How “Silence is Violence” Can Became Compelled Speech

Freedom_of_SpeechBelow is my column in the Hill newspaper on the rising concern over compelled speech on our campuses and our streets.

Here is the column:

Silence is violence” has everything that you want in a slogan: Alliteration. Brevity. Simplicity. It also can be chilling for some in the academic and free-speech communities.

On one level, it conveys a powerful message that people of good faith should not remain silent about great injustices. However, it can have a more menacing meaning to “prove the negative” – demanding that people prove they are not racist.

In a prior column, I warned of the thin line between speech codes and speech commands, as people move from compelling silence to compelling speech: “Once all the offending statues are down, and all the offending professors are culled, the appetite for collective suppression will become a demand for collective expression.”

The line between punishing speech and compelling speech is easily crossed when free speech itself is viewed as a threat. It is not just the many cases of journalists, academics and others fired for expressing dissenting views. Even expressing support in the wrong way can be a terminal offense, like declaring “all lives matter” rather than “Black Lives Matter,” as in the firing of University of Massachusetts-Lowell Dean of Nursing Leslie Neal-Boylan or Vermont principal Tiffany Riley. While most of us support Black Lives Matter, it has become an official position of many schools — and variations are not tolerated. The concern is not only the establishment of orthodox values but the forced recitation of those values.

We are now seeing that fear realized.

This week, a mob surrounded diners outside several Washington restaurants, shouting “White silence is violence!” and demanding that diners raise a fist to support Black Lives Matter. Various diners dutifully complied as protesters screamed inches from their faces. One did not — Lauren Victor, who later said she has marched in protests for weeks but refused to be bullied. The mob surrounded her, and Washington Post reporter Fredrick Kunkle identified a freelance journalist as one of the people yelling at Victor and demanding: “What was in you, you couldn’t do this?”

It is the very mantra of orthodoxy: Failing to utter certain words, prayers or pledges is deemed a confession of complicity or guilt.

That demand for public affirmation was on display again Thursday when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his wife were threatened by a mob after leaving the final event of the Republican National Convention. The couple was ordered to “Say Her Name,” referring to Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician shot by police in Louisville, Ky. Notably, some media suggested the mob did not know who Paul was; they just demanded that he say the name if he wanted to pass.

Forced speech can occur in a variety of direct and indirect ways. The University of Southern Maine’s president, Glenn Cummings, proclaimed “we must never tire of declaring that Black Lives Matter” and asked students and faculty to add their names to a public anti-racism pledge. After objections, the school said it would keep the list non-public. The concern was that some faculty and students may not support Black Lives Matters as an organization, or have other disagreements with the pledge — yet, failure to be on the list would indicate they are racist, or at least not sufficiently anti-racist.

The University of California issued a “guidance document” requiring students to reject racism, sexism, xenophobia and all hateful or intolerant speech, including a mandate that students stop others from referring to the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.” While the use of those terms is controversial, it also is heavily laden with political meaning for people on both sides of the debate over the pandemic.

Syracuse University moved more directly not just to bar but to require some forms of speech. Professor Keith Alford, the university’s diversity and inclusion officer, declared students would be punished for simply witnessing “bias-motivated” incidents and “acts of hate.” That was a response to a student group’s demand for expulsion of “individuals who witnessed the event or were present, but did not take part.”

The transition from speech codes to commands is based on the same notion of “speech as harm.” Just as speech is deemed harmful (and thus subject to regulation), silence is now deemed harmful. UC Berkeley Law Professor Savala Trepczynski, executive director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, wrote that “White silence is incredibly powerful … It’s not neutral. It acts like a weapon.” It is certainly not unreasonable to call out others for not supporting important causes. Indeed, I have criticized faculty for remaining silent as colleagues were attacked or fired for voicing dissent about systemic racism, police abuse or other subjects. However, once both speech and silence are deemed as equally harmful, individuals are subject to public demonstrations of faith and fealty.

Even being insufficiently alert can result in demands for termination. Nearly 2,000 people signed a petition to fire Marymount Manhattan theater arts associate professor Patricia Simon after she appeared to fall asleep briefly during an anti-racist meeting held on Zoom. Student Caitlin Gagnon started a petition which accused Simon of “ignoring … racist and sizeist actions and words of the vocal coaches under her jurisdiction.” The message seems clear: You cannot be woke if you are not awake.

