Should we shame bigoted protestors and get them fired?

Well, after Donald Trump reluctantly called out white supremacists and neo-Nazis the other day, he took it all back last night with an astounding press conference in which he blamed “both sides for the violence” (well, that’s sort of true, even though only one side was responsible for the murder), but also refused again to condemn the bigots, saying there is “blame on both sides” and “very fine people on both sides.” Well, what does he mean by “blame”? And are any of the white supremacists and neo-Nazis, as well as those who marched with them “very fine people”? What does that mean? I’m on much firmer ground asserting that the very fine people were much more on one side than the other.

Responding to a reporter’s question, Trump also refused to say whether he put the “alt-left” (whatever that is) and the “neo-Nazis” on the same moral plane, noting, as Time Magazine reported:

“I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane. You had one group on one side, and you had a group on the other side,” Trump said. He added that liberal counter-protesters “came violently attacking the other group.”

It’s a sad day when the President, who can rightfully call out both sides for participating in the violence, still can’t force himself to make a strong statement against bigotry and racism (to be fair, he did mention his condemnation of neo-Nazis, though, as always, seemingly unwillingly). Stephen Colbert’s 12½-minute monologue last night was on point, almost as good as the news rants Jon Stewart used to deliver:

Two more points before I get to the question in the title. As I said yesterday, I am disappointed with how many readers decided that the courts’ interpretation of the First Amendment was too strong, and that we should ban the assembly of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, as well as their banners and flags. (This is considered free speech in the U.S..)  One old acquaintance commented on Facebook about yesterday’s piece on this site arguing that neo-Nazis, white supremacists, anti-Semites, and other bigots should be able to express their view in public:

I disagree with Jerry Coyne. “Speech” takes many forms beyond words. Brandishing a Nazi or Confederate flag is action that talks, and the subject of that speech is hatred and suppression. Thus, it harms others. Our right to free speech ends at the point where it harms others.

The response here is obvious: all passionate political speech can be said to “harm others”. Criticism of Muslims, including Jesus and Mo cartoons, not only enrages many Muslims by denigrating their faith, but, some claim, harms Muslims by instigating Islamophobia and violence towards Muslims. Is there any difference between that argument and the “ban-the-Nazi-flag-and-speech” argument? If not, should we ban such criticism of Islam, or of Muslim behavior? What is the difference between Nazi speech and anti-Semitic speech that calls for the destruction and dissolution of Israel—something many Regressive Leftists not only tolerate, but approve at the same time they criticize anti-Semitism? Could that not be seen as harming Jews?

The point, of course, is not that the alt-right speech and presence in Charlottesville was valuable speech, but that it was protected speech, and protected for the very reason that nobody should arrogate to themselves the right to decide which speech “harms others”. That is John Stuart Mill’s point in the magnificent On Liberty (where he explicitly deals with odious and hateful speech), and it is the American courts’ interpretation of the First Amendment, which has been honed in a consistent way over several centuries.

Finally, I want to again decry violence by the Left. Some people see the violence by the Bigots—the attacks on demonstrators—as much less excusable than violence committed by progressives like Antifa (actually, they’re anarchists). Leftists even denied that some marchers came to Charlottesville looking for trouble, a claim that is now insupportable in view of the evidence of weapons-carrying Leftists. Violence by the Left is not excusable. If you think you’ll need a weapon to attack demonstrators, you’re not a progressive. If you think you’ll need it in self-defense, either stay home, flee, or take your beating. To me, the moral high ground of the Left historically relies on peaceful protest and civil disobedience (“civil” is the operant word here). Let the Right commit violence if they want, for it will never help them. In the end, violence always hurts the cause that promulgates it.

The issue of Leftist violence is the subject of a new Atlantic piece by Peter Beinart,”The rise of the violent left“, and I’ll give just the last three paragraphs (my emphasis):

Antifa believes it is pursuing the opposite of authoritarianism. Many of its activists oppose the very notion of a centralized state. But in the name of protecting the vulnerable, antifascists have granted themselves the authority to decide which Americans may publicly assemble and which may not. That authority rests on no democratic foundation. Unlike the politicians they revile, the men and women of antifa cannot be voted out of office. Generally, they don’t even disclose their names.

Antifa’s perceived legitimacy is inversely correlated with the government’s. Which is why, in the Trump era, the movement is growing like never before. As the president derides and subverts liberal-democratic norms, progressives face a choice. They can recommit to the rules of fair play, and try to limit the president’s corrosive effect, though they will often fail. Or they can, in revulsion or fear or righteous rage, try to deny racists and Trump supporters their political rights. From Middlebury to Berkeley to Portland, the latter approach is on the rise, especially among young people.

Revulsion, fear, and rage are understandable. But one thing is clear. The people preventing Republicans from safely assembling on the streets of Portland [antifa and their acolytes shut down a pro-Trump Republican parade in Portland, Oregon] may consider themselves fierce opponents of the authoritarianism growing on the American right. In truth, however, they are its unlikeliest allies.

But I’ve digressed.  Today’s topic is a question that I’m pondering and have some tentative thoughts about. It is this: should we “out” white supremacists, bigots, and neo-Nazis like those who assembled in Charlottesville? And should we report them to schools or employers to try to get them expelled or fired? These questions became mainstream (with the universal answer of “yes”) in response to a Facebook post made by actor Jennifer Lawerence (click screenshot to go to her page):

 

 

There are actually three questions at issue here, and I give my tentative thoughts under each.

1.) Should such people be outed? That is, should Leftists publicize their names? My answer is, “It’s not illegal, but I wouldn’t do it.” This is a public assembly, and anyone showing their face in public can be publicly identified (there are exceptions, I think, as with the children of movie stars and other celebrities who could be harmed or kidnapped with public naming and display).

But if you agree to this, you should also agree that conservatives should be able to name those participating in progressive rallies, Jews should be able to identify those participating in BDS or anti-Zionist rallies, and anyone should try to identify those who participate in Antifa rallies, since they’re anarchists bent on committing violence. Identifying antifas is harder since they actually cover their faces so they can’t be identified when rioting and beating up people. Imagine the outcry that would ensue if the bigots in Charlottesville covered their faces, as the KKK used to!

As I said, I wouldn’t participate in this exercise, as I’m more interested in fighting the ideas than punishing those who hold them, and I think there’s a vindictiveness in “outing” people that’s a bit unseemly. But there’s nothing unethical about it, and I wouldn’t criticize those who do it—so long as they don’t try to go further (see below).

2.) Does an employer have a right to fire a white supremacist? In general, the answer is “yes”. As the new Atlantic piece “Is being a white supremacist grounds for firing?” reports:

In many cases, firing someone for their political ideas raises few legal issues. Though public-sector workers can’t be terminated for their political views, and many union contracts require that an employer demonstrate “just cause” for firing someone, federal law doesn’t offer any protections for expressing political views or participating in political activities for those who work in the private sector and don’t have a contract stating otherwise, according to Katherine Stone, a law professor at UCLA who focuses on labor law. (There are a few caveats for those in states or municipalities with laws that go beyond the federal mandate.) But more to the point, Stone says, it’s not at all uncommon—or illegal—for private-sector workers to get fired for what they do in their free time if it reflects poorly on their employer. In cases such as this, an employer in the private sector simply isn’t required to employ someone who exercises their right to free speech, Stone says.

The article also notes, however, that historically this kind of firing, as with accused Communists during the McCarthy era, has been associated more with “racial justice” than with racist bigotry. I think firing is a punishment that has to be carefully considered, though, especially if an employee doesn’t express or enact their opinions on the job.

3.) Should we find the employers or universities of bigots and white supremacists and inform them who they’re harboring? Again, this is perfectly legal, but it’s not something I would do myself. It smacks of Schadenfreude, and could be used, say, to report closeted gay employees to Christian employers, or BDS members to Jewish employers. Granted, this is a form of social engineering, but I’m not sure how useful it is. Would getting a neo-Nazi fired who worked, say, in a hardware store accomplish anything? Would it be a deterrent to people to refrain from such bigotry, or would it embitter the person who was fired and harden their views, making them into martyrs? I am wary of ruining somebody’s livelihood because of their political views, repugnant as I may find them, but I am constantly pondering this issue. And remember, someone can be hounded from job to job, so they are never able to make a living. That’s a form of mob justice that I don’t want to be part of. As a determinist, I don’t feel that these people chose to be bigots over the more palatable alternative, but instead were victims of their genes and circumstances. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be called out or even punished, but to me it mandates a bit of empathy and an attempt to understand them.

But to each their own. What do you think about the third (and the second) question? Do remember that some people can actually change their minds through discussion, but are unlikely to do so if they’re simply fired.

 

249 Comments

  1. Griff
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    No.

  2. J.Baldwin
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I’ll go a step further. The 1st Amendment secures the right against state interference in thought and expression. We are told ad nauseam that We The People are the state; therefore, private individuals (or groups of private individuals) should be similarly constrained from denying/preventing the exercise by others of those rights.

  3. Phil Rounds
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Should we “blame” bigoted protesters?
    Yes. If you’re a bigot, you should be expected to stand by your convictions and be judged by them.

    Should we “get them fired”?
    Well, that’s up to their employers, isn’t it?
    If you want to be associated with a gun- toting nazi racist, i suppose that’s your call. If not, that’s your prerogative too. I can tell you that i will personally boycott any individual, business or company that i find out supports these people.
    …and it’s my right to do so.
    So, let them decide how they want to react to the picture of their employee (or owner) Jimmybob and his nazi flag and assault rifle.

    • J.Baldwin
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      The bigots would agree with you, I think. They’d only add a demand to have the same right to associate with people they agree with, so fire all progressives, they might say. What’s the difference?

      • Mark R.
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        I think there is a big difference between firing someone because they are hateful and firing someone because they are not hateful.

        • Curtis
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          Progressives hate conservatives. Conservatives hate progressives. Libertarian hate both.

          Fire ’em all and let god decide.

        • Adam M.
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Leftists hate rightists, Jews, and others. When leftists physically attack them or riot simply because they’re scheduled to appear, what can you call it but hate? In fact, they hate people who probably don’t hate back. Does Charles Murray hate people? That would have to be proven.

          • Mark R.
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

            What does Murray have do with this?

            If you think antifa is “leftist” fine, but they can’t be lumped in with progressives; they’re anarchists.

            Either way, my point is this: read “someone that is hateful” as – Nazi (or a version thereof); read “someone that is not hateful” as – a progressive (non-violent liberal).

            • Adam M.
              Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

              What Murray has to do with it is that he was scheduled to give a talk at a university – a talk that had nothing to do with his controversial decades-old book, by the way – and a mob rioted and physically attacked him and the woman who was to be the moderator, causing her to suffer a neck injury.

              They objected to his mere presence, not anything he said. I’m not sure he was even able to give the talk.

