got its way: in November, ITV2 pulled Dapper, and O'Reilly himself appeared on a news show to say sorry and confirm that his character Dapper would never again make a public appearance. A mob-extracted, Stalinist-style public apology—truly ugly.

9) The Economist

The bible of the business elite prides itself on having both brains and balls. "In opinion polls, 100% of Economist readers had one," its adverts say. But it seems some opinions are too controversial, even for The Economist. In September, following an outburst of spittle-flecked fury on Twitter and blogs, The Economist took the extraordinary, and Orwellian, decision to "unpublish" an article about slavery. The piece, a review of Edward Baptist's book The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of America, expressed a longing for an "objective history of slavery" that doesn't conform to the narrative that "all the blacks… are victims, [and] all the whites villains."

A silly view, we can agree, given that slavery was a pretty clear-cut case of black victimhood and white supremacy. But in abjectly apologizing for the review, and withdrawing it from its official archive, The Economist made itself, and the rest of us, hostage to the offense-takers. The offencerati celebrated The Economist's climbdown as a great victory, with one tweeting: "It took a Twitter riot to get The Economist to withdraw their idiotic review." So next time The Economist publishes an article you don't like, just start a Twitter riot—that should get rid of it.

8) Festival of Dangerous Ideas

In August, the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI), an intellectual staple of the Aussie liberal elite that takes place in Sydney every year, pulled an Islamist speaker in response to media shouts and online cries. The speaker, one Uthman Badar, was due to give a talk called "Honour killings are morally justified"—a rather provocative title for a speech that was actually just going to try to explain why some Islamic communities overseas *think* honour killings are justified. Politicians complained, journalists mass-produced angry columns, Twitter went into meltdown, and eventually the organizers of FODI capitulated, killing the planned speech on the basis that "the level of public outrage" was too much to bear. See? It isn't only Kim Jong-un (or whoever's behind Guardians of Peace) who weaponizes outrage to squash offensive speech. Rumors that the festival will change its name to the Festival of Ideas Deemed Acceptable by Australia's Chattering and Tweeting Classes have yet to be confirmed.

7) The Barbican

What should an art gallery do when a crowd of 200 gather outside and demand an exhibition be shut down? The London arts venue the Barbican gave a depressing answer this year: shut down the exhibition. The Barbican had been due to host a piece of performance art called Exhibit B, featuring, among other things, black actors in cages. It was a study of our attitudes toward race and history. But at the opening night in September, a gathering of self-styled spokespeople for Britain's black community blockaded the entrance, waved placards, and the Barbican executed a stunning cave-in, closing the exhibition. Perhaps Kim Jong-un, or whoever, was inspired to shout The Interview out of existence by this earlier, very British elevation of hecklers' rights over artistic freedom.

6) Time 

We're all marvelling at the colossal humourlessness of North Korea and its fanboys on the internet, who can't even take a Seth Rogen-delivered joke about their Glorious Leader. But they're not the only ones who demand the censure of allegedly off-colour humour. In November, Time magazine caved in to po-faced feminist agitators who complained about its inclusion of the f-word—feminism —in its annual light-hearted poll on what words have become so annoying that they should be banned. After some Twitter-fems lost their shit, Time issued a mea culpa and pulled the f-word from the poll. Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority Foundation said she was relieved Time had "come to its senses," because the word feminist "cannot and must not be trivialized." Just as Kim Jong-un cannot and must not be trivialized by Hollywood.

5) Oxford University

If you think it's only big corporations concerned about their reputations who kill content on request, think again. At one of the highest seats of learning on Earth—Christ Church College, Oxford—a debate was pulled in November after a mob of 300 students threatened to turn up with "instruments" and disrupt it. Why? Because it was a debate about abortion at which both of the speakers were men (one of whom was me). College officials caved into the controversy-allergic student agitators and binned the debate on the basis that it might threaten students' "mental safety." (Isn't that what university is meant to do—shake up students' "mental safety?")

One of the debate-squishers later wrote in the Independent that "the idea that in a free society absolutely everything should be open to debate has a detrimental effect on marginalised groups." That isn't a million miles from what the Guardians of Peace say: that The Interview had to be bullied out of theaters because it was a case of Big Bad America using free speech to attack poor, marginalised North Korea.

4) Opera Australia

Back Down Under, where, in June, Opera Australia caved in to the demands of a Twittermob to expel Tamar Iveri, a Georgian opera singer, from its production of Othello. The reason: Ms. Iveri once said something derogatory about homosexuals on her Facebook page. Yes, that's right, the McCarthyite insistence that all artsy people must have the right and same moral views has been given a new lease on life. An online petition calling for Iveri's visa to work in Australia to be revoked "immediately and irrevocably" got 4,698 signatures. The petition page now boasts of its "Confirmed Victory," not dissimilar to what Mashable calls the "horrifying victory" won by the Guardians of Peace.

3) Mozilla

In April, Mozilla bowed to demands to ditch its new CEO, Brendan Eich, after it was revealed that— horror of horrors—he isn't a huge fan of gay marriage. A mob demanded his metaphorical scalp, with OKCupid pleading with its users to boycott Mozilla's Firefox on the basis that "those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure." In short, Eich is an enemy of the people and therefore had to be expelled from public life, propelled into a life of failure for daring to hold and express the Wrong Views. Isn't there a country somewhere that similarly practices such expulsions from public view of the enemies of decency?

