This is what I have to say about the Harper’s thing.
There is no line. Just that whatever you say, you will be understood as the sort of person that says that, and people might at some point say what they think about you. If you can live with that, you can say anything.

That’s *more* speech, not less.
If you want to expound bigotry against oh let’s say trans people, you can do that, and then, if people explain why what you said hurts and endangers trans people, but you still want to say it all over again, you can.

You don’t get to choose what people think about that, though.
What you don’t get is to say things without the consequence of people understanding you to be the sort of person who says the sort of thing you just said.
Most people have never known what it’s like to speak without concern of consequence.

If speaking without concern for consequence used to be the case for you, that was an era when those people were afraid to speak.

It was an era with *less* free speech, not more.
Perhaps this is increasingly an era where, if you say something hurtful, you can be confident you’ll hear about it. Which gives you the chance to become a less hurtful person. If hurt wasn’t your intent, that is.

Which strikes me as being, I don’t know, kind of better?
This would also mean an era where, if you intend to say something insightful or kind or true, and you don’t hear criticism, it’s much more likely that what you said IS insightful or kind or true, because you know lack of critique does not mean fear to speak up.

Also better. Yes?
To be even more fair: for most marginalized people, getting fired for what you say or even just who you are is nothing new, and only one of many dangers.

What is new is that now sometimes—very rarely—people might get fired for marginalizing others.
The idea that you shouldn't get fired for what you say isn't something people actually believe.

People should get fired for saying some things.

Example: you should get fired for suggesting your employee sexually pleasure you.

That didn't used to be the belief.

It changed.
And you shouldn't be fired for complaining about improper advances. That also didn't used to be the belief (and we know that in many halls of power and executive boardrooms, it still isn't the belief).

What changed is the idea of what is acceptable.

It changed for the better.
I imagine when that belief changed, sexually abusive bosses may have felt that for the first time the workplace was perilous; that "suddenly you have to be so careful of what you say."

But for women, the idea of having to take care would not have been a new idea.
But I do wonder if what's being argued in places like Harpers is actually about losing jobs.

ARE people losing jobs "just for expressing their views" about (say) trans people? How often?

Trans people had to defend their right to exist before the Supreme Court. Last week.
ARE people losing jobs "just for expressing their views" about issues of race? How often? Is *that* the problem?

Black people are in the street right now protesting just to not be occupied and hunted by a militarized police force.

Anyone can see who wants to where power lies.
What usually happens if somebody says something harmful is: bigots praise them and the targets of that harm criticize them and the vast majority of everybody else says nothing.

Saying nothing effectively joins with the bigotry.

Bigots do prefer that.
What's changed I think is this:

Some of that vast majority is now joining with the targets of harm, which amplifies their voice, which makes those voices audible for the first time to many, particularly to those who wish not to hear.

That's new. But it strikes me as better.
And yes, of course we should not answer contempt with contempt, if we are privileged enough and powerful enough to have options when it comes to reply.

Let me suggest that it's only for certain previously-comfortable people in our culture that contempt is a new experience.
Perhaps for Breonna Taylor, contempt would have been no stranger.

Perhaps Harvey Milk would have recognized it.

Maybe Brandon Teena experienced it.

Perhaps contempt would have been familiar to Emmett Till.

They can't comment.

And what is the *real* "cancel culture," anyway?
Treating contempt as some new development is a telling choice, I think.

As is letting the world know that you've just begun feeling pressure to take care with your words, and you don't much like it.

I'm sure I could go on and on but let's just say

You can follow @JuliusGoat.
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