              What can motivate such a response but hatred? It’s a common trope that the right wing is full of hate and the left wing is not. But the left wing is also full of hate. How many hate Trump and Trump supporters? So if we should fire people for “hate” then we should be firing a lot of people on both sides.

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

              There were many more on the left calling for the punching of Nazis or applauding when it was done, than just anarchists.

              The violence permeates the left.

              • Mark R.
                Posted August 16, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

                OH really? You have the stats on that? How about the reality, not your made up stats. I’ll even give you this: “There were many more on the left calling for the punching of Nazis or applauding when it was done, than just anarchists.” You say “the violence permeates the left”, but a white supremacist murdered one and injured (some critically) 18 more. Quit it with your false equivalencies; it’s sickening and stupid.

          • Adam M.
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            Also, they would surely like Murray fired if they could, presumably for his hate.

        • Michiel
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:36 am | Permalink

          Because “progressives” are completely free of hatred of course.

  4. Kevin
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    An employer shouldn’t fire someone because of what they do in their free time, but it is their right to fire them. It should be the right of any employer to fire anyone for any reason. A racist or sexist organization is unlikely to sustain economic success with prejudicial hiring practices.

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I once worked at a company where it was a firing offense to wear a certain brand of shoes (Hush Puppies).

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        “An employer shouldn’t fire someone because of what they do in their free time…” Maybe not, but companies routinely *don’t hire* someone after looking at their facebook page- and not just for political affiliation, either.

        Which is why school guidance counselors warn students that anything they post on facebook is indeed public, and can be seen by prospective employers.

        • Filippo
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Could a company decline to hire, or be more inclined to fire, someone for not having a Facebook page? Or for refusing to answer a questionnaire, some questions of which address the employee’s political/philosophical/religious views?

          Seems that so refusing makes it more inconvenient/difficult for the company to conduct a fishing expedition to “figure out” an employee or prospective employee.

          Beyond that, in principle, why should it be any more acceptable to be subject (to be a servant, to be in a state of serfdom) to the whims of a private corporate tyrant than to those of government?

    • nicky
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      “It should be the right for any employer to fire someone for any reason”. I respectfully disagree with that, not for any reason, especially if it does not interfere with the job itself.
      Arachnophobia? Love of Brussels sprouts? A pimple on the back of the neck? A bosom, ‘big boobs’ that are not as ‘forward’ anymore as they used to be? Closet (or otherwise) atheism? Liking cats? I’m sure you do not literally mean any reason, do you?

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately iy seems a lot of people think that employers have that right.

        I don’t get why people who are so happy to destroy someones livleyhood without good reason.

        • Kevin
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          I am definitely not happy about the idea that any employer could fire someone for anything, but it could be beneficial.

          Lowering the risk of workplace violence or sexual harassment are two areas. One, it’s hard to prove the guy in the next cubicle is going to hack everyone come next Monday. And if he’s done nothing wrong, but cause suspicion, I would want to be able to say, “We are letting you go, sorry.” (with police near by).

          Also, I’ve seen way too many men not get fired because there is no sufficient evidence for sexual harassment. I don’t know how to solve that problem, but allowing employers the flexibility to fire when needed could make these cases easier to extinguish.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Most other countries in the developed world have (along with their notorious laws about ‘hate speech’) *far* more restrictive laws on who can be fired and for what reason. Employers just cannot fire anybody at all for any reason without going through a due process. If they do, the employee has a right of action and may be required to be reinstated and/or paid compensation.

          In general, I don’t think expressing a political opinion – so long as it wasn’t on company time and the employee didn’t publicly associate themselves with the company – would not be accepted as grounds for firing them.

          cr

  5. biz
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I think it would be great if both sides would stop feeding directly into the paranoid fantasies of the other side.

    The idea that after all of the statues of Confederate generals were taken down the founding fathers would be next was a ridiculous right wing fantasy… until wouldn’t you know it a bunch of leftists started saying exactly that. Even Dr. Seuss should now be memory-holed because The Cat In The Hat is racist, according to the latest Atlantic editorial.

    It used to be that according to the Left wing fantasy land everyone to the right of Jim Huntsman was ‘literally Hitler,’ but then wouldn’t you know it people actually LARPing as Nazis were welcomed to a “Unite the Right” rally.

    If both sides would just curtail some of their most stereotypical stupidity it would go a long way toward restoring some sanity. So, all of that setup was my way of getting to the position that while it may be legal for corporations to fire someone for having right wing views, they shouldn’t do it. It will cause more extremism.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, well, screw the false equivalency noise. If you took every regressive leftists in the country, gerrymandered them into a single House district, you still could’t muster enough votes to elect a single congressperson. The alt-right, on the other hand, has an active fifth column — Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka, and the Mike Flynn holdovers on the National Security Council — in the west wing of the White House (as well as a president who defends them in public). So the dangers they pose are in no way comparable.

      • darrelle
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget Mrs. Gorka.

      • Kurt Lewis Helf
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        +1
        False equivalency is a mug’s game.

      • Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink

        You mean CA-12?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          Former speaker Pelosi is hardly a regressive leftist. Her ADA rating is a mere 80%. She may be a bogeywoman to the Far Right, but her political views are well within the political mainstream.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          Former speaker Pelosi is hardly a regressive leftist. Her ADA rating is a mere 80%. She may be a bogeywoman to the Far Right, but her political views are well within the political mainstream.

          • Posted August 18, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            No, Pelosi is barely left of center, a power-monger, and a corporatist shill. Yet she is still the darling of the Left. I said SF was filled with regressive leftists; I never said they were smart.

    • Filippo
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      I’m thinking that for every statue erected in honor of every alleged Confederate notable, a taller statue of a slave should be erected immediately adjacent.

  6. Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    For a year or so now the ctrl-Left have been explicitly advocating “punch a Nazi” and have been congratulating themselves on their willingness to use violence against the “alt-right”.

    Then, after Charlottesville, they are claiming that Antifa and the ctrl-Left are entirely peaceful and that no way would their side be responsible for any violence.

    By the way, under UK law, you could not sack someone for participating in an alt-Right rally (at least not unless they were in certain sensitive professions such as the police). But then the UK generally has much stronger worker protection than the US.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      companies sacking people for their beliefs or political opinions is symptomatic of where we might possibly be heading. Nationalism appears to be becoming a kind of anachronistic subordinate to corporate globalism.

      I’ve had this kind of silent opinion this kind of nagging thought in the back of my head that current governments are just unable to effectively govern this year massive Number of people. It may well be that ethics and effective government Tallardy of an aggregate social might occur through corporations rather than through nationalities that are supposed to reflect some sort of common ethics.

      Maybe it’s kind a like the queen of England and Parliament. I don’t really know I don’t live in the UK and I’m not much up on politics; does the queen and the monarchy really have any effective role in government in the UK? It’s serve some sort of purpose I think. Maybe it’s kind of just the idea of a common ethics but the actual ethics are determined by parliament. Maybe nationalism is just kind of a sort of traditional religious kind of believe of commonality and a common ethics where The corporation might be is the actual effective regulator of ethical norms

      • Tom
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        The Queen has limited, though real authority in theory but not in practise.
        A ratty Parliament would quickly try to deprive her of any remaining legal authority if push came to shove.
        However, as in the case of Spain when King Carlos stood up to an army takeover, most people in the UK would probably be more supportive of the Royal Family than a useless or demented Government.
        So unless anybody has a better idea we will remain a constitutional Monarchy (although we don’t actually have a written constitution)

        • Posted August 17, 2017 at 1:01 am | Permalink

          True or not, I was taught long ago in an English history course that monarchs lost certain prerogatives to parliament by not using them. Therefore, through the centuries, more and more power that once belonged to the monarchs was controlled by parliament.

          I also was taught that, although there is no written constitution, historical precedents
          determine the laws. I’m in the U.S. I’d appreciate any English citizen verifying or correcting this.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:12 am | Permalink

            I think that’s not too far off correct.

            There are still a number of rights that are determined by ‘common law’ that exist unless or until Parliament makes some law expressly changing them.

            Additionally – and this applies in the US too, as in any country with a complex set of laws – legal precedent and ‘case law’ play a significant part in how laws are interpreted.

            There’s an article here for example:

            https://www.bl.uk/magna-carta/articles/britains-unwritten-constitution

            that elaborates on that.

            What surprises me is that NZ (where I live) and Israel are mentioned as the only two other countries mentioned as having this system.

            Incidentally, the Queen as head of state could theoretically veto any act of the New Zealand parliament – not that she is ever likely to. Very few New Zealanders realise that, I certainly didn’t.

            cr

      • Steve Pollard
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Tom (above) is more or less right; but if it came to a showdown between Parliament and a would-be activist monarch (as Big-Ears might well try to be), then Parliament would prevail and (I hope!) would have public support.

        Regarding political activism, it may be worth noting that in the UK all Civil Servants above the most junior grades are required to be politically neutral. In practice this means that they are not allowed to work actively for any political party, even mainstream ones. Active participation in far-right or far-left organisations would usually be a sacking matter even for junior employees.

        That said, I would not be in favour of outing
        peaceful demonstrators of any persuasion. If their conditions of employment don’t require them not to engage in such activities in their own time, what right do third parties have to try to constrain such activities?

        • Craw
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          Parliament will always prevail in the long, or even medium, run. But in extremis the monarch could check the *sitting* parliament and a rogue PM. This could , again only in an extreme case, could stop a renegade government.

      • Filippo
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        The New York Times is refulgent with the term “nationalism” in its reporting. It hardly ever mentions “patriotism.” At the same time, surely the Times believes that the U.S. has (corporate financial) “interests” to be “preserved, protected, and defended”? Are the two terms perfectly synonymous? Perhaps one can test the Times’s abhorrence of “nationalism” by doing away with the U.S. military.

        • Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          Lol. For sure .
          Yet. It is not inconceivable that in the future corporations have their own militaries.

          Lyotard suggests (1981 – a long time ago). that our moment (the post modern moment) is characterized by a lack of cohesive principle, a unifying discourse, a metanarrative he calls it. It is not difficult to call such a unifying narrative ‘ethics’. It is not too difficult to see corporate involvement in local-global exchange might be modern sites of such cohesiveness, over what could be the ‘fracturing’ national discourse.

          One could even go so far as to say that, if this is the case, then what is national becomes more like a ‘hope’, a kind of faith in such unitive discourse. And then we might have another way to look at the history of empires, and the developments of theocracies. In our time, even as our Postmodern discourse apologizes or justices itself as ‘not religious’, the effective activity might be very similar, but under different terms (a rose by any other name).

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to a strong union presence over the years.
      Like Austarlia.

      Although we have had the right wing dilute that power over thears too.

      But America, while having had some great unions, have been nore effectively propoganised to fear any labour organisation as commies, to be feared.