2) Edinburgh Fringe

This annual gathering of thespians and comedians for a month of performance and chatter is looked upon as a free-wheeling, open-minded cultural shebang. Not this year, it wasn't. A theatre called the Underbelly caved into protesters and cultural bigwigs who said its hosting of a hip-hop opera by an Israeli theatre company was an outrage. Luvvies hate Israel, you see. The Jerusalem-based company, Incubator, is part-funded by the Israeli government and that was enough to have keffiyeh-wearing liberals gathering outside the Underbelly every day to demand its show be shut down. Of course they didn't protest at any of the many performances part-funded by the UK government's Arts Council, despite the fact that the UK government has been involved in more wars and killed more people than Israel has over the past 10 years. But hey, moral consistency has never been censors' strong point. The Underbelly capitulated and sent the Jews into theatrical exile.

1) American universities

The slamming of Sony for caving in to foreign, terroristic bullyboys gives the impression that mob-like demands for censorship are a totally un-American activity. Yet at the heart of the American academy, a new breed of het-up, intolerant, debate-dodging student is likewise using pressure and cries of "I'm offended!" to have words they don't like extinguished. Controversial speakers are disinvited from campus or shouted down by angry mobs. Most alarmingly, in April Brandeis University cancelled plans to award an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali after a gaggle of bloggers and agitated students branded her "anti-Muslim" and unfit for Brandeis approval. A woman who escaped moral tyranny overseas being subjected to a new form of moral tyranny in her adopted homeland—possibly the most shameful cave of the year.

So all that hating on Sony before it changed its mind was, I'm afraid, too little, too late. Self-censorship has been rampant in 2014. We need a more consistent commitment to standing up to the intolerant, whether they're Western feminists, Scottish luvvies, or North Korean nutters, and to asserting the right of artists and writers to think, say, and depict whatever they like without requiring the approval of moral majorities or angry minorities. In 2015, let's make sure freedom of expression should trump individuals' sensitivities every single time.

NEXT: 'Twas the Night Raid Before Christmas

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. my best friend’s step-aunt makes $67 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired from work for eight months but last month her paycheck was $16679 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    you can check here………….
    http://www.netjob70.com

    1. Anonbot, I’m going to boycott your website until they fire you and give White Indian back to us.

      1. That’s harsh. How about MNG instead?

        1. LUCY!!!!

          1. Things were better when Postrel ran Reason anyway.

  2. As much as all of these disgust me, they are private companies and people for the most part. I’m not going to get outraged by boycotts and public pressure any more than the New Coke boycott. State universities aren’t all that different; still disgusting, but no different to me from any other boycott. If a politically incorrect comedian doesn’t get enough views or gets too many protest tweets, how is that different from a comedian who is simply not very good? The Economist, yawn.

    The advantage of free markets is that competition brings out the best, but “best” means popular, and if a company stands to lose business for one of its products, or the public perception of one of its officers, or any other reason, why should anyone expect them to stick with their principle even at the risk of going out of business? Was the Titanic’s skipper noble for having pushed on with his speed setting pace, or should he have surrendered to practicality and slowed down?

    1. While i appreciate your general sentiment, i’m not sure you are characterization of what these instances are is correct.

      “If a company stands to lose business for one of its products… why should anyone expect them to stick with their principle even at the risk of going out of business? “

      In almost all of the cases listed here, this is not at all what is being described.

      in almost all cases, we’re talking about a vocal minority that in most cases not even the actual ‘customers’ of a given ‘product or service’.

      (i.e. the “lost business” analogy fails because the ‘aggrieved’ here are in fact trying to prevent the actual audience/customers from consuming things that the minority disapproves of)

      In the cases of the homophobic Opera Singer, or the CEO of Mozilla that ‘voted a certain way’ on prop-whatever…

      …I’m not sure you could argue that the majority of Opera fans or browser users are better served by public lynchings of otherwise successful people for holding unpopular opinions about things entirely irrelevant to their professional field.

      in the case of the politically-incorrect comic – by all accounts, the program was a success until the PC-mob attacked.

      These aren’t cases of ‘market failure’, where a company is having its ‘new product’ rejected by the broad marketplace.

      These are cases of a marketplace being denied options by hypersensitive thought-police.

      1. Don’t you think this article is an overreaction to people overreacting? Yes, a lot of the stuff on the list is silly and stupid but using terminology associated with totalitarian regimes is equally nonsense.

        1. All Reason should boycott your posts untill you post another pic of you celebrating something. Anything.

          Even better if you were celebrating with another of your girlfriends.

        2. Yeah, the comparisons feel a little forced. I think it’s enough to say, “Look at these stupid assholes caving into the demands of worthless, tantrum-throwing millenial hipsters.”

        3. Yes, a lot of the stuff on the list is silly and stupid but using terminology associated with totalitarian regimes is equally nonsense.

          Except for one thing. Tyranny doesn’t come in one huge leap. Little tiny steps of tyranny first, to get the public used to it.

