15 May 2009
I intend to post some lengthy commentary here in response to Tim Lacy's comments on a recent blog post of Kevin Levin's. Specifically, I'll be commenting on Mr. Lacy's suggestion that those who interpret (or deny) certain historical facts in ways in which he would disagree should be prosecuted criminally. And he's quite serious.
"I’m not advocating jail time—at least not for most cases. It depends on the present-day goal for which one is abusing an essential historical truth." (Emphasis mine.)
And . . .
"If that means issuing citations (outlawing can mean misdemeanors), then so be it." (By the way, in Virginia a Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a Class 2, 6 months.)
And this comment from Kevin about Tim's suggestion for criminalizing thought and opinion about history:
"I am not so concerned about his view on this."
Stay tuned. I probably won't post until sometime Saturday, but you won't want to miss it.
**Update: someone on another blog (I won't dignify it by linking to it) has described my response to Lacy's suggestion of criminalizing thought as "knee-jerk libertarianism." Actually, defending freedom of speech and academic freedom would be better described as classical liberalism. I suggest this person take political science 101.
And Mr. Lacy responds to my defense of free speech and academic freedom on this other blog by saying: "Welcome to the hyper-active, pseudo-intellectual world of the 'Lost Cause" and 'Moonlight and Magnolias.'"
Welcome to the world of elitists who can't defend their positions.
I really did my best to keep my criticisms on point, non-personal, no name-calling and about the idea proposed. But, alas, it did no good. The last refuge of those who know their arguments are without merit are ad hominem attacks. And Mr. Lacy suggests it is I who "flamed" him?! I'm sorry, but if one is so bold as to suggest the outrageous notion that certain ideas, thoughts, and historical interpretation should be policed by government agents and that those persons found "guilty" of unapproved thoughts and ideas should be fined and put in jail (!) then he should expect a strong opposing argument. I vigorously disagreed with Mr. Lacy's idea, but in no way attacked or "flamed" him personally. That's a straw man. But I did attack his suggestion of making criminals out of those who may have thoughts and ideas regarding historical interpretation that differ from his - or anyone else's for that matter.
Here we have a textbook example of what's rampant in much of modern academia. Take note of how *few of Kevin's academic readers came to the defense of free speech and freedom of thought and expression. How very disappointing.
*Thanks to Ken Noe, Greg Rowe, and Robert Moore for standing against Mr. Lacy's suggestion. Mr. Noe and Robert are both academics and Greg teaches history in a public school setting.
**Update #2: Fellow CW blogger and school teacher Greg Rowe weighs in here. I was unable to complete my detailed post on this subject, but it's coming soon. Hopefully by tomorrow. Stay tuned . . .