      Amoung other things

  7. Bethlenfalvy
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    “I feel that these person have not chosen to be bigots […] but were victims of their genes and circumstances.”

    How can your genes determine your political views / affiliation? Please explain.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      I think that statement is a reference to Jerry’s, Sam Harris, and others views (and research) about free will.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Twin studies show that political opinion is one thing that genetic inheritance has a big influence on.

      (Of course environment and culture are also influential.)

      If your question is “how” do genes do this, the answer is by influencing the recipe that leads to the development of our brains.

      • Bethlenfalvy
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        The concept might be appealing to American biologists (who grew up in a mainly bipartisan system).

        Against the background of multipolar political systems as we have them in Europe the connection/causation between genes and political affiliation seems rather implausible to me (unless, perhaps, you generalize in very broad terms).

        I don’t believe in the existence of born Christian Democrats, Liberals, Socialists, Communists, Nationalists, Regionalists/Separatists and Ecologists.

        • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          It’s not that particular political parties are encoded into the genes, but the attitudes underlying them are heavily influenced by genes. Recall the “political compass” websites that locates you on two political axes? Location on that is genetically influenced.

          • Bethlenfalvy
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            Still doubtful. – Voting advice applications I have tried so far were more fun than helpful.

    • Kevin
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      You should read Sapolsky’s recent book:

      Behave

      We are fully determined by culture, genes, biology, development of our cortex to age 25, and even what our ancestors did 50 generations ago.

      • Kevin
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        I did not know that would embed. Apologies.

        • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          I feel your pain. Can anyone tell me what it is about a URL that causes some to embed and some not? I mean, usually I can post a link here without it embedding. But sometimes (like below) I am surprised and I don’t now know what I did wrong.

          • Craw
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            It’s the wordpress software. It follows such links and displays the image. To avert this put something on the URL string. Square brakets work and are easy to figure out [thus] is it done.

          • Gregory Kusnick
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

            If you want to be sure, code your links explicitly using HTML a tags as shown in Rool 16.

            This is more courteous to other readers than deliberately posting broken or obfuscated links in an attempt to fool WordPress.

            • Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

              Rool 16! Thanks! I have read Da Roolz but forgot about this one.

          • Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

            It’s down to wordpress — an otherwise extremely good (I find) platform. I have a wp blog, and if you just cut and paste a link to You tube into the body of an article it will just come up as text, but if someone posts it in the comments, it embeds automatically.

            Use this for comments —

            text

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Jerry that genes can determine the way someone’s brain functions and thus affect a political stance. But like religion, I believe the leading factor in determining one’s political views is nurture, not nature.

      Obviously, I have no proof of this.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      To my limited understanding, an individual’s array of genes may, or to some extent push you toward more conservative behaviours or conversely more liberal behaviours.
      Genes do not prescribe a political party, that would be a laugh (or not) but your innate nature as such can give you a bias toward one or the other type of behaviour.

      If you have say two children, one could be outgoing the other more circumspect, one brash, rebellious, the other compliant, co operative. Which of those two do you think would be more conservative in nature?
      BUT, it is not set in concrete your external environment, parents, peers, colleagues locale on the planet will and does have a big effect, not to mention, puberty, that chemical cocktail.
      In some environments being different (true to yourself say)could be injurious to your health. The restraint of an unknown, being alone, etc stifles any inquiry or freedom. A conservative nature could hold you back.
      On the other hand, going with the pack brings rewards, friendship, well being and for an ultra conservative, yes, even for a white supremacists, bigot. Ironically, the ideology in a limited sense frees oneself and ‘off’ you go.

      “Happiness is a warm gun” Oh yeah! J Lennon

      This is why (to me)and in line with Prof(E), freedom of speech is paramount regardless of what you think of free will, influence of genetic makeup and environment.
      But it would be wise not trust what i think or anyone else, we maybe just a warm gun.
      As always I’m late to this thread.

  8. ursula goodenough
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    At a march I participated in to protest the impending invasion of Iraq, the anarchists were there in full force, shouting down our chants and creating chaos (although not violence) whenever possible. Calling them alt-left is a category error.

  9. A. Lemus Santoyo
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    There are people who feel it is acceptable, even preferable, to post a political opponent’s personal information across social media. This, of course, carries the tacit idea that other who share the poster’s dislike for the political opponent’s ideas will do something–notify her employer or school, protest in front of her residence/work-place/office, or possibly physically or verbally assault her. This course of action I find deplorable. In the same light, I do not agree nor condone people who espouse 1 or 3 in any case. There laws that make assure the public that certain individuals divulge important information concerning their past–e.g., sex offenders. However, if somebody who espouses certain political ideas (even those as repulsive as Neo-Nazism)but able to work productively, and conflict free, with and alongside others than there should be no problem with that. This outing tactic reeks of a family resemblance to the cold war era black balling of alleged and real communists and their sympathizers.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

      cr

    • Posted September 23, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      + 1. I do not want to fear that protesting could cost me my job.

  10. Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    If I had an employee who paraded around in public with a Nazi flag, I would fire him or her if for no other reason than it would hurt my business (unless I was deep in Trump country. 😀)

    But what if I had a good employee who kept his Nazi views strictly to himself and I found out about them by accident? Then, I don’t know. I’d be tempted to.

  11. Randy Bessinger
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I agree with Jerry’s post. I personally would not publicly out somebody for being part of such an assembly. However, I can’t say I woukdn’t point them out to certain family and friends.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Perhaps that comes under the heading pf publicly outing…?

  12. Griff
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Brett Weinstein is a bigot. Apparently. He should be shamed and lose his job

    • yazikus
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Not sure how this is germane, but Bret (with one T) is still employed, and is planning on suing his employer.

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        “Not sure how this is germane”

        I assume his point is that if you support firing white supremacists then you are supporting Bret Weinstein being fired because apparently some have accused him of being one.
        On that note I have less of a problem with Nazi’s, and whitesupremacists being outed, or fired than I do with the potential for people to be fired for being mistakenly labeled, and fired for being Nazi’s, and whitesupremacists.

        • yazikus
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          Well, that point is rather silly. Evergreen responded to calls for his firing with a resounding ‘no’ and stated that hiring/firing would never be done based on demands from protesters.

          Also, did anyone actually think Weinstein is a white supremacist? People need to stop equating critique of some ideas that might be based upon implicit bias with calling everyone a nazi.

          • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            Some Evergreen students did indeed accuse Weinstein of white supremacy. They did it in a typical regressive-leftish mealy mouthed and tedious screed accusing Weinstein of “Hiding behind his Jewishness”. Here is the money shot;

            “However, the fact that Jews have not always been enmeshed in whiteness does not negate the fact that today many Jews in this country benefit from and uphold white supremacy.”

            View story at Medium.com

            • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

              CRAP! Sorry about the embed! Didn’t know it would do that.

              I wish there was an edit feature.

          • Craw
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

            Yes, people did and do think that. That’s why they say it.

            As Mike says, false positives are dangerous here.

            More generally folks, how confortable are you with big corporations becoming the arbiters of behaviour and opinion? Because the idea scares the hell out of me, and I am generally pro-free market.

            • Adam M.
              Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

              I agree. The bigger corporations get, the closer they come to approaching governments in power and pervasiveness, and, I think, the better arguments about why the government must respect people’s rights begin to apply to them.

              Imagine the extreme end of the argument, that there’s only one giant corporation employing everyone. (This situation is approximated in some small towns.) Does it follow that it’s okay for us to all effectively lose all our rights because, hey, they’re a private company? I don’t think so. That just means that the company must be obligated to respect our rights, because they have obtained a degree of power normally reserved to the government.

              • Craw
                Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

                A few years ago we heard about “too big to fail”, which really meant too big with too much influence to be allowed to fail. We seem to have forgotten that, forgotten anti trust, forgotten that once even Standard Oil could be broken up.

              • Adam M.
                Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

                I agree. Too big to fail should mean too big to be allowed to exist.

            • Michiel
              Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:57 am | Permalink

              It is indeed a more and more relevant question. Just see the recent Google memo controversy, and then think of how much of our lives are already influenced, if not controlled by corporations such as Google, not to mention corporations that control the news.

            • Posted September 23, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

              + 1

          • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            “Also, did anyone actually think Weinstein is a white supremacist?”

            Perhaps they didn’t actually think it, but I’ve heard the claim.

            • Michiel
              Posted August 17, 2017 at 3:00 am | Permalink

              Let’s not fall into the same trap that (some) leftists do when discussing motivations of islamic terrorists. “Well they may SAY that they were killing in the name of their religion but what they REALLY meant was they were poor and oppressed.”
              If people said they thought he was a white supremacist, they probably actually thought he was a white supremacist.

          • Adam M.
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            They certainly said he’s a racist bigot, which is all it takes to get a Twitter mob after your job…

            • yazikus
              Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

              And yet he still has his job.

              • Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

                Lucky for him his employer knows the history of the situation. Can you guarantee that will always be the case?

              • Craw
                Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

                Tenure? So not a useful example.

              • Adam M.
                Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

                True, but beside the point. Not every attempt to get people fired succeeds, but if we don’t think Bret should be fired for his alleged racist bigotry then we should be wary about supporting the firing of others for alleged racist bigotry. We shouldn’t vest mobs with such power because even though they’re sometimes right they’re not very responsive to the facts.

            • yazikus
              Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

              And yet he still has his job.

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

                James Damore doesn’t.

              • biz
                Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

                Oh good. So all we need to do is make 100% of the private sector adopt the academic tenure system and then we’ll have nothing to worry about.

              • Posted September 23, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

                “Still” is the key word here.

  13. Tom
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    The chilling thought that armed right wing wingers should be sacked or be unable to get employment reminds me of the way the SA were recruited.
    Perhaps the person/people who think this is the right way to treat extremists should offer their services to employers, though I doubt many will be willing or able to volunteer a second time.

  14. Rob
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    As a liberal I believe in respecting individuals and protecting their rights, even if I disagree with them. (I had enough of the moralizing, censoring, judging, punishing, etc., when I was religious.)

    When I was a Christian, I would have considered it discrimination if I was fired for my religious activities outside of work.

    Christian business owners shouldn’t fire employees simply for being gay.

    I hate the practice of going after people personally, trying to harm them, hurt their careers, etc., for expressing ideas I oppose.

    Let’s win the war with ideas, not with personal retribution.

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I agree with your main point, but let’s not attribute firing someone because they are gay as “trying to harm (them)…for expressing ideas I oppose”. Being gay is not an idea. Perhaps a better word choice would have been atheist, not gay.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Ok, but we’re talking about Nazis. Not ‘opinions we disagree with.’

      Also being a Nazi is in no way equivalent to being a Neo-Nazi.

  15. Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    — “I’m more interested in fighting the ideas than punishing those who hold them”
    — “I am wary of ruining somebody’s livelihood because of their political views”

    I concur.