          As an example: When the Rodney King video was released, the pigs actually had a trial and when they were found less culpable than the video clearly indicated, riots erupted.

          Kelley Thomas is beaten to death, there is video, no one convicted. Eric Gardner was choked,to death, by a guy who had multiple complaints against him and many people in the country still believe that there is some kind of “war on the police”.

          Little tyranny first, then you move on to the big stuff.

          1. Maybe. But I think some of this article is “crying wolf”. Making extreme comparisons looks good in print but when they don’t compare to reality, or the reality is more nuanced than the shock terms admit, it lowers the overall credibility of the argument and the person making it.

            1. I think some of this article is “crying wolf”

              Fair enough.

          2. And a good angry mob can be very useful to a potential tyrant.

            1. Thus the push for gun control.

        4. ‘Terminology associated with totalitarian regimes’

          I just scanned back over the first few paragraphs, and a few of the listed examples, and the only example I see is the one of ‘comedians protesting their fellow comedian’ likened to ‘ratting their fellows out to STASI’

          Its actually a fairly reasonable comparison. I’m not sure what you’re calling “over-reaction”.

          This –

          “2014 has been the year of the self-gag, the year of institutions silencing themselves in response to shrill hollers of “You can’t say that!” “

          …seems to be the nut of the piece.

          I don’t see how the highlighted examples of ‘self-censorship in reaction to a hysterical minority’ are in any way ‘silly or stupid’

          The CEO of mozilla simply voted ‘the wrong way’ on a state proposal and was lynched by a self-righteous mob. There’s nothing silly about that. The guy was basically persecuted for ‘thinking wrong’. If he was in a role where his personal views presented an actual conflict of interest, i could see how it might matter. But my browser, last i checked, had no particular pro or con position on Gay marriage.

          I think there’s some serious free-speech issues here that aren’t simply cases of ‘the market of ideas at work’; as noted above. The internet has made it astoundingly easy to make everyone’s life entirely transparent and open to the whims of mob character-assassination: i’m not sure that’s something to wave off as an ‘acceptable fact of life’.

          1. * i guess the repeat references to Kim Jong Un was your point. Yes, he could probably have done without that dead-horse-beating.

          2. It may surprise you to know that plenty of gay people (myself included) thought Eich got a raw deal. Regardless, I think “deemed an enemy of the people” is a bit over the top. I see overreactions, I see people “pleading” for a boycott. What I don’t see is Eich being hauled off to a gulag or Mozilla threatened with legal punishment or the other things done to “enemies of the people”. I can see not liking that Mozilla caved but this was a situation totally in their control.

            I’m not saying it’s wrong to keep vigilant about freedom of speech and expression, I’m kinda just concern trolling about the concepts used in the article to frame the discussion.

            1. “SusanM|12.28.14 @ 12:30PM|#

              It may surprise you to know that plenty of gay people (myself included) thought Eich got a raw deal.”

              No, it wouldn’t surprise me at all, because most gay people aren’t batshit crazy.

              I’d predict that 90% of the people who really agitated to railroad the guy were the ‘usual suspects’ = the online SJW professional victim-mongers for whom the ‘activity’ of being outraged is their prime source of self-esteem.

              My personal view is that these people aren’t actually really into the whole ‘social justice’ schtick for the benefit of the actual ‘victim classes’ at all – they do it because they can, and because it gives them a sense of identity. They are nothing if not religious zealots themselves; Pure Eric Hoffer stuff.

              You think the ‘framing’ is ‘over the top’ – i think its mostly apropos, particularly given that the only language that the ‘aggrieved’ speak is endless, hyperbolic self-flagellation and dramatization of their ‘oppression‘.

              I agree the NK motif was overdone. But in general, i think the issue of ‘speech repression’ by the online-mob is not covered *enough*, if anything.

              1. *standing ovation*

                1. EDIT: *standing ovation* @ GILMORE

        5. Not necessarily overreacting at all. The vocal minority to which Gilmore refers has a lot of political clout, and it’s often this that companies or individuals are afraid of, not the average consumer. Often these threats from private groups carry the implicit threat of discrimination law suits or other more public measures from backers in the government, so private censorship does often carry the threat of public censorship; it’s a good way for leftists to censor without technically using organs of the state, and therefore are still technically acknowledging freedom of speech.

          Also, those who are willing to censor privately tend to be the same people who, given political power, will do so with the force of the state. So it’s still not nothing to worry about in my opinion.

    2. Can’t hear you, the fiddle is playing too loud.

  3. …hostage to the offense-takers.

    People who say ‘I’m offended!’ can fuck right off.

    …off-colour humour.

    Superfluous usage of ‘u’. I approve.

      1. I do have a soft spot somewhere in the cockles of my cold, black heart for how those folks over there use and abuse the language. I think its roots are in my love of Literature.

    1. Humour of colour.

  4. ” After some Twitter-fems lost their shit…”

    This would require that they “had their shit together” to begin with.

    Sputtering hysteria is their standard M.O. All they did was point it in a different direction for a minute.

