Sensitive Clowns: The Erosion of Free Speech
“Controlling what people say is very close to controlling what people think.”
As everyone knows by now, a Missouri State Fair rodeo clown wore an Obama mask, and the Fair subsequently banned him from ever participating again. A White House spokesman tacitly approved of this response, calling the incident “not one of the finer moments” in the state. Furthermore, the fair started requiring “sensitivity training” for rodeo clowns. That’s right, sensitivity. For clowns.
On July 31st, Hillsdale College President Dr. Larry Arnn became a target after using the term “dark ones” in reference to minority students.
Rather than address the actual context and point Arnn was making, Michigan Department of Education lawmakers attempted to demonize Arnn as racially insensitive. Arnn stated that the Department sent people to the school specifically to note the number of non-white students. They were scanning faces for the “dark ones,” as Arnn said. Despite the validity of Arnn’s comments, he was excoriated for using non-approved language.
These incidents represent a frightening trend in American politics and culture. When making a statement that those in power don’t like, one becomes vulnerable to accusations of insensitivity, racism, or some similar form of bigotry and hatred. The message or intent becomes buried in the outrage.
Language use is now a weapon for progressive leaders who wish to silence their enemies. If these breaches of First Amendment principles weren’t enough, a glaring case of government manipulation of the press came into view recently.
The Washington Post broke an alarming story regarding NSA privacy violations, and the NSA and the White House responded with their own comments and an attempt to replace interview answers given by NSA director of compliance John DeLong with a prepared statement. This begs the question: how often does the White House make such requests to
change news stories, and how often does the press comply?
While it’s obvious that such control of speech, language, and the press is a useful tool for pushing down political opposition, there are even more drastic consequences. As George Orwell said in his Politics and the English Language, “if thought corrupts language, language corrupts thought.”
Portrayal of certain speech as bigoted is powerful because of the concept that what one thinks affects what one says, but the reverse is true as well.
Controlling what people say is very close to controlling what people think. When government holds power over thought, there is no freedom left. Orwell understood this, as shown through the fictional “Newspeak” in his famous novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
When clowns are going through sensitivity training, it sure seems like we’re very close to turning that dystopian fiction into reality.
Isaac Morrison is a student at Hillsdale College, and previously wrote RINOs and Wackos – The Problem With Politics for College Insurrection.
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Sensitivity training = reeducation camp
The difference between the Soviet re-education camps and sensitivity training camps is that the rodeo clown gets to PAY for his own indoctrination. If the journalist at the Kansas City Star that created the ruckus, Yael T. Abouhalkah, had any real knowledge of US political history, he would know that lampooning the President is a time-honored tradition. We do not deify our presidents as gods nor do we crown our presidents as kings. Nor do we send our clowns for sharia/totalitarian indoctrination. Our Presidents are servants of the people.
I’d like to know who runs the indoctrination camp, who profits from it and if Mr. Abouhalkah gets a kickback.
Social “scientists”, state planners and the political control freaks have been wanting to get inside our brains to understand our motivations so that they can devise better methods to influence, manipulate and exert total control over us. Time to stomp all this nonsense out.
I’m guessing that clowns like Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert will also be attending sensitivity training?
They used to say, “Bring in the Clowns!”
Now it’s, “Take out the Clowns, by any means necessary!”
When rodeo clowns are in an administration’s crosshairs, you know the administration has jumped the bull.
No, it “raises the question”… See http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/begs-question?page=all
Next up: Datum versus Data….
I’ve always loved the “Sensitivity training for thee, not for me” view of liberal Democrats.
This from people the word “bigot” must have been created for.
Compared to the antics, displays, threats, and frothing drooling hatred shown against GWB by the Left ? What ?
A clown mask ? A clown wears a Halloween mask, and it’s a Federal Offense, to be investigated by the FBI and the Secret Service ? It’s a ‘hate crime’ ? What do they want, life in prison ?
The poor guy is a school superintendent, they are trying to cost him his job for something he did outside of work ?
Holy tripe, Batman.
What about all the drooling libs that went out and bought GWB masks to wear around and insult and threaten ‘in absentia’ ?
It’s stunning, just how little regard the Left has for anything resembling The Constitution, of Free Speech, or ANYTHING, any thought, word, or deed, they disagree with.
It’s not so stunning. It’s baked right into the hard Left’s dogma. When trying to create a totalitarian state that takes care of everybody, you can’t tolerate dissent.
Remembering Sarah Palin effigy being hung somewhere…
Trying to remember who got fired….
