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Old 05-26-2003, 09:33 PM   #31
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Originally posted by STING2
I'm not comparing the KKK with Anti-War Protesters. What I am comparing is various topics which may be offensive to some or many people and the reactions that many people might have. I'm also looking at whether such political speaches should be made at a graduation ceremony, whether one sees it as extremist or not.

Believe it or not there might be some who would of agreed with what a KKK person would have said. The point is that both would have said things that were sickenly offensive to some or nearly all the people gathered there. The point is not really about whether Chris or a KKK leader is right in their beliefs but whether there is a point when a speaker at such a ceremony has crossed the line of respect and consideration for those he is speaking to given the context in which the speach happened.
Nope, the difference in what you loosely describe as "various topics" is that the KKK is illegal; Chris didnīt say anything illegal.

So the black student would actually have the right to inform the cops to have a member of the KKK removed. But the conservatives donīt have the right to inform the cops to have Chris removed.

And still, it is totally without style to boo around at a grad ceremony. Maybe those are the usual practices of the KKK, the hooligans or the Neo-Nazis. This is why conservative students should not lower themselves to that level of expressing their disrespect.
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Old 05-26-2003, 10:23 PM   #32
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HIPHOP,

The KKK is not illegal. The University could have technically asked someone who is a KKK member or was in the past to speak at the ceremony. As much as I am against the KKK's beliefs, it is their belief and they still have rally's and marches.

The Black student would have no more right to have the KKK leader arrested than he would Chris.

"And still, it is totally without style to boo around at a grad ceremony."

It is first and formost without style to have such a divisive and offensive topic to many at a graduation ceremony.

"Maybe those are the usual practices of the KKK, the hooligans or the Neo-Nazis."

Actually that is the response many people have when they have been suddenly shocked and deeply offended by something they were not expecting.

"conservative students"

One did not have to be a conservative to have been offended and reacted in kind. In fact, I'm sure there may have been a few people that may have agreed with some of Chris's thoughts but were disgusted by the fact that it was being discussed at a graduation ceremony and were angered by its divisive and political tone.
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Old 05-26-2003, 10:45 PM   #33
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STING2, above there I wrote:

"Ouizy, I think you are right in saying it was an inappropriate theme/ speech for that moment."

Hope you have read that.

Hope you can also follow my opinion that booing at a grad ceremony is without style.

Plus, I am negatively surprised, nearly shocked, that the KKK in itself is not illegal. I must have misread something. I always thought it was.

With the measures the U.S. adminstration takes against other terror organizations, it should at the very least be illegal.

"Most of the Klan's activities were focused in Northeast Texas, and at least twenty counties, extending from Houston north to the Red River, experienced some form of Klan terror. In Trinity County in 1868, for example, disguised bands killed several freedmen, forced most of the black voters to register as Democrats, and intimidated federal officials. A local Republican wrote, "Anyone in this community opposed to the Grand Cyclops and his imps is in danger of his life." In Gilmer, Canton, Quitman, Boston, Marshall, and other towns of the region, civil authorities were similarly powerless to control Klan violence."

Shouldnīt KKK members have gone to a sort of last-century Guantámano for that.

I am sorry that you live in a country that allows this kind of terror group to be legal. In both Germany and Austria, you can get thrown in jail when you worship Hitler, or have flags with National Socialist symbols, for instance.
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Old 05-27-2003, 12:57 AM   #34
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HIPHOP,

In the United States, you have the freedom to worship anyone or anything you want to.

As long as the KKK does not violate the laws like in the paragraph you mentioned, it is perfectly legal. The KKK is only a terror group if they engage in activities that harm individuals. Simply holding a private gathering or public one with a permit to talk or speak ones opinion does not make them a terror group. Having an opinion, even a extremely offensive one is not against the law. Having opinions and beliefs is never against the law. Expressing and opinion or belief in public is not against the law as long as it is done in a lawful manner and in the proper setting.

"In both Germany and Austria, you can get thrown in jail when you worship Hitler, or have flags with National Socialist symbols, for instance."

Its against the Constitution of the United States to throw someone into jail simply for religious or political belief. The person must be engaged in illegal activity or be plotting something illegal to get in trouble. In the USA we have religious and political freedom.