  5. The self-censorship storyline is a little bit flawed. After months of protests by North Korea, why would Sony announce it was pulling the film days from the US release? To appease the North Koreans? Doubtful. The “hackers” made terroristic threats, which, although were very vague and almost certainly without credibility, might give rise to recklessness claims under any lawsuits if an event *did* happen.

    Sony chose the pragmatic option given the choices and the fanatical fear of terrorism. With this kind of highly-publicized ‘forewarning,’ Sony could see its legal liability far exceed potential profits from the film. The additional loss of public good-will, “why didn’t Sony just cancel the movie, save lives,” would further aggravate this disaster scenario. As a corporate officer with a fiduciary duty to shareholders seeking return on investment, the principled rationale of not jeopardizing “artistic expression” is little comfort.

    Sony made the ‘right decision’ given the FBI’s claims of state-sponsored hacking that granted credibility to the terroristic threats, the extent of media coverage of the whole event, and their already vulnerable position after the substantial leaks.

    1. Its hard to see how your point isn’t moot given that they’ve already flipped and decided to release the film.

      Is that ‘the wrong decision’?

    2. You are exactly right, but no free speech proponent finds that very satisfying. We like seeing people standing up to the censors and putting a stick in their eye.

      Sometimes it is better to suck it up and do what is practical but we have to be careful not to let them get too much of a leg up.

    3. Sony should be ridiculed out of existence for their cowardly action, as should any lawyer who attempts to profit from it.

      Our justice system is in need of some chlorine.

      1. What about Reason and their response to “Draw the Prophet day”? Do they get a pass?

        1. Well, we’re still here. Does that count as a pass?

        2. I don’t think I was around for that. What happened?

          1. I only caught pieces, so my knowledge is limited.

            In response to the Dutch Mohammad cartoons they planned a “Draw the Prophet Day” or something like that. They were going to show their support for Free Speech by hosting pictures of the pedophile priest drawn by commenters. They eventually wiped the entire thread I believe.

            I most certainly might have some of this wrong. I mostly just remember being quite disappoint.

            1. ” they planned a “Draw the Prophet Day” or something like that.”

              The Wiki entry tells the story

              Someone else came up with the idea; Reason ‘covered’ it; as it grew more and more controversial, everyone associated with the thing got cold feet and it deflated. In the end there was a facebook page that hosted submissions.

              “Within a week, Norris’ idea became popular on Facebook, was supported by numerous bloggers, and generated coverage on the blog websites of major U.S. newspapers. As the publicity mounted, Norris and the man who created the first Facebook page promoting the May 20 event disassociated themselves from it.

              I think in the end there were some submissions that got “linked to” here, but Reason would not display them on the site themselves, and people griped at the lack of ‘brave stance for freedom of expression’.

              At least that’s how i remember it.

            2. They had a contest for people to draw Mohammed. They published the winners: http://reason-contest.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html, which are pretty tame, but still there.

              The comment thread got a bit unruly with lots of gratuitous (and many deserved) insults to Islam and Mohammed. Some earnest Muslims showed up to tell people how horrible they are. It got even uglier and they deleted the comments.

              I think that is about the story.

              1. You added an unnecessary comma at the end of the link.

                The comment thread got a bit unruly with lots of gratuitous (and many deserved) insults……showed up to tell people how horrible they are. It got even uglier

                I didn’t think Bo was around back then.

            3. Yep. Drive Reason out of business for it. Pussies!

  6. as Esther implied I’m startled that a stay at home mom can get paid $9287 in 4 weeks on the internet .

    read this ====== ==== http://WWW.MONEYKIN.COM

  7. “A silly view, we can agree, given that slavery was a pretty clear-cut case of black victimhood and white supremacy.”

    Absolute nonsense.

    As for the article itself, I will repeat what Aloysious said already; People who complain of being offended can fuck right off.

    1. Yeah, that line was jarring for me as well, but I suspect the author is a Brit. They’ve forgotten their own role in slavery and have the zeal of the converted.

      While this isn’t the place to get into a full-throated debate over slavery, it’s important to remember that black African slavery wasn’t brought about by Portuguese soldiers marching into villages with armloads of chains and dragging the unwilling population back to the ships. Africans sold each other into slavery, not just from rival tribes or villages but from within their own groups, to Europeans willing to buy them. This doesn’t excuse the moral culpability of slave traders or owners, of course, but saying Africans had no moral guilt in the slave trade is like saying pimps have nothing to do with prostitution.

      1. Also worth noting that slavery as an institution in the west was ended by whites and that there are more chattel slaves in the world today than ever, all in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

          1. That was the first place that popped in my head.

        1. The first place in the west to ban slavery was Haiti, accomplished via slave revolt. Even in the US that is very simplistic and ignores the work of black abolitionists (like Frederick Douglass), slaves, black soldiers, etc. that contributed to the end of slavery, and it definitely is not an accurate summary of how slavery ended in Latin America. And historically, some other countries, such as China, Persia, and others, banned slavery long before it was banned in the west.

          Also, there are still a good number of slaves in eastern Europe.

          Lastly, I don’t see how any of this is relevant considering that the book was about slavery in the US and not slavery of all the world forever, and the writer of this article made a comment based off of someone’s response to that book. It’s pretty fair to assume that their comment was thus talking about the context of that book, American slavery, and not all slavery ever.