As to “dark ones” being such a horrible term, President George H. W. Bush has referred to his half-Hispanic grandchildren that way.
My half-Asian children are naturally dark-skinned and during the summer look like they might’ve just walked out of the Amazon. They tease me when I try to show off my tan with, “Ummm, Daddy, you’re pink.” I tease them about how dark they are compared to me.
During the summer when they’re really dark and they wake up and their hair is a mess, my wife often calls them “Mogley,” after the Jungle Book character. It’s okay. My wife is not white so she’s allowed to say such things. Just like black people who use the n-word like an indefinite article.
Our kids and my wife laugh about it. Who cares? People gotta grow some humor or cultivate a sense of balls or something.
I’m telling you, these first-world problems are a b*tch!
Prof J highlights the absurdity of political correct speech every week with the Saturday Night Card Game series of posts. Yet the problem not only persists but is getting worse. Sensitivity training for clowns would have been a funny comedy skit 20 years ago. Now it’s considered a serious response.
At some point we have to start thinking about effective ways to put an end to the nonsense.
P.S. One last point on how powerful language is. The next time you hear abortion referred to as “reproductive freedom” or “women’s health” or any of the other phrases often used to dehumanize abortion and actually attempt to create a positive emotional response to it, mentally substitute the phrase “the violent decapitation and dismemberment of a preborn child”. How popular would abortion be if it were constantly referred to in those terms rather than the positive euphemisms “women’s health” or “reproductive freedom”?
Excellent points, Maggot.
As for a clown in sensitivity training skit, I picture a sensitivity trainer berating a clown in class, her finger jabbing him in the chest as she rails about his past insensitivities.
She then yells, “What do you have to say for yourself!!”
The sad-faced clown with the painted-on teardrop slowly looks up and … the plastic flower pinned to his lapel squirts her in the face.
The other clowns laugh uproariously … and a SWAT team breaks down the door and physically subdues all the clowns.
LHC (who, like most kids visiting the circus, found the clowns a bit scary rather than funny. Unlike the Obama administration, Luke grew out of that phase and is no longer afraid of clowns)
Exactly. Thanks for illustrating the point. 🙂
I was once invited to partake of a sexual harassment re-education camp because a lesbian wanted me and made my life hell because I had no interest in her and wasn’t even bi-curious, which led her to tell the powers that be that I’d made improper advances. I handed them copies of the letters and cards she’d written to me; they were not interested in proof that she was the harasser. So, when they ran the re-education line, I told them point blank fuggedaboudit, that they should deal with her and leave me the hell alone.
The Libs are going after Arnn cuz Hillsdale is Conservative and teaches the Constitution. If they could ruin Hillsdale’s reputation they will. That’s what they do.
Libs don’t care about facts, about context, about proof. What they care about is pressing what they perceive of as an advantage to make sure that everybody walks in lockstep, everybody is afraid of what other people might say about them, and dissenters are sent to gulags. That’s who they are.
The only fitting response is to fight back, hammer, tooth, and claw.
Speaking of language, Mr. Morrison, in your reference, the question is prompted, not begged.
As you continue your studies, Mr. Morrison, perhaps you might consider whether what I’m about to say is true, and if so, what it means.
To my knowledge, no fascist country instituted anything like sensitivity correction. Even in Nazi German, unless you were an undesirable like Jew or Gypsy, as long as you shut up, kept your head down, and did what they told you to do, you could get through.
The Soviets developed those sessions where the entire factory would gather to tell Ivan to show better revolutionary spirit. I don’t recall even at fascist show trials that defendants were required to write those long confessions to crimes they couldn’t possibly have committed.
And none of them developed the self-criticism sessions to typical of the Some People’s Republic of China.
Why? Here’s my answer and if you can come up with a better one, please tell me: For all their many faults and brutalities, it is no excuse of right-wing or fascist dictatorships to observe that all those regimes wanted was your compliance. It is the left-wing regimes that demand your soul. Nor did any fascist regime to my knowledge decide that some dissidents were mentally ill and used a hospital as substitute for a prison or a camp.
I draw a direct line between Chinese self-criticism sessions and demanding that dissenters undergo “sensitivity training.” No one thinks that a successful completion of such a course would be marked unless the victim confessed his racism, sexism, or whatever. A smart person will write whatever he’s told and get on with it.
Dissidents who experienced eastern Europe and Soviet Union all say that one of the features of the system, and the one that is in some ways the most soul destroying, is the requirement to lie, to say what you don’t believe. Eventually the truth becomes malleable and 2 + 2=5 if the campus administration…sorry, I mean “Big Brother”…says it is. One no longer owns ones own soul.