The concern over speech codes becoming speech commands would have been viewed as utterly absurd just a few years ago. Now, even calls for civility in dialogue have been denounced as racist dog whistles. Trinity College professor Johnny Williams condemned those who call for civility as “uphold[ing] white supremacist heteropatriarchal capitalist power.” When MSNBC host Joe Scarborough criticized those confronting people at restaurants and called for civility, University of Mississippi Professor James Thomas denounced civility and declared: “Don’t just interrupt a senator’s meal, y’all. Put your whole damn fingers in their salads.”

It is the ultimate expression of entitlement: People either must conform to your values or face public condemnation and threats. Your salad is no more inviolate than your speech. In a world where silence is violence and civility is complicity, there is little room for true free speech.


257 thoughts on “How “Silence is Violence” Can Became Compelled Speech”

  1. Well, Professor Turley, it’s great to hear from another traditional liberal – so few and far between these days! I know you can’t support the bad orange man, because he doesn’t share your values. And Biden does?

    What is so important to you to identify with Democrats? Nationalized health care? Amnesty for 10-20 million illegal aliens? Is it worth it if the price is savage cultural revolution like China?

  2. Democrats enable the destruction of minority owned businesses because they want them back on their plantation with their Masters

    1. more damaging evidence:

      when you the website it literally redirects you to joebiden dot com


      this information has already been captured by WHOIS Database

      Live by the sword. Die by the sword.


        “… Mashable explains, “Could it still mean Joe Biden’s campaign runs the domain? It could. But it could also mean that the Trump campaign or someone supportive of it did the same just to cause a little controversy.” They add, “It could also just be the work of a troll, a comedy group, or even someone just looking to add value to the domain when they look to sell it.” Essentially, “The point is the redirect on its own doesn’t mean anything.” …”

        1. You know your election campaign is in the sh!t hole when Reuters has to make clarifications for a campaign tactics

          1. Actually, I know that a troll will misrepresent what Reuters actually said in order to attack a campaign s/he doesn’t like.

      2. Why is Needs To Be Committed in full panic mode?

        Biden is going to win.

        Don’t worry.

        Be happy.

        Victory is yours.

      3. Why is Needs To Be Committed in full panic mode?

        Biden is going to win.

        Don’t worry.

        Be happy.

        Victory is yours.

    2. Why is Needs To Be Committed in full panic mode?

      Biden is going to win.

      Don’t worry.

      Be happy.

      Victory is yours.

    3. This is leadership. President Trump with AG Bill Barr and Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf.
      terrific display of concern for Americans. Meanwhile the Democrat Governors of these riotous states: cowards …hiding in their mansions.

      Donald Trump Visits Burned Out Business in Kenosha, Wisconsin

      President Donald Trump met with business owners affected by the riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday outside a building burned-out by violent rioters last week in reaction to the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

      The president spoke with about six people next to a burned-out building that used to be B&L Office Furniture Inc. in Kenosha and told them he would help them rebuild their businesses.

      “This store was here 109 years,” Trump told reporters. “Just about the oldest in the nation.”

      Scott Carpenter, the co-owner of the office furniture store thanked President Trump for visiting.

      “I just appreciate President Trump coming today; everybody here does,” he said. “We’re so thankful that we got the federal troops in to help because once they got here, things did calm down quite a bit.”