          1. So American slavery, where there were no black slave owners (false) and there were no whites harmed by slavery (false)

            1. I never said there were no black slaveowners, nor did o’neill or he guy who wrote the book. Their existence does not somehow negate the fact that slavery in the US was a system that victimized black people and was intrinsically tied to white supremacy. There is no way to twist things to make the relation between race and slavery in tis country’s history anything other than fundamental.

              I’m not sure if by harmed you are referring to enslaved white people or white people harmed by externalities related to slavery. If it’s the latter that’s not the same thing and I’m not sure what your point is. If it’s the former, the colonial era system of indentured servitude was not the same thing as chattel slavery and it was banned prior to independence, and the book referenced focuses on post-independence USA in any case.

              1. I never said there were no black slaveowners, nor did o’neill or he guy who wrote the book.

                No, the guy we’re all responding to wrote that the book “expressed a longing for an “objective history of slavery” that doesn’t conform to the narrative that “all the blacks? are victims, [and] all the whites villains.”

                A silly view,”

                1. If it’s silly to suggest that not all the blacks were victims and not all the whites were villains, then history is a very silly place.

                2. Except that’s not what he wrote. You left out some key words. He claims that the book is not objective because “almost all” of the black people are victims and “almost all” of the white people are villains. Given the reality of American slavery, that is not at all indicative of a lack of objectivity. It’s completley expected that a book about American slavery will feature most black people as victims and most white people as villains. Especially if it is not covering the abolition movement, which is where you would see more white non-villains.

                  I’m not even saying that the book is objective. I haven’t read it. I’m saying that the reviewer’s reasoning for why it is unobjective, in the line in question, is silly.

                  1. I quoted him precisely. It’s exactly what he wrote.

                    1. I mean, you can ctrl+c “almost all” and it doesn’t appear in the OP, so you’re obviously not quoting him.

                    2. To be fair to you, Reason misquoted him (or shortened it without properly indicating that) in this article. The full quote was:

                      “Unlike Mr Thomas, Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains. This is not history; it is advocacy.”

                      http://www.buzzfeed.com/patric…..gozQ4vz2nW

                      The main point still stands – even if he had written all, no one who hasn’t read the book could know if that was an exaggeration or not. Any objective account of American slavery is not going to have a balance between black victims and villains and white victims and villains because these figures were not historically balanced in reality. Writing an account that doesn’t force a balance is not indicative of a lack of objectivity.

      2. The book in question is about slavery in the US after independence. It’s not a history of the entire Atlantic slave trade, and it’s pretty obvious that the writer of this article was referring to slavery in the US in that line.

        1. The book in question is about slavery in the US after independence. It’s not a history of the entire Atlantic slave trade, and it’s pretty obvious that the writer of this article was referring to slavery in the US in that line.

          I recall the original Economist article, and I don’t believe this is true. The part he specifically took exception to was when the book delves into specifics about the shipment and treatment of slaves on the supply end, i.e. in Africa. Therefore, the original Economist review was complaining about the fact that it didn’t take into account the complicity of African kings and chieftains in the shipment and enslavement of their own people.

          Therefore, his primary complaint was about the fact that delved into the Atlantic slave trade, not slavery on American soil itself.

          1. I just reread the entire review and you must be thinking of some other article. That’s absolutely not the vibe given by the article and the reviewer doesn’t really talk about any analysis by the author of the Atlantic slave trade (there are a couple mentions of it but only in the context of mentioning that it was banned around 1807 and thus foreign supply of slaves diminished). Do you have any sources that the slave trade itself is even focused on in the book? The book seems to be focused (according to the review) on post-independence USA and supposedly the impact slavery had on early US growth, so it’s not even a full history of slavery from colonial times. Given the thesis of the book and the fact that the slave trade was banned 30 years after independence, I don’t see why that would be a focus of the book anyways. If you have sources indicating the book talked about the slave trade and misrepresented the role of African kingdoms in it then by all means I don’t mind being proven wrong.

    2. Came here to bitch about the same thing. It was EVIL people versus their VICTIMS, not Whites vs Blacks.

      1. Not to mention that most whites in the US are descended from impoverished European immigrants who came here within the last 150 years (my own ancestors were serfs; slaves in other words, so why am I still a perpetrator?). And even most white people during the era of slavery were not slave owners; it was a rich man’s luxury.

        The argument of course is that even if not all white people were slave owners, they still benefit from it even today, which is pathetic moral argument. Almost any African American today who would rather not be in Nigeria right now benefited from it. I benefited from my aunt’s death because I inherited money from her. Does that make me responsible for her death?

        1. Not to mention that most whites in the US are descended from impoverished European immigrants who came here within the last 150 year

          Well, most have more than zero ancestry from such people. More have ancestry from people who were here before then.

      2. Pretending that slavery in the United States did not have a racial component is simply asinine. Read the line again. Nowhere is it stated that it was whites vs blacks. It states that slavery in the US was a story of black victim hood and white supremacy. That is a broadly true statement. The slaves were black. The vast majority of black people were slaves. The vast majority of slave owners were white. And even though most whites people didn’t own slaves, they were still legally considered superior to slaves and free black people, and it was illegal for them to be enslaved. That is how it was a system of white supremacy. That doesn’t mean all white people were evil slaveowners, but neither the writer of this article nor the writer of the book states or implied such a thing.

