Arrogant Cencorship

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Bonnie, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    Arrogant censorship


    February 11, 2005


    An incident at Hudson High School in Massachusetts provides an object lesson in the occasional arrogance of liberal bias.

    A group of students decided to form a conservative club as "a counterweight" to the majority political viewpoint at the school. Student Chris Bowler put up posters to publicize the club's first meeting in December.

    Within hours, school administrators reportedly removed the posters because they contained a link to the Website of High School Conservative Clubs of America (HSCCA), a national organization for high school conservative clubs. HSCCA's Website included links to videos of beheadings by Iraqi insurgents, and the high school would not allow even an indirect reference to those links. It also blocked access to the HSCCA's Website on school computers.

    "The material was way beyond what I believe the school should be advertising," said Principal John Stapelfeld. What? Just because the school permits students to use its facilities to promote something doesn't mean the school itself is endorsing it. In fact, just because the local club listed the HSCCA's Web address doesn't mean it endorses everything HSCCA endorses.

    But for the sake of discussion, let's concede that the school's club was encouraging the viewing of those videos. What in the world is wrong with that, and what business was it of the principal's to censor the posters?

    Principal Stapelfeld insists his political bias didn't enter into his decision. According to the Boston Globe, he was initially "thrilled" about the idea of a conservative club that would spark political discussions.

    So, what's his beef with the video links? The Globe reports that he "said the brutal images implicitly condoned violence as a way of 'solving problems' and did not reflect 'mainstream conservatism'" -- as if this liberal were an authority on mainstream conservatism and as if it's fine to censor farther-right conservatism.

    When I first read this I did a double take, thinking I'd misunderstood. How can links to videos of beheadings of innocent people by terrorists -- unless shown by terrorists to potential recruits -- be construed as condoning violence, much less as a means of solving problems?

    It doesn't take a genius to understand that the HSCCA was linking to those horrendous videos to show how evil the terrorists are and how they use violence purely for the sake of violence and terror, without provocation and certainly not as a means of "solving problems."

    Let's give Stapelfeld the benefit of the doubt and assume he got himself confused on that one. Perhaps his other statements express his concerns more clearly. According to the Globe, he felt that showcasing these violent acts "did not address the more central problem of growing anti-Americanism abroad." "Unfortunately, said Stapelfeld, "we really haven't dealt with the fact that we're not well received in the world anywhere."

    In this revealing utterance, we have the principal's naked liberal mindset on full display. What he is really saying is that he -- like so many other liberals -- believes the Bush Administration has alienated the rest of the world because of its "unwarranted" military action against Iraq. And by promoting the viewing of these videos, his students would be engaging in offensive behavior that will further alienate other nations.

    But on what remotely legitimate basis would other nations have to be offended by American students encouraging Americans and other peoples to view videos the terrorists themselves produced and distributed, advertising their own violence? How could genuinely civilized human beings of other nations take issue with civilized Americans for reminding the world, via unedited terrorist-produced videos, of the abject depravity and brutality of the terrorists?

    Indeed, isn't it necessary for us to focus on their inhumanity from time to time to avoid becoming desensitized to it? Perhaps what really bothers the principal (and other liberals) deep down is that by showing the terrorists in their true element the videos demonstrate how utterly justified our cause in Iraq is -- a reality that liberals simply cannot abide. How dare we use the terrorists' own videos to turn people against them? I suppose that instead, we should be trying to negotiate with the sweethearts.

    In short, the principal is betraying his own transparent political prejudices. But what alarms me significantly more than his bias or even the high-handed censorship it produced is his arrogant obliviousness to it.

    This absence of individual and collective self-reflection is all too often the signature of today's liberal, who apparently believes his positions are so pure that his motives are beyond scrutiny.

    Memo to Principal Stapelfeld: Your wrongful removal of the posters is only exceeded by your refusal to own up to your reasons for doing it.


    www.townhall.com/columnists/davidlimbaugh/dl20050211.shtml
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    The attitudes of high school mass thinking have to be debated, no one side should control the thinking of our youth. This is one area I believe that diversity is everything. Here is the story of a young man that found a way to beat the system:

    http://hq.protestwarrior.com/?page=/featured/PHS/PHS.php
     
  3. nakedemperor
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    nakedemperor Senior Member

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    I'm confused. Is the opinion of the author that the high school was trying to protect the students from images of obscene violence, or that the school was merely using that excuse to censor advertisment of a conservative website?

    Because pesonally I believe the first premise is good and just.. my high school wouldn't allow images of alcholic beverages or firearms in middle school art projects, is that arrogant censorship as well?
     
  4. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    To be honest, yes it is emperor. When they ban images of alcohol and firearms in one breath then speak of abortions and condoms in the next, it seems alittle hypocritical to say that they are "protecting the kids".

    How is a students art, "obscene" imagery of guns and booze? Would they have deemed it oscene with Swords or axes or goblets of ale? Would they have deemed it "obscene" if it contained nudity?

    I think schools get alittle too hypocritical when it comes to censorship. It also all depends on the feelings of the principal towards the student alot as well. If the principal (or teacher) simply doesnt like a student or their opinions, then they will look for a way to shut them up.
     
  5. nakedemperor
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    nakedemperor Senior Member

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    Who said anything about abortion? And sex education that promotes use of condoms over abstinence-only precipitates a *smaller* number of instances of unprotected sex. Pragmatically speaking, promoting abstinence but using a condom *if* you have sex is neither contradictory of hypocrtical; anyone who thinks middle/high school students are going to be confused by "don't do this bad thing, but if you succumb to human nature like some of you are going to do no matter what we say, do it as safely as possible" isn't giving them enough credit. So either way, I think they're "protecting the kids". But again, what's this about abortion?

    I don't know. I guess you have to go on a case-by-case basis. If a student is using alcohol/firearms in a way that is legitimate art, and not just randomly putting in illicit images for the hell of it, then it should be allowed. The easiest solution is to just cut 'em all, and let's face it, I don't think high-art is going to suffer to much from a lack of absolut advertisement collages.

    Word.
     
  6. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Oddly enough, as I read the article, I found myself siding with the principal - until he started TALKING.

    The site provides an indirect link to videos of the beheadings. The principal says "no". OK - so far, no problem. These are gruesome, upsetting images, and if he doesn't want them viewed under the auspices of school activity, fine.

    He should have shut up right then.

    But, the first reason he gives is so transparently lame as to be laughable. People might see that as an appropriate way to solve problems? Come on - my dog wouldn't fall for that.

    But he goes on! And, the second reason he gives is obviously a bit closer to the truth of his heart. People around the world who - like him - loathe and despise America - might take offense.

    That's the bitch of it. He was within moral and temporal authority at the very start, but he just couldn't find the "off" button on his America-hating yap!
     
  7. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    Yes it's called selective cencorship........
     

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