"Hope you can also follow my opinion that booing at a grad ceremony is without style."

For a lot of things I would say that is true. But when someone has been so offended by an extreme or offensive view, then I think you should understand that in that context its not really without style, but certainly not the only option the person has either.

Do you think it would be out of style for an African American or anyone to boo a speaker that anounced he was the member of the KKK and started talking about white supremacy at a graduation ceremony?
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Old 05-27-2003, 10:16 AM   #35
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Originally posted by STING2
In the USA we have religious and political freedom.

Do you think it would be out of style for an African American or anyone to boo a speaker that anounced he was the member of the KKK and started talking about white supremacy at a graduation ceremony?
In Europe, we have political and religious freedom as well. My personal opinion is that, lately, it is regulated better than in the U.S. (see Patriot Act).

And to answer your last question, no, I donīt think it would be without style to boo a member of the KKK. Still, there is a big difference. The KKK is known to having been engaged in lots of illegal activities.

But booing a liberal, ot leftist speaker like this mentioned Chris is without style. Not because, like you may presume, I have two standards. Just because the grandparents of the Afro American may f.e. have been killed by members of the KKK. You canīt imply to compare those two cases. As far as I know, this Chris (or his grandfather) has not killed lots of white suburbian college kids.

Anyway, say the students body at the grad ceremony would be full of liberals. Lets just stay on the same level, if we are comparing two situations. If there was a speaker like a high military official, who would speak about his view of the U.S. foreign policy, or say the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who makes a speech that is very offensive to the liberal students, I still would think it is totally without style to boo. The students should sit there, listen to him and discuss about it later -or, if they canīt bear that speech, silently get up and walk away.

On the other hand, if there was a speaker of a leftist group that is known for having been engaged in illegal activities like killing, whipping etc. (I donīt know a concrete example though) and that is known for keeping racism and racial intolerance alive, it would be perfectly right to boo them off the stage, even if it is an official ceremony.

So, there is a difference in presenting different views (which may be very offensive to some students, but anyway it would not be academically tolerable to boo around) and belonging to a group that is known for terror and murdering.

Do you agree?
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Old 05-27-2003, 01:31 PM   #36
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whenhiphopdrovethebigcars,

I think you are trying to say there is a difference in the level of offensiveness of the two different speakers that spoke at the rally. That may be true, but it really depends on various people in the graduation ceremony. When you bring controversial political issues into a ceremony like this, different people will be offended for different reasons. Its easy perhaps for you to say that Chris is not offensive but the KKK leader would be, but there are many other people that would be equally offended by what a person of the KKK had to say as what Chris said.

The KKK person may never have taken any racial action against anyone. It may just be a belief that they have and that they occasionally express in public. In addition, many may look at a liberal with a strong anti-military, anti-US foreign policy bias and that perhaps Chris has, as someone that may have supported or let happen, the mistreatement of US soldiers by various liberals once they came back from the Vietnam war. Such treatment was sick and just as bad as any form of racism. My father who served in Vietnam was exposed to some of this, but not as much as several other veterans.

I'm not saying Chris did anything like that, but many in the crowd may form a judgement about him based on what he says in his speach the same way that many would form similar judgements about someone that announces he is a KKK speaker.

I think its not appropriate most of the time to interupt a speaker. The only exception would be surprise, sudden, extremely offensive remarks. Its difficult to have one standard of offensiveness and shock, but its clear that the issues Chris were talking about were controversial, divisive, and did not belong at a graduation ceremony. In light of that I understand why the students got upset and tried to shout down the speaker. I probably would have just got up and left. In fact, if the entire student body had simply got up and left, that would have probably of sent a far more powerful message than the shouting.
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Old 05-27-2003, 01:33 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
There might have been several people at the ceremony who agreed with what Chris had to say in his speach. Believe it or not there might be some who would of agreed with what a KKK person would have said. The point is that both would have said things that were sickenly offensive to some or nearly all the people gathered there. The point is not really about whether Chris or a KKK leader is right in their beliefs but whether there is a point when a speaker at such a ceremony has crossed the line of respect and consideration for those he is speaking to given the context in which the speach happened.
You state that the comparison is accurate because what a KKK speaker would say and what an anti-war speaker did say would be "sickeningly offensive to some or nearly all" people. Let's look at it more closely:

All decent people abhor the KKK. Anyone who believes in democracy and equality is disgusted by the KKK's violence and lies. The KKK believe black people to be inferior to white people and they advocate violence against black people. I would hope that if a KKK speaker addressed a graduation ceremony, 99% of people there would be disgusted by them.