If the only reason the left, especially but not only on campus, doesn’t go all the way on this, it it’s because they can;’t.
Nazi Germany wasn’t Fascist. The German Nazi Party were National Socialists.
“it is no excuse of right-wing or fascist dictatorships to observe that all those regimes wanted was your compliance. It is the left-wing regimes that demand your soul.”
From the Doctrine of Fascism by Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile (likely by mostly Gentile)http://www.upf.edu/materials/fhuma/nacionalismes/nacio/docs/muss-doctrine.pdf :
“Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity.”
And in the next paragraph: “The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State – a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values – interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people.”
I think Fascists are out for people’s souls too.
However I would not allow Fascism to be described as a right-wing ideology. The Left would have you believe that in this model the far Left is Marxism– a Hegel based totalitarian system and that the far Right is Fascism– a Hegel based totalitarian system. Nonsense. Clearly there’s something wrong with that model.
I would only point out that Nazis…like the Obami…are opportunist Collectivists.
They will choose one from “colume a” and one from “colume b” wherever they find it of utility.
Nazis used the fascist economic model to very good effect. They did not “socialize” everything, especially big, compliant businesses or big compliant unions.
With malice aforethought they divide us into classes in order to advance their political, economic, and social standing.
With malice aforethought they play semantic games while simultaneously praising and condemning our right to responsible expression.
As for the evil clown, isn’t it discriminatory to treat Obama different from other presidents? It seems reasonable to expect that he would support and even desire to be represented in effigy as were his predecessors. In fact, the protestors of the evil clown are confirming their prejudice and affirmation to selectively reject equal treatment of individuals based on their skin color.
The selective or choice ideology needs to be rejected. It has been, it is, and always will be the bearer of civil and human rights violations.
This is, as we have seen throughout the Obamic Decline, an ASSAULT on free speech. Not “erosion”.
It is a direct frontal assault, made by design.
So, why is it the person is targeted for wearing the mask, and not the company that makes the mask?
I like this mask better:
That’s a good one! It suits how stupid Oblamer is. I like the zombie mask even better:
… but I don’t even want anything with that cretans image in my home.
BTW, I wonder if the gooberment will go after the mask makers next?
If one removes one’s head from the sand, PC(Pure Crap)is slowly shredding the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and laws. It is a cancer slowly eating away at our freedoms, and the Marxists plotting our demise are pleased. We are rapidly becoming the USSR of old.
I live 30 miles from the MO State Fair, Emmanuel Clever, leader of the CBC is our Rep. I’ll bet 60%+/- of the people in those stands voted for Pres. Obama both times. Here most farmers vote Democratic.
A Million Clown March on Washington DC.
That would kill this administration.
Get your masks.
If not in Washington, D.C. or at your local rodeo, at every Halloween party or event, public and private that one can attend. Let the persecutions begin!
What would really make your Million Clown March cool is if they all pulled up and piled out of the same Volkswagon.
Soooo dated… Soooo passe…
It should be a SmartCar.
Henry Hawkins will be the only clown at the march not sweating.
Cuz he doesn’t need to wear a mask!
LHC (who loves the VW idea)
Et tu, Luke? lol
Remember Moscow on the Hudson. Robin William played a clown who defected from the Soviet Union the freedom in the US.
If libs want guns banned because they kill people, shouldn’t they want masks banned now?
This PC rodeo clown thing is worse than we realize. A rodeo clown is no less a performer working on a stage than an actor in a play or movie. Suggest to a liberal that Hollywood movies ought to be censored and watch as his or her head explodes. And yet, that is precisely what is happening here. A professional entertainer is being punished and the content of the show censored.
How this guy doesn’t win a ton of money in lawsuits, I dunno.
Wake the f**k up, America.
Man, are you confused.
If you’re an actor hired to perform in a play or movie or commercial or tv show — just try and interject your personal ‘free speech’ into those venues, and see where your ass ends up.
How about we have the 1st and 3rd base coaches at the next Dodgers game wearing Jeb Bush and Rand Paul masks, and encourage the players to throw baseballs at them. Better yet, let’s resurrect Condoleezza Rice as a Republican hopeful and have all the Lakers girls in replica masks hoochie chooching it up at mid court during half time, with Lawrence Tanter the public address announcer making comments about Condo shakin’ her bootie.