    People can change their views. This is the first generation that will spend their entire life encumbered with a highly detailed public record.

    The other thing, is that I would prefer to see people fighting your white supremacist president rather than hectoring their neighbors. This is exactly the kind of rabbit hole many on the left love to disappear down.

    I am also curious to see which news outlets now start using the term “alt-left”.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      People can change their view, but only if they are open to changing their views. I am not going to sit back and see if the person who talks about raping my wife will change his view. I am going to confront him is discourse, but I am also going to make damn sure that he is not able to act on his ‘view’. (see my comment above 🙂

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        I must hurriedly add, I was thinking more generally about the issue of it suddenly being easy for people to share opinions, on a quick but permanent format.

        For about 6 months after 9/11 I believed it was an inside job. I am glad there is not a whole heap of tweets or blogposts about that. And I actually deleted mentioning this example in the comment above before posting it.

        I’m not holding my breath for any white supremacists to change their mind (should they be in possession of a mind).

        • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          Don’t mean to derail but I’m curious…what in the world would have made you think 9/11 was an “inside job”? Even if it was only for 6 months.

          • Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

            A fair question, unfortunately.

            I read an article saying that the towers could not have collapsed so quickly, so there must have been charges laid. The article sounded very convincing and was written by an engineer.

            (I can now spot the red flag in that last sentence more efficiently!)

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

              I’m an engineer. Anybody can call themselves an engineer. And lots of structures have collapsed that the designers thought didn’t oughta.

              Often with very large and/or complex structures there are effects and collapse mechanisms that weren’t apparent to the designers (or anybody else) until after the event.

              😉

              cr

          • Adam M.
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            There were a number of unprecedented and apparently suspicious things about it. This is from memory, but…

            It was supposedly unprecedented for a building of that construction to succumb to fire. It was thought to be a fire-resistant design and videos surfaced of similarly constructed high-rises completely engulfed in flames for a dozen hours still standing at the end, whereas the twin towers only had fires on the upper floors and fell in a very short time.

            It was weird that a third building which wasn’t hit by a plane also fell, and a vague statement about a decision to “pull it” just before it collapsed lead people to think it was deliberately collapsed.

            Firefighters and other people reported hearing explosions or “booms” before the building fell.

            First responders reported molten steel pooling under the rubble, and a hydrocarbon fire is not hot enough to melt steel. (It may have actually been molten aluminum, though.)

            The buildings apparently fell at free-fall speed, which is normally associated with controlled demolitions, which cut all the supports. It was thought that the supports of the lower floors should have resisted the upper floors and slowed the collapse.

            The NIST report did not adequately explain how the buildings fell. This was considered a cover-up, but may have just been because they didn’t really know how it fell.

            High-ranking officials including George Bush and those close to him refused to testify under oath during the 9/11 investigation, or flat out refused to testify at all.

            Not everything I wrote may have been true, but that’s what was reported. Some of the misreporting was probably just from the chaos and confusion, and some may have been distortion by conspiracy theorists, but there was enough genuinely weird about the event to raise suspicions.

            • Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

              Ah, a 9/11 conspiracy theory. Do me a favor and let’s drop this stuff, okay? Everything you just said has been adequately refuted.

              • Adam M.
                Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

                I was responding to the guy who asked how in the world anyone could think so. A lot of people thought so, and these were the main reasons why.

                I don’t believe it was a conspiracy.

        • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          whoa. I think the comment that I comments to above was removed. sometimes I come off stronger than I intend 🙂 I get carried away. I was going to ammonium: discourse should always be the first and maybe second approach. But I might suggest that a racism that is open to discussion is not really racism, but just a misunderstanding. Racism is, I would say, de facto not open to discussion; hence the impasse with some ‘voices’ in America.

        • Mark R.
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          Just yesterday I saw a bumper sticker that read: “9/11 was an Inside Job”. Not surprisingly, right next to it was an Alex Jones “Info Wars” bumper sticker. I thought: how embarrassing for you.

          I will add that one of my friends thought (he doesn’t anymore) it was an inside job. He also cited engineer reports.

  16. Randy schenck
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Good questions and there will be many answers. I would not out anyone or go to the employer attempting to get them fired. But I think many will be fired because the technology today will ensure that most of them will be identified easily. Very likely that few will have protection in this county but that will just be more business for the lawyers. Many of us have standards of conduct type contracts with our employers that lets them reach out and fire us for off the job events. Everyone in the military knows that they will most likely be gone if they participate in anything like a march or protest. More standards of conduct and public image protections are being created all the time.

    The bigger question to me right now is when are the republicans going to call out and condemn Trump directly and stop just reading from their talking points about how much they hate Nazis and white supremacists. Trump is the issue in this matter and all the talk is cheap. Until they step up and have the guts to act we just sit in neutral and get nothing. How far back in the hole can they creep and think they are going to survive this idiot. I have never seen a political party turn into such a gutless pile of crap.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      I can’t tell you hiw many people who I know and some I consider friends that support Trump. It amazes and disappoints me but it is a fact. Hard to ignore a presedent but I sometimes think it is the best course of action.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        I hate to say this because it is none of my business, but you might consider getting some new friends.

        • Randy Bessinger
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          Oh, I have very close friends who see things the same as I do. However, I have friends who (and I think really beiieve) that Trump is “going to save the world”. They are NOT as far as I can tell racist but they are conservatives.

          • Randy Bessinger
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            FWIW, I am an admirer of Sam Harris and he has also been flumoxed (sp?) by followers of his who agree on almost everything advocates except when it comes to Trump. Don’t think my experience is unique but it is strange.

          • Mark R.
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

            Being complicit with racism is not much better than being a racist imo. If you support Trump at this time, you are either a bigot, or are fine with rubbing elbows with bigots. It’s black and white after these recent events.

            As an aside, I find it laughable that republican politicians who denounce the white supremacists put forth and pass legislation that clearly supports them. Jeff Sessions is out there spouting his faux outrage while putting forth policies to suppress the vote, open up the war on drugs, reinstate minimum sentence laws and fill up them prisons. In other words, putting forth policy that negatively effects minorities. What an evil hypocritical bastard.

            • Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

              “I find it laughable that republican politicians who denounce the white supremacists put forth and pass legislation that clearly supports them.”

              What legislation would this be? One or two examples would suffice.

              • Mark R.
                Posted August 16, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

                C’mon, you know what I mean. I’m talking about what is in the works. I should have said “who wants to pass legislation”…I forgot the ‘want’. Please don’t be pedantic. I repeat: you know what I mean. Do you have something to say about the content of my comment? You just skirted my point by highlighting a syntax error.

              • Richard
                Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:52 am | Permalink

                Mark R, not everyone who reads this website lives in the USA, and those who do not do not necessarily know what you mean.

                I do not spend a lot of my time following American politics, and am myself not familiar with all actual US legislation, let alone all proposed legislation that someone might want to pass.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      “More standards of conduct and public image protections are being created all the time.”

      So much for the First Amendment and ‘free speech’.

      This, together with the power of corporate interests, is why I feel that the US with its First Amendment is no better in regard of free speech than Europe with its hate speech laws but also its employee protection laws.

      (Personally I feel that one’s activities ‘off the job’ are no business whatever of the employer, so long as one doesn’t publicly identify one’s employer. This would even extend to taking part in public events that might run counter to the employer’s interests (obviously there’s a line to be drawn somewhere in that respect).

      cr

  17. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The problem with public denunciations is that there’s no fact-checking. Anybody can go to Lawrence’s Facebook page and say, mistakenly or maliciously, “I saw Fred Fumbuck at that Nazi rally!” and then how is Fred supposed to defend himself? He can’t. His reputation has already been ruined.

    The whole thing smacks of HUAC and blacklisting. You can’t fight fascism by borrowing tools from the fascist playbook.

  18. George
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I think back to 1977 when the American Nazi Party, headed by Frank Collin, wanted to march in Skokie, then a heavily Jewish suburb of Chicago with many Holocaust survivors. Local officials wanted to ban the march. The ACLU took the Nazis case to court – all the way to the SCOTUS.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Party_of_America_v._Village_of_Skokie

    The Nazis won but ultimately decided to march in Chicago. They were outnumbered 1,000 (or more) to 1, cut off their march and slinked away. To be made fun of by the Blues Brothers.

    Now, not all that comfortable with even Nazis being run down by a car even in a movie.

    Collin it turns out was originally Cohn or Cohen. His father was Jewish. He went to prison in 1979 for child molestation.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Collin

    It was a very painful incident but I think ultimately the right decision to let the Nazis march. It hurt the ACLU for years as Jewish donors stop giving. The two attorneys who handled the case for the ACLU, Burton Joseph and David Goldberger, were both Jewish and fervent advocates for the First Amendment.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      I thought that movie was hilarious.

      Re the clip, you can show things in film that wouldn’t be possible or advisable in real life. I think it’s legitimate to feel emotions watching a movie that would be deplorable if applied to a real-life situation. Such as the Nazis jumping for their lives. Also, accidents and incidents are funny if nobody gets seriously hurt.

      Incidentally, the movie didn’t whitewash the protestors, they look to be a pretty wild rabble too.

      (I’m using ‘whitewash’ in the traditional metaphorical sense of sanitising their appearance, not whatever it may have been recently hijacked to mean).

      cr

  19. Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I made the comment below here on WEIT yesterday. It’s germane so I’ll repost.

    In recent comments here some insisted that doxxing people they see in photos from the march is an ethical tactic to shame them. People in public demonstrations have no expectations of privacy so they cannot be upset by those who call them out on social media; those calling for the doxxing have a point. The problem, as I see it, is this is exactly the kind of thing real Nazis did to control people. One would think that those opposed to the fools today playing at being Nazis would be careful to avoid using their tactics.

    I feel thought, that they are not out to merely shame people – they are out to destroy them. Get them fired from their jobs. Get them ousted from their schools. They want to ruin people’s lives for what amounts to a thoughtcrime. Well, I wouldn’t shed any tears over some of them, especially the violent.

    But the biggest problem with anti-racist zealots out to use social media to destroy those they disagree with is that sometimes people completely innocent of the thoughtcrime accusations are swept up in the pograms;

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40935419

    • Randy schenck
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      That is an interest side of this mess. Misidentified and then it is off to the races. Lucky this would never happen to Trump because as he said yesterday, he waits until he has all the facts. And the lies just continue.

      On the other side, back in the day when the KKK wore all the garb and nobody knew who they were, later it was discovered that lots of them were the cream of the community and civic leaders in the area. Some were even politicians in the community. Maybe they will go back to the white sheets?

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        “Lucky this would never happen to Trump because as he said yesterday, he waits until he has all the facts.”

        I snorted when I saw that on TV. That is, possibly, his most self-evidently absurd statement yet.

        cr

    • Posted August 17, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      I thought about the propaganda thing, shaming people, but I didn’t think about the thought-crime thing.

