You Don’t Get To Tell People To Take Off Clothing Because It Hurts Your Feelings

So there’s a big story circulating about a student who was told they had to remove their hat because it supported Donald Trump.

Oh yeah…and this happened in Canada.

Here’s the video but if you don’t feel like watching it, I’ll provide quotes below.

 

Let’s take a look at what it says in the National Post about this incident:

The incident — in which a female student at Mount Royal University insists that a male remove the hat commonly worn by Donald Trump supporters — came to light Thursday after a video emerged online.

In it the woman approaches a man asking him to take the hat off, arguing the slogan stands for hate language. The man refuses, insisting that he is in a public place and has the right to freedom of expression. He rejects the suggestion that it’s a hateful message.

When asked to remark about the confrontation later, the female student had this to say:

“Today (Wednesday) I got into an altercation with a guy wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat. I went up and asked him if he would take the hat off, explaining a university should be a safe space,” she said.

“It was impossible to communicate to him why wearing a hat in support of a movement grown on the seeds of racism, bigotry and exclusion of diversity (sexual and cultural) could make some people afraid,” she added.

What the fuck.

You don’t get to tell people what they can and can not wear because you disagree with its message. You can disagree with the hats message and debate what the hat might signify, but you don’t get to be an authoritarian douche.

And since when is a University a ‘safe space’? Are young adults too sensitive to hear or be confronted with differing opinions?

Do you think the real world will be full of safe spaces for you to hide in?

A hat shouldn’t have the power to make anyone afraid. It seems obvious to me that this young lady wasn’t afraid in the slightest, because she sure as hell didn’t have any problem publicly confronting the hat wearer and causing an altercation. That doesn’t look like the actions of someone who is ‘afraid’.

Look, I think Trump is a dumb ass as well, but that means he’s able to be beaten in the marketplace of ideas. Instead of resorting to authoritarianism, why not engage in debate? By telling this guy to remove his hat, you become a bigger a-hole (or at the very least as big an a-hole) as the person you’re disagreeing with.

This kind of nonsense has to stop. We seem to be creating a society of people who can’t tolerate dissenting opinion; people who are willing to force others to agree with them through any means necessary.

If you want a ‘safe space’, try your own living-room or bedroom. That’s a safe place. A school is a place for learning and for being exposed to knew ideas, even ideas you might not agree with.

I know, it’s a shocker, right?

Later, the school had this to say:

“I have seen the video and want to emphasize that I believe, both as an individual and as the President of Mount Royal University, freedom of speech is fundamental to post-secondary institutions and to society as a whole,” said Docherty.

“Students can express differing opinions in a respectful way to increase understanding of each other’s views. Universities play a critical role in society as places where students and other groups can share and listen to different perspectives in a respectful and peaceful way. We will continue to protect this freedom of expression.”

Amen.

At least this school isn’t caving into the bullying of the authoritarians who want to eradicate any opinion but their own.

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35 Comments

  1. Some long years ago when baby Bush was in power (and I use the phrase lightly) and he was playing with the code orange and code yellow controls, people were becoming extremely fearful of attracting any kind of attention to themselves. it was that kind of era.
    One man in a large mall was approached by security guards, and told to remove or cover up the tshirt he was wearing. It was, they said, an incitement to violence and he needed to get rid of it. Or be escorted out of the Mall. He was, as I recall, escorted out of the mall. Right past the vendor who had sold him the tshirt in the first place. The dangerous slogan on the shirt? “Give Peas a Chance.”.

    Good for the university and the right to speak freely. Or in this case, wear freely. Even if it is the equivalent of wearing Mickey Mouse ears with a tuxedo.

    KIA, in this instance it isnt the slogan, it’s what slides in underneath it, and all the things that Trump stands for (this week, at least), It’s the unspoken support of a man who terrifies a lot of people, and deservedly so.

  2. I would have to agree with Judy. Because the slogan isn’t applicable to Canadians from a political perspective, the only remaining message is one that reflects the views of a foreign political leader.

    The branding of the phrase aims to capture the views of a political leader in a single sentence. While the sentence itself does not warrant criticism, it’s the brand message that does.

    Evidently, the purpose of the brand message is working as intended. Thus, the intention of communicating the core values of said political leader are clearly intentional. To that, the associated messages are: Racism, bigotry, intolerance, fear, sexist, hypocrisy, intimidation, prejudice, influence peddling, and hate speech.

    The branded message is no different than someone displaying a swastika flag. Are people allowed to display this symbol? Sure. Are they entitled to some form of immunity from public backlash? No. The right to speak does not equal the right to protection from scrutiny — as this equates to free speech by others.

    To site free speech in presenting unsustainable and offensive social concepts — is allowed. However, free speech goes both ways. To that, criticism and social backlash is a natural causation. To disallow this backlash is to promote the social concepts of “Make America great again” as acceptable — a clear violation of Universal Rights.

    Outside the scientific social perspective, anyone intentionally offending members of society without relevant cause (as inapplicable to Canadian citizens) is entitled to all the public scorn they deserve.