  3. Jonathan: Mistakenly using the past tense of “become” in the title is not the only problem with your post. You claim that universities are not only silencing dissenting views but now actually compelling certain acceptable speech. You call this “…a more menacing meaning to ‘prove the negative’–demanding that people prove they are not racist”. Now as a guy with long teeth I can remember a time when you also had to prove a negative–that you were not a “n***** lover”. That’s right. If someone were to express a dissenting view–like support for the civil rights movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s you were called a ”’traitor” to your own race. Tough times for a a young man trying to break with my racist background. So I generally kept my “silence” in family gatherings and in the corporate world where I started my career. That was a mistake. But I learned a valuable lesson. That a lot of black people also suffered in “silence”. They knew their place. My have times changed. Black Lives Matters, Antifa and other allied groupings will not stand silent while black men are shot and killed by racist police departments and white militias. Unfortunately there are still a few places where you will encounter overt racist language—on far-right white extremist blogs or in the Oval Office where the president often uses racist, sexist and xenophobic language. No one working in the White House will speak up. There is an unwritten code of compelled “silence”. You would think the White House is the one place in need of a speech code. No, either keep quiet or get out!
    But the world turns and universities now have so-called “speech codes” that warn students against using racist, homophobic and other hate speech. That’s a good thing because minority students on campus should not have to be subjected to vile racist language. That’s called progress. But some conservative commentators, like you, think this interferes with “truly free speech”. You even use coded language to hide your views. In your post you mention several incidents–the ones outside Washington. D.C. restaurants and the one involving Sen. Rand Paul. In all these incidents you refer to protesters as either a “mob” or “threatened by a mob”. “Mob” is a loaded word, filled with racist undertones. When white supremacists marched into Charlottesville beating up protesters and killing a woman Trump said there were “good people on both sides” But when black citizens protest racist police violence they are labelled by Trump as an “angry mob” determined to undermine “law and order”. When a right-wing white militia went to Kenosha to confront protesters and Kyle Rittenhouse shot dead 2 protesters and severely wounded a third with his AR-15 I didn’t see you label that as a “riot” or “mob action”. No “mob” is reserved for black people who protest white violence to try to de-legitimatize and de-humanize them.. This may work with some of the readers of your posts but others of us are not so easily deceived. In an effort at persuasion perhaps you should stop using the racially charged word “mob”. You constantly preach to CNN about returning to “our journalistic traditions of neutrality”. Why don’t you do the same.

    1. ““Mob” is a loaded word, filled with racist undertones.”


      Stop trying to twist language to suit your agenda.

    2. Dennis — “you should stop using the racially charged word “mob”.


      Because everyone knows that only black people can be in mobs, right?

      For someone opposed to racism [whatever that is these days] you are awfully quick to seize stereotypes of black people to make your point. But, then, Marx was a blatant racist so you likely have adopted his views.

    3. Hey Dennis. Look in the mirror. You got that white skin. That BLM hates. IF you support BLM, what do you call yourself?
      Maybe race traitor isnt the right word for it. What is? You tell us. We want to know what it means when a white person hates their own skin. I call it pathetic for starters

      I read today a headline that said some famous woman named Demi Lovato looked down and hated herself for being white. Do you feel that way?

      When I see myself, physically, I see not just one humble person, a nobody from flyover, but a nobody who is yet the product of a billion years of animal evolution, ancestors who lived and reproduced before they died. Animals who struggled for existence and even killed so they and their children could live, right on down to me. I believe I have an immortal soul, but I see and know that my ancestors lived so I could be here today. Nothing, no amount of supposed bad things, that my ancestors or their remote cousins among European-kind ever did, can ever make me sorry for being alive. If they had to slay an uncountable number of others so I could be alive today, then I can only thank them for it.

      Im not so sure that this is bad– though I am sure some people think it is. I notice in the Hebrew Scriptures, there’s a long list of peoples that the Israelites wiped off the map. Jericho, Amalek, you can look them up. They believe God willed it. They don’t look in the mirror and feel sorry about Jericho. See, I can relate to that, even though Im not Jewish.

      When I see my face I see the Victory of my ancestors in the struggle for existence– and my own. I see the mysterious Will of God at work, the inscrutable wheel of darma spinning its way across the aeons, touching me for a moment here with my life. This is truly a gift. I thank my ancestors for every bit of cohesiveness they had which made my existence possible.

  4. I have an idea. Let’s make people who don’t subscribe to the BLM doctrine of looting, arson, and murder in cold blood sew yellow Stars of David on their clothing. That way they will be easier to identify when it’s time to load them into cattle cars. Just a thought. ps. “Can became???” C’mon, man.

  5. Pingback: peckford42
  6. Silence In The News:


    Senior Trump administration officials in June privately warned seven states about dangerous coronavirus outbreaks that put them in the highest risk “red zone” while publicly dismissing concerns about a second wave of Covid-19, according to White House documents House Democrats released on Monday.