      One of the interesting things that I think will come out of our era is one that Savoj Zpizke pointed out that I had also noticed: The US/colonialist/enlightened ideal/effort that’s European expansion may have been in a process of ending since Korea and Vietnam, most pronounced ideologically with Trump. who can really know the future, but maybe.
      Im making this comment into a post, if you want to read it. 🙂

  20. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    “very fine people on both sides”

    Sure, Donald, some of the torch-bearers screaming Nazi slogans were just historical preservationists and postbellum statuary aficionados.

    Every time I think this evil buffoon has bottomed out, he submerges to a new, disgust-inducing low.

  21. Historian
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    The questions raised in this post are, indeed, not easy ones to answer. Imagine that I am an employer in a private sector, profit making business. Employees work at my will. That is, I can fire them for any reason or just at my whim. By pure chance, I discover than an employee participated in the Charlottesville rally. To this point, I had no inkling of his political views, which I find as odious as possibly can be imagined. I know that he never talked politics with other employees. His job performance is satisfactory. What should I do? My decision is that I would fire him. Psychologically, it would be impossible for me to maintain an amicable relationship with him. Other employers who also find his views repulsive may come to a different conclusion. There is also the practical consideration that others may discover his views with the possibility that my business may be harmed.

    This situation is really no different than one where an ardent Christian finds that an employee is a closet atheist. This employer may conclude that he cannot maintain a working relationship with this employee and thus would fire him. As long as employers have the right to fire employees at will, I don’t think they can be blamed for taking actions what they consider are in the best interest of the business.

    • Randy Bessinger
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      If you are an ardent atheist employing a closeted evangelical Christian, would you fire him after finding out his religious views even though he/she was a good employee?

      In your first example, I think I would counsel him first that when he is in public, like it or not he represents the company and in this instance his views do not represent the companys…a warning.

      • Historian
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        As a general rule, employers need to consider to what degree they consider the views of the employee to be odious. Different employers will make different determinations. For me, the beliefs of a Nazi are so odious that I would fire the person. If I were an ardent atheist employer with an ardent Christian employee, I would not fire the employee as long as he does not exhibit his religious views in the workplace. Why? I do not consider his views so odious as to warrant firing. Again, it’s an individual decision on the employer’s part, based on the employer’s values and beliefs.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think the evangelical is a good comparison because that person would have religious protection under the law. The white nationalist would not. However, the whole idea is something to think about. Hobby lobby believed and obtained the right to withhold insurance benefits to people just because of their twisted religious logic. Withholding a job for whatever reason is not far from that.

        • Randy Bessinger
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          Good point.

        • Historian
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          I thought that an “at will” employee could be fired for any reason and that there is no religious exemption. But, I could be wrong here. Perhaps a person with knowledge of U.S. employment law can enlighten us. Does state or municipal law play a role here?

          • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

            People can be fired for many legal reasons… or none at all. That’s how they do it.

            The onus is on the one fired to prove the reasons are illegal. The employer just has to be good at covering their tracks.

            • Randy schenck
              Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

              Also, I think it depends on how much you want to spend on attorneys.

          • Historian
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            I did a little research about termination of employees in Illinois, which is an “at will” state. Apparently, an employee can be fired at the employer’s will if this is indicated in the employee contract and other documents. But, then there appears to be many exceptions. As this post notes:

            —————

            Clients often ask: “If Illinois is really an employment at will state, why do I have to be careful when firing employees?”

            The answer to that question is that employers may be sued for such issues as discrimination, retaliation, and other legal theories. Although Illinois is an employment-at-will state, Illinois employers cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, ancestry, citizenship status, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, arrest record, military service or unfavorable military discharge. Also, the employee may claim breach of contract by the employer. There are many known and unknown risks in each prospective termination. This is why each termination must be carefully evaluated.

            http://www.w-p.com/blog/2016/10/yes-illinois-is-still-an-employment-at-will-state.shtml

            ———–

            Thus, as a non-lawyer, my conclusion is that the “at will” concept depends a lot on state law. And, in Illinois at least, there are so many exceptions that the principle of “at will” is something of a joke. Am I wrong?

            • Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

              Washington State is an “at will” state but we have a law prohibiting age discrimination in (most) hiring. Such prohibitions are little more than cruel jokes.

              As I have made the only unforgivable mistake one can make in my career -I got old- I have found job opportunities have almost completely dried up. I am reduced to hoping (not praying, of course) I can hold onto my current job until I leave this mortal coil as I have no hope of retirement. With luck that will be a few more years.

              Job after job I am qualified for got NO response when my C.V. gave hint to my age. Deleting reference to it by leaving out older but relevant experience (including published works) and not indicating the dates I earned my degrees, and suddenly I was getting interviews. A friend of mine who works in H.R. at a local Biotech company gave me some advice on how to sanitize my C.V. so I could at least get my foot in the door. She even said that most people my age (mid 50s) don’t even make it “off the desk” – meaning we are not even considered for a position we are qualified for. One recent employer even let it slip that she didn’t want to hire me because I was “more qualified than her”.

              This is illegal. But nothing -not a thing- can be done about it unless they slip up and make it explicit. We are at their mercy, the law is NOT on our side and it is not a good place to be.

            • Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

              This is all anecdotal, by I have several good friends who work in IT in Illinois. One lost a job due to his race, the other lost a job due to his lack of religion. I won’t go into details, but I am confident that these were in fact the only reasons for their termination.

              There is no way that either could afford the time or money to sue. Employers know this and so can fire at will. This largely depends on the industry I imagine. Those industries that pay better, employ fewer people in their 20’s, and that generally rely less on contingent contract labour probably are not able to fire at will without seriously risking litigation. In other industries though, the protections afforded by state law are de facto non-applicable to those who can’t afford a legal defence.

    • darrelle
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      “As long as employers have the right to fire employees at will, I don’t think they can be blamed for taking actions what they consider are in the best interest of the business.

      Generally speaking I think it can be okay to “blame” people for taking actions that they have a legally protected right to take. It’s the oft stated difference between questions of legality and questions of ethics. But in this specific case I’m not sure. I can think of scenarios in which I’d say “okay” and other scenarios in which I’d say “not okay.”

      I was tempted to write something like, “As I’m sure everyone knows just because something is legal doesn’t mean it is ethical,” but 1) then I remembered how often I encounter someone who doesn’t seem to know that, 2) I didn’t want you to think I was attempting to be disrespectful to you in any way, and 3) it sounds a bit trite and cliche.

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        I am not sure how I might react if I were a business owner and I was informed about an employee by another employee; it think if I was inclined to fire the bigoted employee I would also fire the one who reported them.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      And what if your employee just looked exactly like one of the Charlottesville marchers? That would have exactly the same potential impact on your business. Would you fire him then?

      cr

  22. Mike Anderson
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    >> Should we find the employers or universities of bigots and white supremacists and inform them who they’re harboring? Again, this is perfectly legal, but it’s not something I would do myself. It smacks of Schadenfreude, and could be used, say, to report closeted gay employees to Christian employers, or BDS members to Jewish employers. Granted, this is a form of social engineering….

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Isn’t all social interaction a form of social engineering? And then we social engineer the social engineering – it’s social engineering all the way down.

  23. Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I have thought about what I’d do if contacted about a white supremist or Nazi employee. I think I might call the employee in for a little talk. I’d say, what you do politically on your own time is your business. Here, you must treat clients and fellow employees who are women, people of other races, non-Christians, etc., politely. You may not wear white supremist or Nazi symbols at work. You may not do anything that suggests I support your political views. Actually, I detest your politics, but as long as you continue to be a good employee (by my standards), you can continue to be employed here.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      But then, here is the hard part. What if it gets out and lots of people start giving you a hard time for having this employee. Maybe they go further and boycott your business and the heat gets turned up.

      • Adam M.
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Tough choices if the boycott turns out to be effective, because you’d have to weigh the effects it’ll have on your other employees. Perhaps offer to publicly fire and then in a few weeks quietly rehire the offending person, with a warning not to stoke the fires again for the sake of their co-workers.

        But I think most Twitter mobs don’t have the numbers to effect a real boycott, especially since many of them are not actual customers of the businesses in question. They just make a lot of noise, tie up the phone lines, and clog the email inboxes for a while… To the extent possible, I think they should be ignored.

        If companies want employees to show loyalty to the business and not jump ship as soon it benefits them, then businesses should show loyalty to their employees and not fire them for little reason.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          I agree with you and Sedgequeen there.

          Loyalty goes two ways. Businesses expect it from their employees, they should show some back. (While accepting that loyalty is not absolute).

          cr

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      What if it wasn’t an employee. What if it was your daughter or son? Would you say, I detest your politics son/daughter, but as long as you continue to clean your room and do your chores and get good grades, you can continue to live here. I’m not trying to be facetious, I think it’s a good question.

      There are stories coming out now that parents are disowning their neo-Nazi children. I don’t have children, so I can’t say how I would react to such a tragedy.

      • Posted August 18, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        I think of parents disowning their gay and lesbian children. Sometimes they do this from a misguided fear that their younger children will become gay if the gay child stays.

        I don’t think I would disown a Nazi child. I might say, no flags, no symbols, and especially no weapons in my house.

  24. yazikus
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, listening to the president, I wondered if any on the left who have been pushing the ‘alt-left’, ‘both sides are doing it’ narrative would have a sick feeling as they watched the president use their words, their arguments to defend nazis.

    There are conservatives who believe that antifa is ‘the left’, regardless of reality. Do the antifa folks even vote? Every time we play into the false equivalence line of thought, we’re giving ammunition to people who don’t give a shit about the violence on their own side.

    • biz
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Antifa is unambiguously on the Left, as sure as Neo-Nazis are unambiguously on the Right.

      But we don’t even need Antifa to see that both sides are at fault for failing to repudiate their violent extremists. The Womens March is about as mainstream Left as you can get, and their chair Linda Sarsour is public about honoring terrorist Ramsea Odeh and cop killer Assata Shakur.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      According to news reports, both “sides” threw water bottles at each other. I’m not aware of severe acts of violence other than the nutjob who used his car as a weapon.

      I am liberal, and I won’t deny that vulnerable people can be pushed over the edge by rhetoric from almost any direction, including the left. A Bernie Sanders supporter went off the rail recently. In the 1960s acts of terrorism occurred from the left.

      Radicalized individuals committing acts of violence for their cause are not a false equivalent – they are equivalent. Lobbing plastic water bottles is not equivalent to driving a vehicle into a crowd.

      So what we really need is a president who knows how to think, research, and write in a way that makes it clear that killing innocent people is NEVER okay, but that the white supremacy movement is horrible. Trump is just too clumsy at thinking and speaking to be credible.

      • Posted August 17, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

        In Berkeley, Portland OR, and now Charlottesville, antifa were the instigators of violent clashes.

