Apologia for repression of speech

In the name of victimhood. A Carleton student tears down a “free speech” wall, in the name of holding people to account for the consequences of free speech, which is hurtful to the oppressed.

Arun Smith, the perpetrator, explains himself:

we rely on buzzwords like “free speech” to help us either ignore or perpetuate the gross suffering that our words and actions can cause.  We forget, often deliberately, that the damage we do to individuals in marginalized communities, and to those communities themselves, is inhumane and unjust, and that responding to it with more meaningless platitudes about inclusion and equity is doing nothing to fundamentally alter the status quo.  Given this, I consider this action both a moral imperative, and one entirely in line with the mandates of the positions that students on this campus have chosen for me to hold….

In organizing the “free speech wall,” the Students for Liberty have forgotten that liberty requires liberation, and this liberation is prevented by providing space for either more platitudes, or for the expression of hate.  Further, to organize for this “wall” to be erected during our Pride Week, where our communities are supposed to be able to seek liberation and celebrate our diversity, is offensive, ill-considered, and dangerous.

…there can be no safe(r) spaces where there is potential for triggering, the invalidation or questioning of the identities of others, and/or the expression of hatred.

When one has little to no institutional support, and where those who are supposed to protect abrogate or abdicate their responsibilities, there is little recourse beyond acts of resistance.

Remorselessly, and with the utmost sincerity,

Arun Smith
HBA Human Rights and Political Science: International Relations, minor in Sexuality Studies; expected 2013

Challenge Homophobia and Transphobia Campaign Coordinator – Carleton University
Human Rights Representative – Carleton Academic Student Government

As I said in The Enemies of Discourse,

  • the claims being made here are based on victmhood;
  • which victimhood generates rights to deeds not available to those defending privilege (absence of victimhood), such as violence against the expressions of others;
  • that hate is the only conceivable motivation of those who disagree, rather than disagreement about the nature of the rights in dispute,
  • which rights are held indisputable; in consequence of which
  • it is impermissible to question any assertions by any person of the self-proclaimed sexual identities, which is the basis of their “victimhood”, or claims of privilege.

The reasoning is circular and rests on the assertion of privilege in the form of victimhood. Once victimhood is asserted, then any action which threatens, or seems to dsipute the assertion of victim status, is ipso facto, illegitimate and may be met by “resistance”.

The two most closely fitting descriptions of “post-modern” discourse I mentioned were:

• lacking “means by which to negotiate or accommodate such intractable differences within its mode of conversation,” it will “typically resort to the most fiercely antagonistic, demonizing, and personal attacks upon the opposition”;
• “will typically try, not to answer opponents with better arguments, but to silence them completely as ‘hateful’, ‘intolerant’, ‘bigoted’, ‘misogynistic’, ‘homophobic’, etc.”;

The greatest presumption of Mr. Arun Smith, the fascist creep, are  his claims to immunity from disagreement. He seems not to be aware that politics is possible at all, that the civil handling of disagreement is the business of life, and especially of universities. He should be expelled for failure to understand this is what university life is about.

I notice, by the way, that “resistance” is the term used both by Islamists and special pleaders like Arun Smith to legitimize acts of aggression.


More on this precious example of an oppressor masking as a victim, and here, here and here. Satire of Arun smith has already been investigated as a “hate crime”. His future in Canadian politics is secure.


A good analysis from David Thompson of the same Arun Smith and his entitlement through victimhood.