Last week we talked about the liberal professor who was terrified of his liberal students. Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock have recently pointed out why comedians avoid college gigs. Political correctness kills comedy.
Seinfled, while in an interview with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, stated:
“I don’t play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges, they’re so pc.’ Hey, I’ll give you an example. My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple of years, I think maybe you’re going to want to hang around the city more on the weekends so you can see boys.’ You know, my daughter says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words. ‘That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t even know what they’re talking about.”
When asked by Cowherd if knee-jerk offendedness hurts comedy, Seinfeld responded, “Yes, it does.”
The older liberalism used to prize the value of reasoned debate and a forum where different ideas could be tossed back and forth. Where those who took sides would have to argue with their opponents according to the rules of civilized discussion. The 1960s new left, especially among students, began changing that. The shift from the civil rights discourse of Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Black power movement of the Black Panthers or Stokely Carmichael, now known as Kwame Touré, changed that on the margins. The shift to postmodernism and deconstructionism, while vacuous philosophically, remains powerful rhetorically. Since reasoned debate is thought to only strengthen the status quo, the goal is not truth (defined by those in power) but to knock over those in power through the exercise of your groups power. Students are encouraged to avoid debate and engage in power tactics to shut down opposition. The lessons of shutting down the opposition and refusing to permit debate is no longer on the margins but at the center.