        One clip of the so-called “peaceful counter-protesters” initiating the fighting in Charlottesville:

        Just goog… err, search the internet for “antifa violence” for more examples.

        • Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          “In Berkeley, Portland OR, and now Charlottesville, antifa were the instigators of violent clashes.”

          One of these things is not like the others, even if antifa instigated some of the clashes. I don’t know that anyone on this site is praising antifa as an organization, but when it’s antifa vs Nazi’s they are the good guys, there is certainly no moral equivalence. One side was there to spew hate filled racism, and bigotry, the other was there to protest against hate.

          • Posted August 17, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

            Agreed on the moral equivalency, but I deplore the use of weapons and violence by antifa, as I do by the bigoted right. And in Berkeley antifa caused the bulk of the violence, and Milo wasn’t even there to be attacked. I don’t know how many times I have to say that those protesting the white supremacists and Nazis were my people, and I despise the other side, but we should not ignore “our” side’s use of weapons and violence.

          • Posted August 18, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

            False dichotomy. Antifa vs. White Supremacist is bad guy vs. bad guy.

            • Posted August 18, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

              “False dichotomy. Antifa vs. White Supremacist is bad guy vs. bad guy.”

              Sorry, but I think we’re going to have to disagree. You’re ignoring context. In the context of Charlottesville there’s a difference between evil, and engaging in bad behavior to oppose evil.
              The US army for example opposing nazi’s in WWII is not bad guy vs bad guy despite the fact that in the context of “indian wars” the US army committed genocide.

  25. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Should such people be outed?

    I don’t think it’s immoral per se, and if others want to do it, have at it. But I’m not outing anybody. A chunk of my worldview comes from reading and thinking about HUAC, and the McCarthy hearings, and blacklists, and fag-bashing in the dark days before Stonewall, all of which has left me with a visceral aversion for naming names in any form. Hell, I won’t represent cooperating witnesses in my practice, so I sure-as-shit ain’t doing anything redolent of snitching in private.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      What about leakers Ken. That seems to be the popular thing these days. If the leakers are doing it because they believe they are doing the public good would you have them for a client? Going public with information can be a two way street. I realize it may come down to the issue at hand.

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        I have made the point elsewhere; these are the tactics that real Nazis used. In Erik Larson’s “In the Garden of Beasts” he recounts the abject terror of the general population in the years running up to the war as people were denounced, some innocent of the accusations, and many never being seen again.

        Doxxing is just another form. Those who are doing it in these circumstances are NOT doing it for the public good. They are not out to merely shame people – they are out to destroy them.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        I’d have no problem representing a whistle-blower who’s being prosecuted for leaking information. But if that same person wanted to cooperate with the government against an individual, I’d kiss ’em on the cheek, wish ’em well, and tell them to find another lawyer.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          Kind of sounds like you would not want to be working with Mueller. I’m thinking of those who might be ready to do some flip flopping or are really mad at trump for being dumped.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

            I’ve been on the defense side way too long to switch sides now. Although going after those duplicitous bastards sounds tempting. My sense is that Mueller and his band of untouchables are hot on the hellhounds’ trail. I wish ’em well.

  26. Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Having worked with ex-offenders I have great misgivings about forcing them to reveal actual criminal – if irrelevant – convictions to prospective employers let alone encouraging vigilantes to hound people who hold dreadful opinions but who have committed no actual crime.

    Denying someone the right to provide for themselves is one of the most despicable things you can do to a person. Even if you have no empathy at all you should consider what effects maintaining an unemployable underclass has on society in terms of health, substance abuse, crime, and the economy.

    If you think somebody shouldn’t work YOU should pay their benefits.

    • darrelle
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Some excellent points. I’m leaning towards “no” because the plausible longer term effects of a regular “policy” of naming names and getting these people fired would tend to make society worse rather than better.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Well said and, if you get someone who has deplorable opinions fired from their job, is unemployment going to make them more rational, or just harden their opinions? I think the latter.

      (The sole exception would be, if they were in a position where their opinions had public impact – say a police chief who was also a Klansman or something like that. Even then I’d be conflicted about whether it was right to ‘out’ them so long as they seemed to be doing their job impartially).

      cr

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Name a Klansman or Nazi who would be capable of performing that job impartially.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 17, 2017 at 12:49 am | Permalink

          I don’t know any Klansmen or Nazis personally.

          But I could turn that on its head – name a Republican or a Democrat – or a Christian or a Muslim or a Leftist – who would be capable of performing that job impartially.

          Presumably, they exist. They simply have to accept that the law as it stands should be administered to all people impartially, regardless of what they think the laws *should* be.

          cr

  27. Frank Bath
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Jerry, you say “I think firing is a punishment that has to be carefully considered, though, especially if an employee doesn’t express or enact their opinions on the job.”
    I don’t think someone should lose their job for expressing their opinion, on or off the work premises, because it’s a limitation on free speech. I’ve never heard of this happening here in the UK.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      As I said, I’m pondering this. I haven’t been able to think of one non-criminal act that someone could do off the job that would warrant them being fired. But I continue to cogitate.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        I think the very fact that many people do not even use their real name on line kind of tells us what the reality is.

        • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

          I’d almost certainly be sacked for comments about one religion in particular.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think that’s very good evidence. It may be true in some cases, but far from all.

          There’s nothing I’ve said on-line that would get me sacked *in New Zealand*. I’m not sure what would – advocating kiddie porn**? Probably not even that (I don’t work in a school).

          My pseudonym is because my real name is unusual and easily searched and anyone could find anything I’ve ever said, decades ago, in seconds flat. Do I want dozens of nephews to bring that up on a casual search? So for my own privacy I don’t use it. ‘cr’ on the other hand, even though I’m known by that name to my friends, returns 962 million results, most of which were not posted by me.

          I think the same applies to many pseudonymous posters – they have many reasons other than employment.

          cr
          (** just for the record – I don’t!)

          • E.A. Blair
            Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            Like you, my real name is unusual and easily searched – in fact, I know I’m the only one with my family name in the US and one of three in all of North America. I’ve found a handful in Europe, but only one in its country of origin. In fact, many of the items about the real me actually predate the internet, and on two occasions, things were brought up about me that were intended to sully my reputation in court cases.

            However, in my case, the persons I am most interested in concealing myself from are mostly from the few remaining relatives I have (those other two North Americans I share a name with not among them).

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        I can think of plenty of ‘criminal’ acts I wouldn’t think warrant sacking. As a union rep I once had to defend a colleague who was disciplined for not disclosing a minor driving offence committed three years prior to employment which he’d forgotten about.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        I can think of non-criminal acts that might warrant sacking. A professional caregiver, for instance, who exhibits deliberate cruelty and callousness off the job. Or anyone in a position of trust whose off-the-job behavior shows a lack of trustworthiness.

        • Mark R.
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          I was also thinking an alcohol abuse counselor who consistently frequents the bar.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t happen in the U.K.? I am deeply skeptical of this claim.

      Just today I read this; http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-40952224

      Champion resigned but do you think, even for a moment, that she wouldn’t have been force out for her views if she hadn’t volunteered?

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Arguably politics is the one occupation where your politics might be an issue, just like your religion might be an issue if you join the priesthood.

  28. Christopher
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    There’s already a professor from the university Arkansas who merely looked like a neo-nazi at the protest and was then subjected to threats and harassment, even though he can prove he was in Arkansas at the time of the protest, I believe it was covered on the BBC news. Think any of the leftists will shed a tear for the innocently accused?

    • Mike Anderson
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      >> Think any of the leftists will shed a tear for the innocently accused?

      People try to undo the damage done, which is better than shedding tears.

      • jahigginbotham
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Some do, some don’t. The stain will always remain. Ask Richard Jewell or countless others falsely accused.

    • darrelle
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I do. I’m sure of it even.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      “Think any of the leftists will shed a tear for the innocently [sic] accused?”

      … asks the someone who is, without the slightest evidence, accusing innocent leftists of misconduct.

  29. Walt Jones
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Free speech should be accompanied by taking responsibility for the speech (including political contributions-PACs should have to disclose their donors). I see no problem with identifying the people in the pictures by name, regardless of what they are protesting. Contacting employers or doxxing, however, goes beyond assigning responsibility and into malevolence.

  30. Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    No you don’t out them, fire them, or take any action. Attack ideas, not people.

    I’ve seen the way this ends when you dox people (like Gamergate). It doesn’t do well and frequently people’s lives have been ruined because they were misidentified. It’s a terrible, awful, nasty, potentially fatal exercise. What if the person outed later kills themselves? Ready for that? It happened with gay people and others. You want that on your conscience?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxing

  31. Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    A while ago, before “everything is online”, I would be ok with shame, since the effect of error would be smaller. Now it is far worse, so I am greatly torn.

    I also have a problem with people being fired just for beliefs, however odious. That said, Nazism is evangelical, so eventually it would come out and then there would be more to go on.

  32. Jeff
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    This week I had to explain to my daughter that those marchers on TV hate her because she’s Jewish and want her and her parents and all her Jewish and black friends to leave the country. Sometime soon I’ll have to explain what they meant by chanting Sieg Heil and Blood and Soil and doing the Nazi salute. I agree that those people have a first amendment right to say those things in public, but I think I also have the right to find out who they are and tell them and their employers exactly what I think of them.

    • johnw
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      If you worked for a right-wing employer, would you be happy with the alt-right tracking you down for this comment and contacting your employer with the information that you think people should be fired for expressing their beliefs?

      cr

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Also they killed someone, and beat someone else…

  33. Historian
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Here is a thought experiment for those people who would not fire the Nazi on the grounds that he should not be denied a means of livelihood. Let’s say there are many highly qualified applicants for the position the Nazi holds, but do not hold his views. You find that many of these applicants have been down on their luck for a long period time – they are unemployed, living on welfare, and in danger of losing their homes. Is it unethical to fire the Nazi and replace him with one of those applicants, who would then become a productive member of society? Also, it is at least possible that the Nazi might find employment elsewhere where the employer is not so repulsed by the Nazi’s view or even not be aware of them. I would not consider it unethical to fire the Nazi.

    • Adam M.
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      The argument is mostly about how you can help somebody down on their luck by giving them a turn at gainful employment. I might agree with you but I find the Nazi beliefs to be irrelevant. Of course I’d have to consider the chance that the guy you fire then becomes unemployed, living on welfare, and in danger of losing his home, making it probably worse than doing nothing.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      There could be plenty of people just as qualified as the Nazi. There could also be straight people just as qualified as gay ones. There could even be people who don’t want to cut into your profits by starting a union.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        That’s why we USians have the National Labor Relations Act, guaranteeing our right to collective bargaining.

        God forbid a sweat shop owner should have to part with an extra nickel.

        • Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:02 am | Permalink

          Employees may have the right to collective bargaining in the U.S. but that doesn’t prevent a huge swathe of the country, particularly
          southern states including the southwest, from being “right to work” states. These states and employers in these states do whatever they can to prevent unionization. And, wages are lower.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:20 am | Permalink

            ‘right to work’ in this case being the antithesis of ‘workers’ rights’.

            Doublethink is alive and well and flourishing

            War is Peace
            Freedom is Slavery
            Ignorance is Strength

            cr

    • ladyatheist
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      You normally never know whether there are needy applicants for a job, since you don’t advertise it while someone is currently in the position.

      There’s also no way to know whether those other people are racist or not. It would be very very difficult to suss that out within the bounds of EEO law or good hiring practices in general.

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        You normally never know whether there are needy applicants for a job, since you don’t advertise it while someone is currently in the position.

        I’ve never read an advert for a job that included ‘needy’ as a qualification. That’s more a quality a pimp might be looking for.

  34. Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Freethought Blogs have sacked Anjuli Pandavar:

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/atrivialknot/2017/08/16/anjulis-dismissal/

    If it’s okay to target someone for wrongthink then this is okay, right?

    • Harrison
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      This is the fourth woman and third woman of color to get the boot from a blog network headed by a middle age white cishet male. Just within the last couple years.

      Not looking good for their supposed progressiveness.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Just wondering, when was the last time FTB sacked someone who wasn’t female, an ethnic minority, polyamorous, or some combination of those three?

    • Adam M.
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Well, she was apparently fired for criticizing Linda Sarsour and for saying that blacks are often racist against whites. I think FTB is being ‘consistent’ here…

  35. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Q2: If an employment contract states that employment is “at will” than the Achromatic Dominionist may indeed get fired, but otherwise one must demonstrate “just cause”. If it does not interfere with their capacity to perform their job, they can remain employed.

    The notion of “reflecting poorly on one’s employer” is tricky. IBM used to fire anyone who consumed alcohol, even in one’s personal time and/or at home. Not a good precedent.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Damn! And I’ve always used IBM Thinkpads. Just as well for me that they’re made by Lenovo now…

      cr

  36. E.A. Blair
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    This is one of the reasons I try to avoid overexposure on the internet. I avoid social media when I can, and, yes, E.A. Blair is my online pen name (I use it more extensively at this site. I regularly search on my own name, and have not, so far, found a photo of me posted online. My name appears in Wikipedia four times and there is a listing on IMDb as well. However, my family name is obscure (there are only three of us in North America) and to the best of my ability to discover, my combination of personal and family name is unique among the billions of people alive today, so it’s fairly easy to monitor my web footprint.

    The mention that was made of the Malaysian atheists who posted a photo and then found themselves potential targets of government retaliation, I felt, justified my decision to limit my online exposure and the reports of mistaken identity of Charlottesville demonstrators has reinforced that opinion.

    Right or wrong, once your image is on the internet it’s beyond your reach for all time. Anyone who finds that image can analyze it, alter it and subject it to image recognition without your consent, and people who are embarrassed or inconvenienced by their presence in photos of events others find distasteful should think about that before they participate. This is, furthermore, a case where, indeed, “both sides” do it. I’m sure white nationalists are studying images of the demonstrations looking for ways to use them to their advantage.

    If I am at a social gathering and someone is taking pictures, I ask them not to include me in anything they intend to post online. To date, it appears to have worked.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      +1

      Though I guess the social gathering pics would only matter if the online photos identified you by name (rather than just ‘a face in the group’)

      cr

  37. tubby
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I hate having to stand up for Nazis and Klansmen, but as long as they’re employees in good standing whose work and behavior meet company standards and expectations I don’t think they deserve to be fired on the grounds of having ugly political views. Where do you even draw a line of political/social views that are OK to fire people over?

    • ladyatheist
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Is it okay to fire an atheist? Some people would say so.

      • tubby
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        People certainly would, but no. That also might be grounds for a discrimination lawsuit. I’m not sure if being fired for having been outed as a Klansman would be something they could sue over though.

        • GBJames
          Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          Turns out that bigotry isn’t a protected class.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      The Klan lynches people. Members are culpable and getting fired doesn’t seem so bad in comparison.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      The Klan lynches people. Members are culpable. Getting fired doesn’t seem so bad in comparison.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Opposition doesn’t necessarily imply violence or denial of employment.

      Maybe if you’d stop thinking of it as ‘resistance’ you wouldn’t be thinking in terms of WWII.

  38. ladyatheist
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I disagree with on-the-spot decision-making for something that affects a person’s livelihood no matter what the reason. If a white nationalist is the supervisor of a diverse work group, that could be a problem but not necessarily. Archie Bunker hated all kinds of people except the guy he worked with or his next-door neighbor. People are not as black-and-white as even they claim to be.

  39. Adam M.
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    No, we should not fire people because of their beliefs. It’s a question of what kind of society you want to live in. Do you want to live in a society where only those who express acceptable beliefs can be employed? I sure don’t. It doesn’t only happen to racist bigots. It also happens to people who don’t toe the authoritarian leftist line. It happens to people who made a ‘wrong’ political donation or vote a decade prior (like the former CEO of Mozilla). It happens to people who make innocent sex-related jokes with their friends and get overheard by somebody who is too prissy. (It happened to a couple guys who were overheard sharing a joke about a ‘big dongle’ at a private conference. The fact that the woman who started the Twitter mob had made penis jokes herself (on Twitter no less) didn’t dissuade the mob. They don’t have to be consistent, you see.)

    It could happen to pretty much any of us. We, the readers of this site, have probably all said something that could spawn a Twitter mob. It may have been a simple philosophical argument about rights. It’s quite conceivable to me that were Jerry still employed he could get a Twitter mob fired up against him. I doubt they’d be successful, but the University of Chicago is definitely atypical among employers (and even universities) in their support for freedom of expression.

    It’s also against the spirit of free speech, which is that we protect everyone’s right to express their ideas and trust that better ideas will keep worse ideas from spreading too far. While people will no doubt say that private employers can do whatever they want, that doesn’t mean they should or that it’s good for society, as many of the same factors are in play.

    It’s not just blatant racism. It’s a teacher wearing a bikini or drinking alcohol on her vacation, causing parents or school officials to demand her firing. (I’ve seen half a dozen such stories.) Defending the private lives of racists not only represents a consistent principle that one could adhere to, it works to defend all of us from the increasing sensitiveness of employers to Twitter mobs. Employers are increasingly spying on people’s private lives and social media accounts – even telling people to give up their email and Facebook passwords on the job application so employers can read through their private lives – all in the name of looking for private behavior that might ‘reflect poorly on the company’. We need to fight this, and we don’t fight it by saying that it’s okay to fire some people for their beliefs and political activities. That just sets the precedent that will be used to attack us in the future.

  40. GBJames
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Seems to me that many of us misunderstand what doxing is. It involves publishing private information about someone. I don’t see how it applies to people who voluntarily participate in public activities like this. How is their public participation a private matter to be protected from exposure to the public? If there is doxing here, haven’t these folk doxed themselves?

    Whether they should be fired for being nazis is a separate question that I’m ambivalent about.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      From that point of view, I’ve doxed myself by walking down a public street where my picture is taken by a random person. The point is what you do with that knowledge. As someone up thread said, using it to destroy someone is malevolent and you ought to consider that someone may feel what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Just don’t do it.

      • GBJames
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Is saying “This is JoeBob. JoeBob marches with Nazis” “destroying someone”? I don’t see that.

        As I said, firing them might loosely be considered “destroying someone”. (very loosely). But reporting the participation at public events is not.

        If I say “GreenPoisonFrog was seen walking down a public street yesterday” I have not “doxed” you. By your measure nobody would be allowed to report anything they saw about anybody in public without being accused of doxing.

        • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

          One of my colleagues had her photograph posted on Redwatch. They only wanted to know her name. Nothing sinister in that.

          Redwatch is a British website associated with members of the far-right British People’s Party. It publishes photographs of, and personal information about, alleged far left and anti-fascist activists. It typically targets activists in political parties, advocacy groups, trade unions and the media. The website’s slogan is “Remember places, traitors’ faces, they’ll all pay for their crimes”, a quote from neo-Nazi musician Ian Stuart Donaldson.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redwatch

        • Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          I’m using your definition, not mine. You said, “How is their public participation a private matter to be protected from exposure to the public? If there is doxing here, haven’t these folk doxed themselves?” which means to me that if your picture is taken in the street, you are doxed. So it’s no MY measure, it’s yours.

          Now if your proposal is to build a hierarchy of things you can be exposed for, include me out. Your statement is certainly a start on that effort.

          • GBJames
            Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

            No. My position is that if someone is concerned that they will be publicly associated with this or that public activity then they shouldn’t participate in the first place. It is unreasonable to put the burden of silence on everyone else on the planet to keep your public actions private.

            It makes no sense.

            Doxing involves the release of private information. Your public actions have made photos of you legitimate records that can be reasonably shared. Otherwise we would have no access legitimate access to photos of all kinds of things.

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        Throwing a Roman salute and marching with Nazis is clearly not the same thing.

    • Adam M.
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Because when they went to the rally they didn’t carry a sign with their name, home address, childrens’ school, and office address. That is private information that they didn’t reveal. Doxing is about finding out enough information to allow a mob of people to hurt someone, by getting them fired, by vandalizing their home, by threatening their children, by lying in wait and verbally abusing them, or by physically attacking them.

  41. Hempenstein
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have much of any opinion on 1-3 that differs from what PCC[E} already expressed.

    But as far as actual hate crimes, and taking this quote from Mark Twain:i

    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

    It might be worth considering sentencing for certain more serious yet non-capital offenses along the lines that the individual would be sent to somewhere remote with very little in the way of resources (so they would have to work their way back) and have to check in at US Consulates on a schedule along the way.

    Unconventional, sure. But it could result in re-programming…

  42. Craw
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I say No.

    When did people decide that Gladys Kravitz was a good role model?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Around the time Darrin went from Dick York to Dick Sargent and no one was ‘spozed to notice.

  43. peepuk
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m always amazed how easy people want to use extreme action and promote the use of violence.

    If people behave more or less normal they don’t need to be fired, what they do in their free time and what they believe in private is not my business.

    I think the basic problem is that people take other peoples believes much to serious. We do the same with our own believes.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      They’re Nazis. They killed someone. Seems pretty serious.

  44. Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    “Perhaps the serfs ought to refrain from political activity altogether, for they might get the wrong ideas. With the internet as a splendid device, we shall record how they spend their time, and with whom, and inspect their activity from time to time, to ensure their behaviour remains acceptable. But they have freedom of expression! The government does not interfere in any way as long as the serfs are not doing anything outright illegal.” — Generic American Leftist

    What people do in their private time ought to be a complete black box to employers, except for a few obvious cases (such as for representatives). The law actually needs to step up and build and seal the black box that is “privacy”. The answer is thus: No.