    The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released eight weeks of previously confidential reports obtained from the White House coronavirus task force that Democrats said showed the administration acting over the summer to willfully cover up public health risks for political gain.

    White House spokesperson Judd Deere accused the lawmakers of “irresponsibly” releasing the documents “for the purpose of falsely distorting the President’s record.”

    The documents released by the committee also reveal that several states have failed to implement public health recommendations the task force made more than two months ago — including mask mandates, closing bars and banning large gatherings — and that the administration has made little effort to enforce its guidance or make the same recommendations publicly.

    The documents came in response to a request the House panel made on July 29, and the subcommittee said more requests will follow.

    The risk assessments for states came at the same time President Donald Trump was insisting during briefings that that his administration’s pandemic response was working and publicly contradicting or belittling his scientists — sometimes as they stood beside him.

    In mid-June, documents showed the task force confidentially alerted seven states where spikes in cases had put them in the “red zone” of highest virus spread, just after Vice President Mike Pence, who led the task force, wrote an op-ed dismissing fears of a “second wave” of the virus as “overblown.”

    By late June, documents revealed 10 states were in the red zone, and that cases had surged in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. But Pence at the time continued to say that “all 50 states are opening up safely and responsibly.”

    By mid-July, 19 states were in the “red zone” and the task force was pleading with them to increase testing. However, Trump repeatedly insisted that the country was testing too much and claimed without evidence that the virus would soon “disappear.”

    By early August, the task force document listed 23 states in the red zone — right around the time Trump in an Axios interview brushed off concerns of more than 1,000 people dying per day, saying, “It is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it.”

    Edited From: “White House Privately Warned States Of Covid 19 ‘Red Zone’ Threat, Records Show”

    Politico, 8/31/20

    1. There is no surge in red states, Peter. The 7-day moving average in red states has been as follows

      1. Louisiana: deaths peaked 26 July, off 2/3 since then.
      2. Mississippi: deaths hit a plateau on 3 August, slight decline.
      3. Arizona: deaths peaked 20 July, 45% decline since
      4. Georgia: deaths hit a plateau on 12 August
      5. South Carolina: deaths peaked 26 July, 40% decline
      6. Florida: plateau 3-17 August, 30% decline since
      7. Texas: peak 4 August, 40% decline since
      8. Alabama: plateau 18 July
      9. Missouri: plateau 24 August
      10. Arkansas: plateau 24 August
      11. Tennessee: peak 24 August, 25% decline
      12. Kentucky, peak 24 August, 30% decline
      13. Nebraska: peak 18 June, 60% decline
      14. Oklahoma: plateau 20 August
      15. Idaho: plateau 2 August
      16. South Dakota: plateau 5 May
      17. North Dakota: plateau 5 May
      18. Kansas: peak 1 August, 40% off
      19. West Virginia: plateau 14 August
      20. Montana: plateau 14 July
      21. Wyoming: plateau 19 April
      22. Alaska: plateau 1 April.

      The number of deaths per million to date is below the national mean in 19 of these 22 states. One in the first three does the figure to date exceed 1/3 of the comparable figure for New York and New Jersey.

      1. Absurd, the article clearly says this was in ‘June’. We know the virus is now leveling off. But it was surging then.

        1. Then why are you recycling it, knucklehead? Did your handlers at Correct-the-Record tell you to just throw chaff in people’s faces?

        2. Anon– Why aren’t we hearing more from the media about Cuomo’s homicidal decision to send patients infected with Wuhan Virus into nursing homes where they caused the deaths of thousands?

          Even under New York law that is a crime.

          1. Young, I think a law was passed in NY so that one would be immune to prosecution and civil suit. I heard about it one day and then didn’t hear about it again so I can’t be sure of what happened or if what I read was correct.

    2. The CDC has now admitted:

      “Of the approximately 165,000 “COVID deaths”, less than ten thousand died from COVID.

      The rest – a vast majority – had on average 2.6 serious additional diseases, with the addition in most cases of extreme advanced age.”

      People all over the world are waking up to the fact that this is a scamdemic, not a pandemic. Which is why millions of people showed up for protests against lockdowns, masks, etc. in Europe this past weekend.