Yeah, Obama is an idiot racist jerk, and the world would be better off if an Extraterrestrial space ship snatched him off the planet to place electronic probes in his anus for scientific experiment – but the CLOWN MASK ROUTINE was inappropriate for the setting.
Anyone who doesnt understand that needs some of those electrode probes inserted to clarify their thought patterns.
The State Fair is supported by public tax dollars. It’s a public event requiring paid admissions, maybe extra to attend the Rodeo Show. And it was attended by pro and anti Obama supporters and detractors. None of them were there for political satire. They were there to see cowboys thrown on their asses by angry bulls who then try and GORE and TRAMPLE them — in other words, good old fashioned non-political fun. Anyone who thinks a goofy-toothed mask of Obama over a clown’s face is appropriate fun in that environment needs a sense of propriety recalibration.
There you go capitalizing “gore!” Is “trampling” a code word for another moron democrat? LOL!!
Ah, the moron is back. No reply required – your posts are self-refuting.
JJ, apparently there has been a tradition of political figures being ridiculed in rodeos for quite a while. Why is this the first time there are complaints? And did you complain when W and other politicians were made fun of? Show us when and where you did. And if not, why not?
Not to mention that the likes of Madonna, Lady Gaga, and a generous assortment of hip-hoppers, rockers, and rappers have been denigrating GOP presidents for years, all of it at stadiums, concert halls, and university auditoriums, all of which are tax-funded in part or in whole.
Conservatives tolerate this out of love and respect for the 1st Amendment, while libs absolutely lose their minds when it goes the other way.
I would like to thank jayjerome66 for his exquisite displays of the liberal double standard and innate hypocrisy. All that’s missing is his claim that’s he really a conservative showing concern for our future.
In Clown School, didn’t jayjerome66 take some classes in Concern Trolling his sophomoric year?
Sure, but these days they don’t fail anybody.
Then how do you explain that in the past, rodeo clowns were able to wear GW Bush masks and not be banned from the fair forever? No sensitivity training was required. In fact, the events went unremarked altogether. It is the selective outrage you should have a problem with, not the merits of clowns mocking Presidents.
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Upon seeing the sky-writing, my first thought was concern for the dozen or so paranoid schizophrenics named Bob in a town the size of San Diego.
What the hell? Wrong thread. Time to up my own meds. Can I do that?
At the risk of being even more politically incorrect, I’m surprised the gay lobby didn’t have a problem with the broom.
If this clown had been in a union there would be no issue.
I do wonder about all the political cartoonists. Will they need training too?
Sensitivity and political correctness are no more than just code terms for other not-so-popular concepts like censorship, suppression, repression, persecution…
Controlling what people say is
very close tocontrolling what people think.
That’s the point.
It is also a form of prayer for otherwise secular liberals.
If I were one of the rodeo performers, I would agree to the sensitivity training only if the trainers would first let me train them on the fine art of getting between angry 1800 lb bulls and downed riders. That’s why they are in the arena, the clown antics are secondary. Many now call themselves bullfighters not clowns. It is an apt name because there sure is a lot of stinky politically correct bull to fight in the story.
Someone earlier mentioned “re-education camps”.
Just after the fall of Saigon in 1975, hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese were sent to “re-education camps” to “learn about the ways of the new government”. Of course, this “re-education” was little more than revenge, repression and indoctrination aimed at turning former anti-communists into socialists. They were even forced to write confessions to any trivial “crime against the socialist state” as a part of their atonement for opposing the communist forces during the war.
This sound an awful lot like “sensitivity training”, where someone who says or does something The State, or somebody else, doesn’t like gets sent to “get their minds right” and atone for their sins against the orthodoxy.
Somebody says something that one of the professionally offended interprets to be anti-gay and the gay rights crowd declare him a homophobe and demand sensitivity training.
Some poor schmuck compliments a woman’s appearance and the appropriate professionally offended bunch declare him a misogynist and demand he attend sensitivity training. (This does not apply to the Mayor of San Diego.)
A rodeo clown does a bit about “The First Black President” that the professional race-baiters don’t like and they declare him a racist and demand he undergo sensitivity training to get his mind right and atone for his sins against The One True Obama.
The leftists love to dish out harsh “dissent,” but they squeal like frightened children when it comes at them instead.
[…] Sensitive Clowns: The Erosion of Free Speech “Controlling what people say is very close to controlling what people think.” […]
“I hope there are no climate change deniers in the Department of Interior,” Sally Jewell said to her 70,000 staff last Wednesday.
The threat was clear… if you don’t believe in Global Warming keep your mouth shut if you want to keep your job.
1984 is here.