    Bottom line, if the political message was applicable to Canadians, then It’s a political message. However, since the message is presented outside the applicable country, the message is not a political message, but a message of social defiance — promoting the associated messages by the author of the phrase, including Hate.

    • Thanks for dropping by Drexus.

      You said: “Because the slogan isn’t applicable to Canadians from a political perspective, the only remaining message is one that reflects the views of a foreign political leader.”

      No sir. It could just mean make america great again.

      “Thus, the intention of communicating the core values of said political leader are clearly intentional. To that, the associated messages are: Racism, bigotry, intolerance, fear, sexist, hypocrisy, intimidation, prejudice, influence peddling, and hate speech.”

      That’s a big leap.

      “However, free speech goes both ways. To that, criticism and social backlash is a natural causation. To disallow this backlash is to promote the social concepts of “Make America great again” as acceptable — a clear violation of Universal Rights.”

      No one said they couldn’t debate or discuss the hat. The problem is that she demanded he remove the hat and threatened him in order to make him comply. Later, another person literally rips the hat from his head and runs. Those aren’t just free speech things. Those are authoritarian tactics and lower the people perpetrating it to the level of the people they are trying to oppose.

      “Bottom line, if the political message was applicable to Canadians, then It’s a political message. However, since the message is presented outside the applicable country, the message is not a political message, but a message of social defiance — promoting the associated messages by the author of the phrase, including Hate.”

      Not really. I have to disagree with you. You can support political candidates from any country in other countries.

      • “No sir. It could just mean make america great again.”

        If you feel this message somehow applies to Canadian culture, please elaborate — as a distinctive measure ahead of the intended branding for American politics. To be clear, the purpose of the phrase does not apply to any other country than the US. Just what might be the implication of a political phrase used outside the US as not having a say nor a mechanism to influence the outcome of US politics? None as I see it. People who see the message do not see it for anything other than support for the author of the phrase. To suggest the message is completely separate from it’s socially recognized meaning — is unsubstantiated.

        “That’s a big leap.”

        Yes, it’s a large leap from the norm of intellectually civil politics. However, if you feel my list of unsustainable social traits warrants evidence in support, simply read the news.

        “No one said they couldn’t debate or discuss the hat. The problem is that she demanded he remove the hat and threatened him in order to make him comply. Later, another person literally rips the hat from his head and runs. Those aren’t just free speech things. Those are authoritarian tactics and lower the people perpetrating it to the level of the people they are trying to oppose.”

        I wouldn’t hope to commend the actions of those who express their views by removing one’s hat, but it should seem expected for that individual to receive public scrutiny proportionate to the insensitivity of his social statement.

        “Not really. I have to disagree with you. You can support political candidates from any country in other countries.”

        Of course you can, that’s your right. However, if you fail to understand the message you project in the context of where you are, you will receive a social response that clearly describes the true message as perfectly understood. Without question, you can claim intent of message as benign all you like, however, if the reaction does not fit the benign message — clearly the more accurate message was the one communicated.

        In case this concept isn’t completely clear, I offer this: Were a student to enter my class with a shirt that said “F*ck College” with a disrespectful graphic, I would be far within my rights to ask the individual to change shirt or leave. Why? Because it’s disruptive to the collaborative space of the school environment. Inciting undesirable social behaviour isn’t part of the sustainable social model of collaboration.

        This goes with anyone presenting a tasteless or callus message as insensitive to the feelings of others — like wearing a t-shirt of the twin towers on fire with the words “Ya Baby!” — and walking down town New York. Would it be fair to say someone might knock your hat off? Given NY isn’t in Canada, I surmise something slightly less benign might happen.

        As a side note, why is this article flagged with an Atheist tag?

        • “To be clear, the purpose of the phrase does not apply to any other country than the US.”

          So you’re saying that no Canadian can care about American politics?

          Canadians can care about American politics and many of us do because it directly impacts us.

          “To suggest the message is completely separate from it’s socially recognized meaning — is unsubstantiated.”

          Not really. The claim that it can only mean what you perceive it to mean is completely unsubstantiated.

          “However, if you feel my list of unsustainable social traits warrants evidence in support, simply read the news.”

          Not my job to substantiate your claims. That’s yours.

          “I wouldn’t hope to commend the actions of those who express their views by removing one’s hat”

          Great. So you agree with me then.

          “Were a student to enter my class with a shirt that said “F*ck College” with a disrespectful graphic, I would be far within my rights to ask the individual to change shirt or leave. Why? Because it’s disruptive to the collaborative space of the school environment. ”

          Yes. As a teacher. A student doesn’t have the right to demand others remove clothing. They can report it. They also can’t physically remove clothing. Also the student could go through the proper channels to reverse your decision.

          Also, the hat didn’t have any profanity on it, unlike your example.

          “like wearing a t-shirt of the twin towers on fire with the words “Ya Baby!” — and walking down town New York. Would it be fair to say someone might knock your hat off?”

          You’re saying the supporting of a political candidate from another country is the same as supporting the terrorist attack on the twin towers?

          WTF.

          Seriously way over the top horrible example.

          And while they might get the hat knocked off, that doesn’t mean it SHOULD be knocked off.

