Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Cognitive Dissonance, It Burns

Freddie deBoer, opening:
First is the now-ubiquitous claim that trigger warnings are only warnings, and that they have no connection whatsoever to an actual censorship impulse. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been told, with absolute confidence, that “no one is talking about actually regulating content!” Which just is not true.
I don’t think political correctness is ruining campus, no matter how often I am accused of thinking that. In fact I don’t even like the term “political correctness” at all. I don’t think trigger warnings threaten the fabric of our education system. I do think that there are some legitimate problems with them and their use, and more, with the way that people who advocate for them go about arguing in their favor.
Look, you can't simultaneously argue that trigger warnings do, in fact, aim to regulate content while simultaneously ignoring the reality that imposes on campus life, and how they are antithetical to the university's supposed role in society. If they are part or descendant of a larger political correctness rubric, that's fine; but pretending they don't originate from a censorious, narcissistic impulse is delusional, as is pretending they aren't corrosive to free inquiry and public debate.

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