        1. “slavery in the US was a story of black victim hood and white supremacy.”

          Why was it a race issue and not a class issue? You can pick your “component” and make it any story you want. None of it would have happened without evil people who were willing to create victims.

          1. Because it was not legal to own poor white people and the upper class was almost exclusively white? Are you seriously suggesting that there is something wrong with not boiling everything down to a simplistic evil vs. good narrative and not ignoring everything else relevant to historical events?

    3. I’m pretty sure that’s referring specifically to slavery in the US, given that the book in question is about American slavery. And while that line is a bit simplistic, it’s not an inaccurate summary of the nature of slavery in the US.

      The line in question from the review was silly because in a book about slavery in the United States, it’s not surprising that most of the black people will be victims, and most of the white people villains. That isn’t an indicator of not being objective.

  8. Interesting point of view coming from an organization which, as I recall, pissed their pants on a certain “Draw Mohammad Day” and purged any “offensive” view points.

    1. That gets my hackles up too. Will I get purged if I mention that Mohammed was a psycho thief, murderer and pedophile?

      Every day should be draw Mohammed day.

    2. Fair enough.

      But do you think there’s a relevant distinction between ‘social-justice moral scolds’ and ‘people who climb through your window with an axe and try and murder you’?

      I’m not making any apologia for Reason in backing out of that thing; just saying i don’t entirely equivocate between ‘jihadist terrorists’ and ‘politically correct thought-police’, even though they frequently have similar targets.

      1. But do you think there’s a relevant distinction between ‘social-justice moral scolds’ and ‘people who climb through your window with an axe and try and murder you’?

        I do. I am also not suggesting that anyone sacrifice themselves.

        How are Reason and Sony different?

        Really not trying to point fingers here. Just trying to figure out where to point fingers!

        1. “How are Reason and Sony different?”

          Corporate Security budget? insurance costs? Sweet, sweet Koch-dollars keeping you alive?

      2. Reason and just about everyone else proved to the ax wielding window climbers that violence and threats thereof gets the axers what they want. This will get worse.

      3. I have no doubt that the vanguard of the SJW would launch their own Krystallnacht if they had opportunity.

        Fortunately, it is small, cowardly, and incoherent movement. Articles like this help to keep it that way.

  9. just before I saw the receipt which said $5461 , I didnt believe …that…my mom in-law woz like they say actually bringing in money in their spare time at there labtop. . there sisters roommate has been doing this 4 only about twenty months and by now paid the mortgage on there house and purchased themselves a Audi Quattro . this link……..
    ????? www?n?tjob70?com

  10. I’d be willing to forego hope of any supposed “libertarian moment” in exchange for a cultural backlash against this sort of nonsense. The tendency to Police speech and thought, that is swiftly becoming a dominant cultural trait, is way scarier than overt government action, long term.

    1. ” The tendency to Police speech and thought, that is swiftly becoming a dominant cultural trait, is way scarier than overt government action, long term.”

      I don’t know about “way scarier”, but i agree entirely that ‘the tendency to Police speech and thought’ – to use the language of the Social Justice Jihadists – …”Its a problem”.

      I think that the SJW types really only fully realized the power of the internet/social media to isolate, demonize, and ‘bludgeon people into ideological submission’ fairly recently.

      They’ve been having ‘conferences’ about it for a decade now.

      But their strategies for “developing a narrative”, controlling the terms of debate, partnering with fellow-minded academics to feed them bullshit ‘studies’ validating their complaints, and inviting attacks so as to highlight their own ‘victimization’ etc…. all of that has only started to mature very recently.

      The academic left spends a ridiculous amount of time cogitating about how to “frame” issues in order best employ social-media to further progressive social-causes. An example i just stumbled across has a nice example =

      “research will be more effective when people avoid references to “censorship”, which can be divisive, and instead talk about “interference” and “information controls”. .”

      They’re very conscious of what they’re doing.

      1. but i agree entirely that ‘the tendency to Police speech and thought’ – to use the language of the Social Justice Jihadists – …”Its a problem”.

        But they have no power. They cannot stop you from doing anything you choose. You can stand in front of them and tell them to kiss your lily-white ass. They cannot sue you. They cannot put you in jail. They cannot take your property. The only power they have, is that which you voluntarily give them.

        Stop giving them power (not you personally, but people in general).

        1. I get where you’re coming from…

          ..but you’re wrong.

          The State is not the only locus of power and these Frankfurt-School types know how to use every tool in the box to turn ‘soft power’ into the ‘hard power’ stuff you’re talking about.

          The Mozilla CEO losing his gig is just a sidenote – but its still a useful precedent showing that being on the wrong side of the ‘Social Justice Police’ means professional suicide.

          It need not even be that direct. They can simply associate ‘issues’ with such vitriol that media publications *refuse to even talk about them* for fear of backlash

          I believe Soave mentioned that he was getting concerned calls from Reason donors over his piece questioning the Rolling Stone story. Not because he wasn’t *right*, but because people don’t want to be on the perceived ‘wrong side’, else they get Hater-Labeled by the justice-mob.

