Tuesday, April 10, 2007

King Tolerance Abdicates

It's a tautology to say that people who have different points of view will disagree. Diverse points of view will probably lead to diverse disagreements. It is impossible to have diversity without strife. But when do those disagreements become offensive?

The Tolerance Police are now explaining, in the name of sensitivity, that some points of view are inexpressible. It used to be said that only Intolerance could not be tolerated, which was ironic enough; unsatisfied with that, the tolerators have now come to say that they need not tolerate what they find offensive. King Tolerance, it seems, has abdicated his throne.

Don Imus is a shock jock. He makes his living by saying outrageous things to people who love being shocked by the outrageous things he says. The trouble with shock is that it wears off; eventually the shocking becomes merely unsettling, then conventional. When Imus says (via Newsbusters, their emphasis)

I used to think that all of these things that the administration did were either because of the war criminal Vice-President and that psychopath who was over at the Pentagon, because of them, or because of stupidity. But I really believe, in my heart, that it's arrogance, and maliciousness and mean-spiritedness.
That kind of thing used to be shocking, became merely unsettling, and now serves only to make liberals to bobble their heads in BDS-infected agreement.

Yet Imus's use of racial slurs (which I will not repeat) to talk about a women's basketball team has caused the Reverend Jackson (playing the part of Salome in this metaphor) to call for his head on a platter.

Shock jocks shock. It's their thing. Ignore them, and they'll go away. Above all, don't mention them by name. (Oops.)

But as long as we celebrate diversity, we will be stuck with people who make fun of differences. If you want diversity, and want toleration of your diverse point of view, you'll have to tolerate the ugly, diverse points of view of others.

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