          • “So you’re saying that no Canadian can care about American politics?”

            Not at all, I’m saying the purpose of the phrase has no bearing on people in Canada, as Canadians are not involved in the proposed actions inferred by the phrase. I’m getting the strong impression you wish to disagree with a simple concept, as though turning the idea on its side will reveal a more complex proposition than there is.

            “Canadians can care about American politics and many of us do because it directly impacts us.”

            Yes, [some] Canadians do, but this isn’t the point is it? To that, the level of impact US politics has on Canadians is immaterial to the US federal election — as exclusive to US citizens. I fail to see how this somehow validates social disrespect to Canadians.

            ”Not really. The claim that it can only mean what you perceive it to mean is completely unsubstantiated.”

            You’re presenting a straw-man argument. No implication was offered to a single meaning. The point was in reference to the clear social meaning — not on literal syntax. You offer a non-sequitur.

            “Not my job to substantiate your claims. That’s yours”

            Again, false assumption. These are not my claims, just those from the reports in the news.

            “Great. So you agree with me then”

            No. You’ve yet to present a sound argument for anyone to agree with.

            “Yes. As a teacher. A student doesn’t have the right to demand others remove clothing. They can report it. They also can’t physically remove clothing. Also the student could go through the proper channels to reverse your decision.”

            As stated previously, no argument was offered in defence of this action. The reference was to the expected backlash from offending a social group.

            “Also, the hat didn’t have any profanity on it, unlike your example.”

            Again, you choose to side-step the clear explanation of meaning over literal syntax. Had it occurred to you that people reading said message might instantly deliver flagrant profanity? To some, the phrase in question is on par with profanity.

            “You’re saying the supporting of a political candidate from another country is the same as supporting the terrorist attack on the twin towers?”

            You have an affinity for poor literary discernment. At no point was such an association made, please read the comment again.

            “And while they might get the hat knocked off, that doesn’t mean it SHOULD be knocked off.”

            Correct.

            • You clearly just run around in circles. It doesn’t matter if they were offended by supporting a political candidate or his ideas or whether he meant that he wishes America to be great again. All that maters is he’s allowed to wear the hat and the student isn’t allowed to tell him what to wear and the other student isn’t allowed to take the hat without his permission.

              That was my case.

              You are arguing with nothing since you’ve already admitted you wouldn’t tell them to take the hat off. So clearly I made my case, since it’s the same fucking conclusion the school came to.

              You can be offended. You can argue about the meaning of the hat. You can’t tell people to remove clothing because it offends you, except in select circumstances.

              ” Had it occurred to you that people reading said message might instantly deliver flagrant profanity? To some, the phrase in question is on par with profanity.”

              So? I’m offended by the color green. Can I ban the color in public?

              “You have an affinity for poor literary discernment. At no point was such an association made”

              No. You make bad comparisons.

              Bottom line is while you obviously feel strongly against Trump and his political message, you also seem to agree that the student can’t tell the other student to remove clothing because it offends her.

              That was the whole point of what I wrote.

  3. One other thing that offends the dickens out of me about that slogan: when you see the man who made it in the first place, it’s very important to realize what he’s doing: first you tear down, then you build up what you just tore down. By doing that, he owns it.

    It’s verbal abuse at its most subtle and pervasive. Most of us have over time been indoctrinated by the religious concept of unworthiness, (bless me father, I am not worthy…) and Trump is telling us what a mess ‘we’ made of this country but with his help (now that he has pounded us to a pulp over it) ‘we’ can make it great. Again. key word, “again”.

    But you’re right, Drexus, the spoken message is aimed at us, not Canadians, and it’s his battle slogan.

      • Nan, I’ve been an unwilling listener to his rants and raves and language (my husband thinks he’s the next Savior), and he has a very hypnotic, fascinating style, listen to the rhythms of it. Repeat, repeat, enforce, repeat. “I just want America to be strong. it needs to be strong. We can make it strong. We can do this”.

        In a way it’s the way we learned to read, isnt it. “see dick run, see Sally run. See spot. Look at Spot.” He says very little of substance, but you come away feeling he must have. No wonder he doesn’t use notes, he doesnt need them. Just pick a thread and keep on tugging.

  4. It’s amazing how a simple show of who your support is seen as unsafe and harmful. What’s even more disappointing is seeing campuses actually enable with this politically correct behaviour. Colleges should be a way to actually debate actual issues and investigate. If this is the behaviour of people who will potentially hold office or have world-shaping careers, then I’m afraid of what that would mean to the democratic process in general. It’s happening in Australia. Far right factions of the Australian Labor Party are being infiltrated by left wingers yet the people are oblivious to it. Behaviour like what is shown in your video is going to make that type of behaviour acceptable in congress, in parliament, etc. Freedom of speech is dead in college and university campuses.

      • It’s always great to find a blog with a little bit of common sense. Everyone is bashing Trump. Yes, I don’t like him either, but fortunately I was educated and base my vote on a parties program, not the candidate who is misusing minorities and small side groups to plant entitlement, hate and spread misery (that being Mrs Clinton).

        Anyway, have a great day. I’ll be back 🙂

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