          I don’t think you fully appreciate how the left sees soft-power as the inevitable path to hard power. The whole ‘Rape Culture’ narrative actually translates into *millions of dollars in DoE funding* to the very departments that are helping to define the issue. Hell, they’ve tried to actively *throw out due process* for students – i don’t know how much more ‘hard power’ you could possibly get.

          its not a matter of simply ‘ignoring them’, IMHO

          1. I believe Soave mentioned that he was getting concerned calls from Reason donors over his piece questioning the Rolling Stone story. Not because he wasn’t *right*, but because people don’t want to be on the perceived ‘wrong side’, else they get Hater-Labeled by the justice-mob.

            Yet Rob and Reason didn’t cave, did the right thing and Rob and Reason are still here.

            You don’t like universities kangaroo courts? Don’t go to universities that make attendance contingent upon agreeing to kangaroo courts.

            Government is the only entity that can force you to do anything.

            1. “You don’t like universities kangaroo courts? Don’t go to universities that make attendance contingent upon agreeing to kangaroo courts.”

              You’re still wrong.

              You’re pretending that there are always ‘options’ between individuals and the social institutions that are ‘anything less than government’.

              If you live in the state of California, what options do students of the university system there have? ‘Affirmative Consent’ is law.

              Of course = EVERY student in California can just ‘choose to go elsewhere!’, right? Sure.

              Your framework is nice for macro-purposes, but in practical reality its horseshit.

              You think Brendan Eich’s public lynching didn’t happen due to outside forces?

              You missed the point re: Robby

              Just because self-censorship didn’t happen doesn’t mean the pressures didn’t exist and weren’t significant enough to prevent other people from asking the same questions sooner.

              1. Affirmative Consent’ is law.

                LAW = Government

                Which I guess is my point. The only way these asshole have any power is through government, so I much prefer to go to the root of the matter and limit the government rather than the people. I’d rather see a cultural backlash, as the original poster states, against government, instead of free speech.

                You think Brendan Eich’s public lynching didn’t happen due to outside forces?

                Didn’t have to. Mozilla could have ignored it and there isn’t a fucking thing anyone can do to them. They simply might not make as much as they otherwise would have. It was a choice between making money and giving up your principles. Mozilla GAVE them their power and also enabled similar derp to occur in the future.

                I personally question how much ignoring the derp would have actually hurt the company in the long run. Wally World ignores it all the time. Doesn’t appear to be killing sales. I think these folders never stop to think that being a company that sticks to their principles may actually gain them customers. I’d be tempted to go out of my way to buy their product when they do the right things.

                1. “The only way these asshole have any power is through government”

                  Sez you. We keep pointing out that the cultural-left throws its weight around sans the enforcement of law, and you seem to place the blame entirely on people ‘failing to simply choose to ignore them’ (without any concern for what the costs may be)

                  ” I’d rather see a cultural backlash, as the original poster states, against government, instead of free speech.”

                  There IS a cultural backlash. However, its specifically targeting the ‘SJW’ people who use contrived victim-narratives as a weapon, and outing them as intellectually-dishonest political bullies.

                  There’s no “backlash against free speech”, and I don’t even know what you mean about that. Fighting back against hysterical activists isn’t a fight against ‘speech’.

                  There’s no widespread backlash against “government” because in many cases they’re not involved… yet. Where they are involved (*see the DoE and their attempt to force kangaroo courts on college campus) there IS pushback against the government.

                  What all of this bullshit seems to add up to is a ‘ratcheting up’ of the Culture-Wars, and the left seems to increasingly play ‘Hardball’, because they can get away with it. I’d like to see that end.

            2. A complete side note =

              Nothing is more amusing when the SJWs start chasing their own tails and end up fighting themselves

              Which is probably the best tactic for socially de-fanging them = sic them on each other.

          2. “I believe Soave mentioned that he was getting concerned calls from Reason donors over his piece questioning the Rolling Stone story. Not because he wasn’t *right*, but because people don’t want to be on the perceived ‘wrong side’, else they get Hater-Labeled by the justice-mob.”

            Good for Reason.

            They stood up for principles and they were rewarded.

            We wouldn’t expect anything less.

  11. my neighbor’s step-aunt makes $80 an hour on the internet . She has been laid off for five months but last month her payment was $12901 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    website here……..
    ???????? http://www.paygazette.com

    1. What, no Sports Car? You disappoint me, anonbot

  12. Great article O’Neill; really puts shit in perspective.

  13. Yeah well, those comedians that signed that gay petition are pearl-clutching censor-Nazi assholes.

    Fuck them.

    1. Though he was before my time. I miss Lenny Bruce. =(

      1. Funny you mention him. I was reorganizing my CD/LP collection and came across a bunch of Bruce LP’s my uncle gave me.

        1. Nice !! Yeah he was one of the greats, and unlike many of our modern comedians, he never apologized. =)

    2. Yeah fuck them and their opinions. Free speech isn’t for everyone! Just the people who agree with you!

    3. “Yeah well, those comedians that signed that gay petition are pearl-clutching censor-Nazi assholes.”