      Meanwhile, the DNC’s Antifa/BLM strategy is blowing up in their idiotic faces.

        1. Who are you!?!?! What sock puppet are you using !!!????
          I’m the sole sock puppet in this group and I do not recall seeing you here in the past, yellow/red sock puppet Avatar?
          Get off of my blog!!! I own this space and no hussy sucking sock puppet is going to upstage me!!!!

        2. Ok, you’ve never been to the CDC website, so you need me to source this for you? Got it.

          Also, as I have posted here numerous times:

          “Confirmed & Probable Counts

          As of April 14, 2020, CDC case counts and death counts include both confirmed and probable cases and deaths. This change was made to reflect an interim COVID-19 position statementpdf iconexternal icon issued by the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists on April 5, 2020. The position statement included a case definition and made COVID-19 a nationally notifiable disease. Nationally notifiable disease cases are voluntarily reported to CDC by jurisdictions.

          A confirmed case or death is defined by meeting confirmatory laboratory evidence for COVID-19.

          A probable case or death is defined by one of the following:

          * Meeting clinical criteria AND epidemiologic evidence with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19

          * Meeting presumptive laboratory evidence AND either clinical criteria OR epidemiologic evidence

          * Meeting vital records criteria with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID19”

          That is what is known as a CYA move by the CDC. Since the beginning of this charade the CDC has clearly stated that they are counting Covid deaths with “no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID19”.

          So now the CDC is a prisoner of their own “Confirmed & Probable Counts” methodology for collecting data, and they are forced to backtrack.

          There is nothing even remotely “scientific” about that methodology. But from a political perspective, it fed into the prescribed fear based narrative perfectly.

          If that doesn’t raise an alarm for you, then you’re either a dim bulb, or you don’t want to admit that it’s obvious bullsh*t.

          1. The CDC page and the facts of reporting do not confirm Rhodes typical (and Trumpian) conspiratorial frame of mind. Of course he thinks anything that reflects badly on his hero must be a conspiracy, including in this case all the reporting agencies across the US who’s data the CDC receives and analyzes. The heart of that process are judgement calls by thousands of doctors in all states – yeah, they’re all in on it and no doubt Deep State conspirators – and not always clear distinctions between various contributing factors to a death. Rhodes might also note that part of the process includes comparing mortality data in those regions with last year in effort to further differentiate and confirm the validity of the diagnoses. If he has a better system I’m sure the CDC would be very happy to gain his expertise and he should write them.

            1. You don’t know what the frack you’re talking about. Your handlers are feeding you manure which you gladly consume thinking it a delicacy.

              You really should follow the science like your evil queen Nancy

  7. Growing up in a predominantly Italian Brooklyn, NY neighborhood in the 60’s & 70’s I was a fat Jewish (1st Generation), stuttering White male who was constantly made fun of. My father, who made it out of the Holocaust where he watched his 3 older brother’s killed by the Nazi’s ALWAYS told me: “Stick’s & stone’s will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I have taught my own children and now grandchild the same message. While I completely believed it when my children were little, now that I am teaching it to my granddaughter, with what’s going on in this country, I am not so sure any more. As a retired NYPD officer, if I am by myself there is no way I would give in to the threats of these ‘demonstrator’s’, but even though I am always armed, if I would be with family or friends and if confronted, I would give in to protect them. Just writing that last sentence made me ill and I hope I have the strength to fulfill it. While writing this comment I remembered an incident which has put that point of view in doubt. In the early 80’s my girlfriend and I were on our way back from Manhattan on the “L” train. It was late at night and the train was going through a bad area. Three males sat down directly across from us. They were sizing us up and constantly looking at us. One of the males took out a folding knife from his pocket and looked at me. I sat there and looked directly at him. He then opened up the knife and he looked at me. This time I looked right at him at shook my head slightly from side to side. He closed the knife and put it back in his pocket. I then said: “That’s not good enough, you need to give me the knife”. He took it out of his pocket and gave me the knife folded and safe. They then got off the next stop. Once the door’s closed, they started acting up and being tough. I started laughing at them and the train left the station.

