Machete Attack Shows Lack of Tolerance

For those of you  wondering why the above headline appears on a conservative opinion website, wonder no longer: the above headline actually appeared in yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen, a leading Canadian newspaper.

The incident it refers to involved two student at Carleton University, known to be supporters of Israel, attacked by a group of antisemitic thugs early Monday morning.

So yes, it’s another chance to make fun of Canadians  (I mean, it’s not usually very difficult), but it signifies something much more troubling. How can a society this slavishly committed to political correctness actually deal with legitimate problems?

One of the main problems with political correctness, as I argued in Carolina Review‘s February issue, is that it prevents an open and meaningful discussion of real problems. Yes, the attackers did show a “lack of tolerance,” but that misses quite a few important steps. Hitler also showed a “lack of tolerance,” but only a fool would think that an absence of open-mindedness was his chief failing or the root of his problems.

Back to the preposterous opinion piece from yesterday:

People admire Canada for its tolerance and open-minded attitudes to all nations and to all peoples. Being a student does not give anyone the right to attack others for any reason including personal prejudice.

Can anyone really be so blind as to think that attempted murder is the result of a confusion about the rights of students?

May God help Frances Ross, the author of the piece, who clearly needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

14 thoughts on “Machete Attack Shows Lack of Tolerance

  1. "One of the main problems with political correctness, as I argued in Carolina Review’s February issue, is that it prevents an open and meaningful discussion of real problems."

    I agree — a great example of this is the way in which people who criticize Israeli policy and behavior are portrayed as anti-semites.

      1. Yeah, that's pretty horrible, and my comment didn't actually have anything to do with this incident, just the concept of "political correctness," which is endemic in the right-wing / mainstream media as well as on the left.

      2. Actually, __o_, you should know that political correctness is a product of the left. Calling critics of Israel "anti-Semitic" is a tactic of the left and the neo-conservatives. Traditional conservatives are not nearly as politically correct as liberals and neo-conservatives.

      3. That's odd, I've never met a leftist who would call a critic of Israel anti-semitic unless they were, you know, actually anti-semitic.

        While the origins of the modern usage of the term "politically correct" are in the early 80s and the general vilification of all things "liberal" by an ascendant right wing, it's not difficult to discern a rather blatant strain of the same groupthink on the right. For example, the hysteria of the Red Scare in the early 20th century (1919-1920) and again in the McCarthy era, and again in the Reagan era — all smell quite a bit like political correctness to me. Right-wing political correctness is much like white privilege — all but invisible to those who exist within its bounds in "mainstream" America.

      4. Perhaps I should have been more clear. Every society has what we call "political correctness." And, to be sure, there was a time in this country when it was politically incorrect to be a communist. I would say, however, that over the past 50 years or so in this country, the left has dominated the political landscape for the most part. Sure, there's communism, and that has endured as a politically incorrect doctrine. Nevertheless, on most issues, people tend to think of being chastised by liberals much more than by conservatives for not being "politically correct" as a generally understood concept. I think any reasonable person would admit that.

        As far as racial issues go, it's clear that the left dominates those. The term "racist" is almost completely controlled by the left. Any conservative accusations of racism tend to fall on deaf ears, while like liberal accusations are paraded in the media like a conqueror in a Triumph. The only exception would be certain cases of anti-Semitism. After many champions of Israel's cause moved from the ranks of the left into the ranks of the right (thereby forming the neo-conservative movement), many leftists are accused of anti-Semitism. But such charges are typically not taken very seriously, and they are limited to charges of anti-Semitism on nonracial, policy-oriented grounds. Put simply, a liberal who is charged with anti-Semitism is typically seen as an anti-Christian is perceived–against the doctrine, not the people. On the other hand, traditional conservatives are typically accused of being against Jews primarily for racial reasons, not for policy-oriented reasons. And this obsession with race and not offending people on racial/ethnic grounds is most certainly a product of the left. And whatever might have been the case in the past, it's clear that TODAY (after all, isn't that what's really important?) a very politically correct person is more liberal than conservative. Would you not agree?

      5. "I would say, however, that over the past 50 years or so in this country, the left has dominated the political landscape for the most part."

        I would say that you haven't been paying much attention, then, or you're from bizarro universe. The idea that "the left" has been dominating the political landscape in the US for 50 years is beyond ludicrous, it's some sort of pathological right-wing fantasy….

