November 15, 2002
PC DOUBLE STANDARDS: Reader Mark Shawhan writes:
I wanted to take issue with your recent post on what you see as a double standard for left and right (the one made on 11/15). Essentially, I'm wondering where the evidence is for your agreement with James Lileks that "Yes, every opinion is valid - but as a famous pig once remarked, some are more valid than others." So far, your discussion of the matter has cited Mr. Lileks' post on the subject, the fracas at UT over the hate speech code there, and Martha Burk's "modest proposal," and I fail to see how any of these items support your claim of a double standard.
Here's how I see it: My point in pointing to Burks was that a non-lefty white male who wrote something similar, but aimed at women, wouldn't be allowed the defense of "spoof." Lilek's point was that a non-lefty white male who painted something similar, but aimed at black people, wouldn't be allowed the defense of subjectivity. And the Kappa Sigma blackface incident seems to me to be proof of both.
Separately, Kevin Drum of the usually excellent CalPundit blog emails that he's surprised I haven't censured Kathryn Jean Lopez for "deliberately falsifying" Burk's piece. I didn't take from Lopez's posts that she had done that. Looking at Drum's blog, I find a post that seems to call me a liar. I don't see why. (And I don't think I ever got the email he says he sent, though I get so many I wouldn't swear to that). But in my post on the subject, I added a link to the text of what Burk wrote, and to a CNN transcript saying it was a spoof, as soon as I got them. You can read the post here, and see if you think Drum's characterization is justified.
But, as I thought was abundantly clear, my point was that if, say, Hootie Johnson wrote a piece calling for all women to be equipped with Norplant, to be removed only with the consent of their "designated partners" nobody would be bending over backwards to cut him slack because it was a spoof. How hard is this point to understand?
Too hard for some people, apparently. As I say below, a lot of people on the left are so thoroughly blind to the double standard that they can't believe people who point it out aren't somehow, pulling a fast one. All I can say is, get real, guys. You're only fooling yourselves. And the hysterical response that appears every time someone points out the hypocrisy of the left on these matters seems to suggest that you're having trouble even with that.