      P.S. Learn to read, dummy. 44 comics signed an open letter (which does not ask for censorship, merely condemns the material.) 60,000 people signed an online petition (which urges censorship.) Only a true imbecile would make that mistake, it’s not even explainable how someone could be so stupid.

      Note to editors: I don’t have anything against retarded people, but I don’t really think they add to the conversation, so perhaps there could be an asterisk next to all posts by those like Rufus T. Firefly who are missing a chromosome?

      1. Aha, I just noticed he’s also so fucking stupid he doesn’t know the difference between a ‘T’ and a ‘J.’ I’m sorry but differentiating letters should be the minimum requirement for posting on a webpage.

        1. C+ trolling. You get extra points for using “choad” in your handle.

          1. Fuck off, cunt.

            1. Don’t make me get out my troll stick choad licker. 😀

      2. “Note to editors: I don’t have anything against retarded people,”

        I do.
        Fuck off, retarded person.

      3. ” 44 comics signed an open letter (which does not ask for censorship, merely condemns the material.) 60,000 people signed an online petition (which urges censorship.)”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satires_(Juvenal)

        1. It is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant
          of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself…

          1. NO U CHOAD.

  14. A silly view, we can agree, given that slavery was a pretty clear-cut case of black victimhood and white supremacy.

    Except that it’s not because there were black slave owners in America, a long history of black and white enslavement in the middle east, a history of black on black enslavement in Africa, tons of slavery in the far East, and whites have been enslaving other whites for Millenia. I shouldn’t have to continuously say this, but the word ‘slave’ does originate from ‘Slav’ which seems to provide a degree of evidence that historically slavery was not as racially based as myopic, uneducated Americans tend to imagine it was.

    I mean Jesus Christ, Europeans had no compunctions about enslaving natives and those same natives had been enslaving each other for 4000 years before the Europeans ever got there. Even in the New World slavery wasn’t exclusively white on black, except in the American South.

    1. I think it was clear that his comment was referring solely to the U.S., given the context and that the book was about slavery in the US (I replied to your reply to me above). And if we are talking just about American slavery, the existence of a small minority of black and Native American slave owners doesn’t somehow negate the fact that the system victimized black people on a mass scale and was intrinsically tied to the notion of white supremacy.

  15. I do think it’s a shame that the pro choice Oxford students were not able to non violently protest the stupid debate about abortion between the two homosexuals. I have no problem with homosexuals but I believe that students should be allowed to voice their opinion about stupid homosexuals debating abortion.

    But this author sounds like a total hypocrite when he claims to care a jot about free speech, then decries ‘shouting people down.’

    Mr. O’Neill, you utter cunt, shouting people down is an important part of free speech and if you weren’t such a fucking weasel you’d realize that.

    1. cool story bro

  16. just before I saw the bank draft 4 $8792 , I did not believe that my cousin could realy earning money parttime on there computar. . there neighbour has done this 4 only about nineteen months and resently took care of the morgage on their appartment and bourt a top of the range Alfa Romeo . more tips here……….

    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

  17. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that most of these organizations that “caved” in to mob demands at the expense of free speech and lively debate are precious progressives.

    And Hollywood, which pays Jennifer Laurence less than her mail costars and distributes racist emails amongst themselves, are all progressives and whiter than the snow.

    One of these days, something will click inside the minds of the liberal crowd, and they’ll realize that Wall Street, big banks, Hollywood, corporations, country clubs and rape shielding universities are generally ran by their crowd or people who vote democrat.

  18. A silly view, we can agree, given that slavery was a pretty clear-cut case of black victimhood and white supremacy

    Except it wasn’t clear-cut. And if it was about white supremacy and black victimhood, why were they all initially enslaved for sale by rival black tribes and Muslim slave traders?

    Actually, it WASN’T all like Roots.

  19. Sirius XM fired Anthony Cumia for offensive Tweets in July – and lost my business.

  20. Excellent article, though I would point out that banging on Sony exclusively is unfair, since all the major theater chains bailed on the picture before Sony acted. The really sad thing is that this list could be a hundred times longer than it is, thanks largely, though not exclusively, to the multitudinous “victims” on the left.

  21. my friend’s half-sister makes $83 /hr on the internet . She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $14066 just working on the internet for a few hours. go to this site…………
    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  22. my neighbor’s step-aunt makes $80 an hour on the internet . She has been laid off for five months but last month her payment was $12901 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    website here……..
    ???????? http://www.paygazette.com

  23. I can see what your saying… Rodney `s blog is good… on friday I bought a gorgeous Cadillac from having made $9899 this past 4 weeks and-more than, ten/k this past-munth . it’s actualy the most-comfortable job I have ever done . I began this 3 months ago and almost straight away was bringin in over $80, per/hr .
    check out here …http://www.Job-Reports.Com

  24. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.paygazette.com

  25. Honorable mention for Target Australia not selling GTAV because of a petition

  26. I Got Hooked On Having An Online Business Almost A Decade Ago When I Created An Online Course And Made My First.
    —–http://tinyurl.com/cashclick1

  27. I appreciate that you produced this wonderful article to help us get more knowledge about this topic.!@
    Love Relationship Problem Solution
    Husband Wife Dispute Relationship Problem Solution

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.