      6. Okay, let’s think about this. The ’60s and ’70s were definitely leftist decades. Anyone who would dispute that is a moron. Since that time, the right has made little to no progress. And by the “right” I am not talking about, for example, Reagan economic policy or neo-conservative foreign policy. Conservative economic policy is great, I guess, but even that has not been enough to rid us of the extensive mooching that is endemic among certain left-leaning groups in the U.S. Additionally, certain economic policies that have been commonly called “conservative” have not really been conservative in the truest sense of the word–they have depleted our manufacturing base (as opposed to “conserving” it). Culturally, the left has made much progress, which means the right has fallen desperately behind (e.g., in terms of states’ rights, traditional values, and immigration). States’ rights used to be a controversial issue, in which conservatives strongly opposed and liberals strongly favored the federal takeover. Nowadays, people don’t give state and local governments a second thought as it has been so ingrained in their minds that they are inconsequential. Slowly (or not so slowly) traditional values have moved so far to the left that, nowadays, conservatives are under threat of severe social retribution should they express many sorts of reservations that would have been completely common even just a matter of years ago. When it comes to immigration, the left so completely dominates that debate that even so-called “conservatives” are quite liberal, relatively speaking, in their opinions on the topic. These three issues are central to cultural conservation, and, if the wrong people (i.e., leftists) control them, then you can expect the culture NOT to be conserved and you can assume it’s because countercultural douche bags (like yourself) are in charge.

      7. Okay, let's think about this. The '60s and '70s were definitely leftist decades. Anyone who would dispute that is a moron. Since that time, the right has made little to no progress. And by the "right" I am not talking about for example, Reagan economic policy or neo-conservative foreign policy. Conservative economic policy is great, I guess, but even that has not been enough to rid us of the extensive mooching that is endemic among certain left-leaning groups in the U.S. Additionally, certain economic policies that have been commonly called "conservative" have not really been conservative in the truest sense of the word–they have annihilated our manufacturing base (as opposed to "conserving" it). Culturally, the left has made much progress, which means the right has fallen desperately behind (e.g., in terms of states' rights, traditional values, and immigration). States' rights used to be a controversial issue, in which conservatives strongly opposed and liberals strongly favored the federal takeover. Nowadays, people don't give state and local governments a second thought as it has been so ingrained in their minds that they are inconsequential. Slowly (or not so slowly) traditional values have moved so far to the left that, nowadays, conservatives are under threat of severe social retribution should they express many sorts of reservations that would have been completely common even just a matter of years ago. When it comes to immigration, the left so completely dominates that debate that even so-called "conservatives" are quite liberal, relatively speaking, in their opinions on the topic. These three issues are central to cultural conservation, and, if the wrong people (i.e., leftists) control them, then you can expect the culture NOT to be conserved and you can assume it's because countercultural douche bags (like yourself) are in charge.

        So let me spell it out for you simply:

        1. Our culture/society is not being preserved. This is obvious. I wouldn't surprised if you should deny it, but that's just because I'm used to dealing with you (specifically).

        2. Cultures are not preserved for several reasons, but at the core, it's because, commonly, people stop respecting and wishing to preserve their heritage. This disregard for heritage and tradition, this lack of nostalgia, as some may describe it, is one of the hallmarks of leftism.

        3. Put items 1 and 2 together, and you realize that leftists currently rule the day.

      8. "Our culture/society is not being preserved"

        This statement is so broad and vague as to be meaningless. Who is "our" and what is "culture/society"? Historically, what does it mean to preserve a culture/society? Can you give some examples of modern cultures/societies that have been successfully preserved?

        "This disregard for heritage and tradition, this lack of nostalgia, as some may describe it, is one of the hallmarks of leftism."

        Strangely, then, most of the people I know who are actively working to preserve cultural records and artifacts have political opinions that would cause you to categorize them as leftists… so, as usual, you are wrong about pretty much everything.

  2. This is a letter to the editor. I bet whatever junior copy editor whose job it was to title and edit the LTEs this week just thought it was funny.

    But as an aside, I'd say generally that anyone who says in public that Israel's interests and US interests are becoming more divergent has to fear being labeled an anti-Semite.

    You want to see a flash of anti-Semitism in the United States? Have Israel drag us into a war with Iran.

  3. Errr… I question that ANY of this actually happened.

    They supposedly ran back into security of the bar, but have no testimony from the bar. They have absolutely no corroborating evidence, and somehow outran people who were in a car (and easily could've, you know, run them, over)?

    It may very well be the case that this bizarre and oddly pre-medicated but poorly executed action occurred, but if I was in the jury, I would laugh until these two fools stopped just trying to get desperate attention to themselves and a weakened movement.

  4. Mr. Cheston, the fact that you would report this incident as if it were serious news is quite ridiculous—and telling—in my opinion. I agree with Xanth. It’s unlikely that any of this actually happened. It sounds to me
    like Jews who want to play the victim card…again. Intolerance of Jews *snicker*…the PERCEPTION that Jews are always the victims is what allows Jews to get away with so much. Seriously, read some material that isn’t so flattering to Jews. They have a history of being revolutionary, annoyances,
    highly ethnocentric, and even disastrous. Yet they sure do love to play the role of the victim.

    1. "Seriously, read some material that isn’t so flattering to Jews. They have a history of being revolutionary, annoyances, highly ethnocentric, and even disastrous."

      Sounds like you have an irrational fear/dislike for Jews. You might not call it antisemitism, but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

      Please point to some "material" that is legitimate or do some serious soul-searching.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s