    Social media exists for only a few years, and the effects are already devastating. Not only did we not solve the problems. We have barely begun in finding them all out, much less began solving anything. Such systems are driven by “better safe than sorry”, and as everywhere else, the most intolerant, the most inflexible, the most closed-minded are the denominator. For that, I found Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s essay (or possible book chapter) very interesting:

    The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority

    Here’s another bit by Jon Ronson and Adam Curtis (the former wrote an entire book on social media shaming). The latter <a href="https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/exmw3j/jon-ronson-interviews-adam-curtis-393"comments:

    Adam Curtis: “[…] So information becomes a currency through which you buy friends and become accepted into the system. That makes it very difficult for bits of information that challenge the accepted views to get into the system. They tend to get squeezed out.

    I think the thing that proves my point dramatically are the waves of shaming that wash through social media – the thing you have spotted and describe so well in your book. It’s what happens when someone says something, or does something, that disturbs the agreed protocols of the system. The other parts react furiously and try to eject that destabilising fragment and regain stability.
    I don’t think these waves are “political” in the liberal way the shamers proudly think. They are political in a completely different way, because they work to create a static, conservative world where nothing really changes. […]”

    The reason why this holds even with fascist marches is that there is no discernible category difference that would provide a firewall against abuse. It’s not a slippery slope argument, because there is no slope.

    I normally believe Popper is correct that intolerance should not be tolerated, and I also believe that fascism falls into a set of views that are outside acceptable pluralism.

    However, this is a technology and rights question: Teach people to police each other via social media, and that’s what they do. Establish the expectation that employers ought to care what people do in privacy, and they’ll do. Once the expectation is established, they have to manage their employees private time because the personal becomes not only political, but is assumed under company PR.

    Once the door is open, it’s open, and there is no slope behind it. Employers then simply always judge what people do, and when there is complaint about anything, will find it normal to consider firing the person. Whether they go though the motion is dictated by the first part, as detailed by Taleb. The most uncompromising will set the standard. If you want to keep your job, you refrain from doing anything in public that might ever so slightly step outside the boundary and that might include to participate in ANY political activity.

  45. Tom
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    The consequence of sacking these people or refusing them jobs worries me.
    It is unlikely that they will peacefully accept this.
    It is almost certain that they will join with other radicals already in the same situation.
    These will not be people voluntarily standing outside society, they will have been forced out.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      Shouldn’t they be?

      • Tom
        Posted August 17, 2017 at 1:01 am | Permalink

        If you can live with the idea of ever expanding armed rightist groups caring nothing for the present society.
        The white anti Obama backlash has already put Mr Trump into power and in retrospect this seems almost inevitable.

  46. Chris
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I have been disappointed that many members of the media gloss over violence and authoritarian tendacies in some left wing quarters. This kind of behavior needs to be condemned as well if the media is to be seen as legitimate to a wide range of people.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      I could point you to some media sources that ONLY talk about that.

  47. Ash
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Unless your public behavior directly relates to your private job (ie, you are a designated spokesman) what you do in public life should have no affect on your job.

    Your job should depend solely on your performance at work.

    Your hiring should depend solely on a prediction made of factors directly related to your employment at work.

    Otherwise, what is the end plan, we just pay the food stamps, medicaid and housing of all these a**holes as they foment and spread their nonsense?

    Better to have people mingle and get to know each other and work together.

    ——

    That said, I have little problem with journalists publishing pictures of the protesters. They were in a public space, they can be photographed.

    ——

    In the past, your weekend in the stocks was known to everyone in your town, and few people beyond that.

    There really may be a reason to have the Google’s stop indexing the trivial misdeeds of the world.

    (If my memory serves, I am reminded of Zonker Harris pranking Roland Burton Hedley at Walden Pond and making the cover of Time only to realize his mistake “Terrific, I am a nationally known sex pervert”)

    ——

    As a digression:

    > (well, that’s sort of true, even though only one side was responsible for the murder)

    I am somewhat uncomfortable even with this.

    Fields is responsible for Fields, unless you can directly show that the Nazis that day directly incited his behavior. And maybe they did and you can, I am not claiming to be esp. knowledgeable.

  48. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    My initial gut reaction to the question posed in the headline of this thoughtful article was “Yes”, but after reading the article, I’ve changed my mind. The most compelling argument was the reference to the lack of contra-causal free will in bigots’ decisions to become bigots. It makes sense to attack the repugnant ideas, not the persons or livelihoods of those holding those ideas. “No” is the answer which is consistent with my belief that retributive justice is ultimately counter-productive to the aim of reducing the volume and intensity of the damage done by those unlucky enough to have become malefactors.

  49. yazikus
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been off pondering this issue, but wanted to respond to a couple of the comments upthread re: Weinstin:
    Evergreen doesn’t do tenure
    Damore is not equivalent to Weinstien, though they do seem to share a propensity for mass emails
    I don’t get to dictate who employers think it is worthwhile to fire, and nor does anyone else, save the employer

    That said, if a person can keep a lid on their terrible ideas enough to do their job well and not make it a hostile environment for their colleagues, I don’t think that they should be fired. As was stated above, we can’t just deny them the ability to provide and then do nothing. We would then need to provide for them. Also, the workplace is a great place to get exposed to different types of people and ideas. I believe people can change when presented with new and better information, and most garden-variety racists I would hope could be swayed. Now, if the person cannot keep a lid on their terrible ideas, such that people keep pointing it out to their employer? I don’t know. Old nazis wore hoods for a reason.

    • Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      “Old nazis wore hoods for a reason.”

      That was the KKK. There are very significant differences.

      • yazikus
        Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        D’oh and shame on me. Sloppy thought & typing.

        • Posted August 16, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

          Aside from that minor brain fart, the rest of the comment is well said an gets a WEIT thumbs up from me;

          =^.^=

  50. JJR
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    “I’m on much firmer ground asserting that the very fine people were much more on one side than the other.”

    “much more,” but not exclusively?

    I ask because that would mean you do in fact think that there were, “very fine people on both sides.”

  51. Ken Pidcock
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m late in the thread, but I just wanted to commend our host for his thoughtfulness and willingness to confront these issues.

  52. Paul
    Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Several years ago here in Wisconsin, Gov Walkers (R) published on the web the names and contact info of everyone that signed recall petitions. Its happening. Is that keeping with our Principles? The purpose wad intimidation.

    • GBJames
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      I’m on that list. They did intend to intimidate people. I’m not sure how successful they were.

      In a weird way the list did provide at least one small bit of “goodness”. A year or so ago I found a credit card on the street. Google found the name on Walker’s list and I was able to return the card to its rightful owner.

  53. Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I think the views Jerry expressed above are just about right. I would like to add one comment on the following statement that Jerry quoted:

    “I disagree with Jerry Coyne. ‘Speech’ takes many forms beyond words. Brandishing a Nazi or Confederate flag is action that talks, and the subject of that speech is hatred and suppression. Thus, it harms others. Our right to free speech ends at the point where it harms others.”

    It is potentially true that speech can harm other people (at least, psychologically), but there are two problems with trying to ban such speech:
    1. It is notoriously difficult to determine when and to what extent speech is harmful, and the subjectivity of such judgements is easily exploited by people lobbying against the expression of certain ideas.
    2. Sometimes speech that is clearly harmful to some people is beneficial overall. This is almost always the case when people have tightly held beliefs that are just wrong. For example, religious people can easily (and possibly even truthfully) argue that criticisms of their religious beliefs are psychologically harmful to themselves.

  54. Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/charlottesville-synagogue-president-recounts-scene-during-white-supremacist-rally

    “Soon, we learned that Nazi websites had posted a call to burn our synagogue.”

    • Ash
      Posted August 17, 2017 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      As sort of a tangent. The author of the tpm piece identifies herself as a newswriter, yet the only thing she did for that piece was copy and paste it from reformjudaism.org.

      Esme Cribb and TPM are literally why we cannot have nice things.

      From the article:

      > Zimmerman said the synagogue hired an “armed security guard” after “the police department refused” to provide an officer.

      So the obvious question is, what did the police say when Esme Cribb, newswriter, followed up with them?

      I hate what blogs have done to journalism.

  55. Sandman
    Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Can anyone provide a source for this?

    “…view of the evidence of weapons-carrying Leftists.”

    I don’t doubt Professor Coyne’s words (I saw something about it a couple of days ago) but I am struggling to locate it.

  56. Posted August 17, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    When you watch the film of the driver stopping and backing up, you will notice two with bats ready, and at that point the driver revs forward. The driver’s attitude stinks. The predicament he found himself in was dangerous. It wasn’t right on either side.

  57. Posted August 17, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    When a fool speaks the truth it becomes the obligation of the wise man to agree with him. I applaud Jerry for doing is doing his best “to be fair” by decrying the violence on the left as well as the right in the Charlottesville march. What I don’t understand is why it’s so difficult to simply admit that Trump’s claim of “blame on both sides” is absolutely true rather than just “sort of true.” Even a broken clock. . . .

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Jerry’s characterization stands for him of course, but I interpret it to mean that it was “true but irrelevant”. It was a vehicle for Trump to display his racism, since the white supremacists and Nazis are what Stephen Fry would say “not nice!”

      But the true irrelevance of these facts comes from that this trash pack gathered armed to protest removal of racist (in the form of Segregation) tributes, it was their instigation. Peaceful protest it was not.

      And the result was an unarmed victim of terrorism on the other side.Equivocating between proven terrorists and proven victims is to blame the victim.

  58. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    My belated responses:

    1. No. Outing and doxing is harassment.And likely leads to more stresses so should be counter-productive. If identification is needed around show violence, police should do that.

    2-3. No. Unless it interferes with company (university, what have you) by showing and discussing politics, companies have no right to discriminate minorities.

  59. Dirtnapninja
    Posted August 26, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I will speak from the POV of someone on the right.

    Disemployment does not work. Why? It punishes, but does not deter. Nor does it help to reconcile or rehabilitate. And it has a side effect many of you havent really thought of…it has created a pool of extremely alienated and very angry young men who are highly skilled and have nothing to lose.

    Many of the people behind Charlottesville were just internet trolls a couple of years ago until they were doxxed and disemployed. Now they are *truly* committed. As one of them has put it on his podcast “It was painful but liberated us to go further”. Understand..this faction of the alt right isnt what is referred to as white nationalism v1. They have little more than scorn and mockery for old KKK and nazi skinheads. these guys arent drawn from poor and ignorant rural whites. They are mainly middle class and educated.

    The difference between how the left wants to handle islamic extremists and how they want to handle right wing extremists is stark. I am going to tell you, as someone who has seen this process from the time it began to take shape, the current approach is a catastrophe. It does not work. It is pushing MORE young white males into extremism and pushing them further.


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