November 19, 2003


DEATH CAMP OF "TOLERANCE": Events unfolded at Brandeis this week (which I unfortunately missed by just a few hours) that were right out of the "South Park" episode with the same title as this post. You may remember it better as the "Lemmiwinks the gerbil" installment, but it also parodied the "tolerance camp" as a death camp in a spoof of "Schindler's List."
Back to Waltham: Daniel Pipes, the conservative Middle East scholar with two degrees from Harvard and a recent appointment to a federal think tank, spoke at Brandeis at noon Tuesday, and as soon as the speech was announced two weeks ago an ad-hoc coalition that called themselves "Hate Haters" began campaigning against Pipes and the speech (but if they "Hate Haters," doesn't that mean they are themselves haters, and we should hate them? I say "don't hate; congratulate.")
Anyway, the anti-Pipes crowd immediately began beating the drum for "tolerance"- not acceptance, not understanding, but mere tolerance. Unless of course, it was of a view with which they disagreed, in which case it not only wasn't tolerated, but could not be tolerated. It's confusing, I know... at any rate, the Tolerators held a rally that amounted to an across-campus rampage the other night, described by Dahlia of Sporadic Thoughts as mere "people shouting," and interrupting those who wished to study and/or sleep. But really, what did it matter in the short term- everyone was learning a lesson, in tolerance!
In response to this abject nonsense, I go to a true authority on the matter, Mr. Garrison:

Tolerant, but not stupid! Look, just because you have to tolerate something doesn't mean you have to approve of it! If you had to like it, it'd be called the Museum of Acceptance! [the audience looks on] "Tolerate" means you're just putting up with it! You tolerate a crying child sitting next to you on the airplane or, or you tolerate a bad cold. It can still piss you off! Jesus Tapdancing Christ!

This "tolerance" thing is, of course, nonsense- just another word people throw around in order to feel good about themselves. Only tolerating those you agree with is a lot like only believing in freedom of speech as long as you agree with it- a stupid, cowardly copout, in other words. And besides, isn't it an insult to someone to merely "tolerate" them?
The Pipes speech, by the way, apparently went off without a hitch. Josh has more.

Posted by Stephen Silver at November 19, 2003 12:41 AM
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