      1. The way the Democrats are running (ruining) New York The Warriors are going to dominate the streets again.

          1. I loved that movie.

            By the way, I got John Baker’s ‘RACE’ book which you suggested. It is excellent. I will post a comment or two on it later.

            1. Physical anthropology. Not the Margaret Meade stuff. Not hate, just verified factual observations and valid anatomical generalizations.

              Understanding human difference, in my crazy way of thinking, is a valid first step in appreciating, enjoying, and celebrating it.

  8. I hope more and more people notice the trend here. Democrats have long expressed bigoted views on Republicans that have become normalized in K-grad school, the media, Hollywood, in person, among families, and in politics. Most don’t even recognize the prejudice. They have gone after one Constitutional Right after another, with the right of Free Speech clearly in the crosshairs. (See what I did there? War metaphors have been used long before, and long after Sarah Palin, and do not incite violence. Maxine Waters urging people to form mobs is what incites violence.)

    Americans have no longer been taught how to reason. The media says a white cop shot a black man, so the victim must have been innocent and the cop must have been racist. This is accepted without question. The amygdala rules, and drives the unthinking mob.

    More and more, I read posts by Democrat friends, that Trump has changed the rhetoric in America to hatred and divisiveness. They must have been asleep for the past 25 years. Democrats have declared all Republicans racist, Neo Nazis, Xenophobes, homophobes, Islamophobes (apparently it’s a fearful political party), and every conservative value a dog whistle for evil, for many years, without ever questioning it. It’s like they never expected anyone to throw the mud back. They are standing there with muddy hands, accusing the people they’ve thrown dirt at for decades, of playing dirty.

    Have they been in a coma to think that it’s Trump’s fault that America is divided? Do they think Republicans are going to take it forever?

    I want Trump to fight back, effectively. I find personal attacks to undermine his position. Go after the policy failures. When he focuses on the fact that it’s Democrat-run cities that their Democrat leaders allow to burn, that’s effective. Calling someone an idiot just shocks the sensibilities of those who thought they could call names forever, but never receive them. It doesn’t win anyone over, although it must be satisfying, on occasion.

    Be. Effective. Change your angle of attack to get the results you need.

    1. Very well said. Do you remember the Democratic campaign commercial where Republicans were wheeling grandma off a cliff. But I have to tell you, the Democrats are brilliant with their projection. It is like almost everything they accuse Republicans of they are doing themselves. When has Russia ever been their enemy until Trump? Their complicity with the USSR is legend.

  9. The diversity of speech is foundational to both academia at all levels and our Republic. Those that are attempting to suppress speech are on a very steep and slippery slope. Eventually, the “speech police” will come for them.

  10. Federal Appeals Court Rejects DOJ and Michael Flynn’s Effort to Dismiss Charges Against Him – Aug. 31, 2020

    A federal appeals court on Monday denied former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s bid to immediately shut down his criminal case—overturning an earlier decision that would have allowed the Department of Justice to drop the charges. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 8-2 against Flynn’s request for it to force a district court judge to grant the DOJ’s motion to drop charges against Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the former Russian ambassador during Robert Mueller’s investigation. Monday’s decision now sends Flynn’s case back for consideration by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington.

    – DB

    The judicial branch is absolutely corrupt.

    “…men…may do…what their powers do not authorize,…[and] what they forbid.”

    “…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

  11. A lot of agreement with you on this, Turley. It catches the free speech dilemma. But it also misses the crux of what’s driving demonstrations. Ultimately, the standards for free speech that you’ve grown accustomed to that essentially grant free speech to those of higher social status miss out on the groundswell behind the current upheaval. There are times when enough light gets directed to an issue and it makes clear a series of big changes has to happen at once. Like it or not, we’re smack dab in the middle of one of those times. The type of policing that was remnant of old school profile them and throw ’em in the van handcuffed and drive around the block really fast combined with the sensibility that took root post 9-11 is coming to a halt.

  12. University of Mississippi Professor James Thomas denounced civility and declared: “Don’t just interrupt a senator’s meal, y’all. Put your whole damn fingers in their salads.”

    Be sweet if disgruntled students and irritated neighbors did this to Thomas. At least they’d have a passable excuse.

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