On the other hand - at one point over 50% of people in the United States said they wouldn't support war with Iraq. Anti-war campaigners believed war to be wrong because of its possible impact on the Iraqi people. Debate whether they were right or wrong, but don't try and pretend it's in any way comparable to the racist lies spouted by the KKK.

There is simply no comparison between the KKK, who are hated by every decent person, and anti-war campaigners, who are supported by a significant section of society. Further, there is NO comparison to be made between an organisation which advocate the murder of black people, and a group of people who opposed war out of concern for the Iraqi people.

Perhaps a more accurate comparison would have been to imagine a situation where a strongly conservative Republican spoke at a graduation. Their views would no doubt be offensive to some people present also. I agree that a graduation ceremony isn't the best place to make a political speech, but I think that students should have given the speaker a decent level of respect. And had it been a very conservative speaker, I would expect liberal students to do the same. If, however, it was a KKK speaker, I would expect all decent people to refuse to listen to such bigoted lies.

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Old 05-27-2003, 07:08 PM   #38
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Originally posted by STING2
Its easy perhaps for you to say that Chris is not offensive but the KKK leader would be.

The KKK person may never have taken any racial action against anyone. It may just be a belief that they have and that they occasionally express in public. In addition, many may look at a liberal with a strong anti-military, anti-US foreign policy bias and that perhaps Chris has, as someone that may have supported or let happen, the mistreatement of US soldiers by various liberals once they came back from the Vietnam war. Such treatment was sick and just as bad as any form of racism. My father who served in Vietnam was exposed to some of this, but not as much as several other veterans.


I think its not appropriate most of the time to interupt a speaker. The only exception would be surprise, sudden, extremely offensive remarks. Its difficult to have one standard of offensiveness and shock, but its clear that the issues Chris were talking about were controversial, divisive, and did not belong at a graduation ceremony. In light of that I understand why the students got upset and tried to shout down the speaker. I probably would have just got up and left. In fact, if the entire student body had simply got up and left, that would have probably of sent a far more powerful message than the shouting.
I never said Chris wasnīt offensive.

And true, this KKK person may have not taken any racial action against anyone. Still you canīt compare the two cases. Even if your father and several other veterans were treated badly, and I am sorry for that (even if I am not part of the groups who were responsible for it), I donīt think veterans had burned crosses in their gardens, I donīt think their houses were burning, or their children were raped or murdered by crazy peace activists.

So, I agree that the treatment of veterans we are speaking of was sick, but it was NOT as bad as ANY form of racism. Or were the Vietnam Veterans not allowed to use the same toilets as other Americans? See South Africa, racial segregation. Were Vietnam Veterans all burnt down in a big house, with people cheering outside? See the events in Germany some years ago. People who are influenced by xenophobia and racial intolerance did far worse things than stupid and crazy peace activists.

I would also recommend not to put all the liberals, peace activists, leftists, tree huggers and NGOs in one big box and let an experience that happened thirty years ago color my judgement.

There are many people amongst those groups who work for good things, and who serve their belief. Some of them put their life at a risk, just as some brave soldiers who believe in what they fight for, do. There are so many groups and activists who have done good, positive things. I wonīt disrespect your opinion on Greenpeace or Amnesty, for example, but in my eyes, they are trying to make this world a better place, even if their actions may seem extreme sometimes. I really canīt say the KKK is trying to make the world a better place. Thatīs my opinion, a KKK member may see it different *cough*

I basically agree with what you said in your last paragraph, but I still do not understand why the students had to get so upset to try to shout the speaker down. They should be ashamed. You would have just got up and left, which makes you far more intelligent and thoughtful in my eyes, also if our opinions might differ.
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Old 05-27-2003, 08:59 PM   #39
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FizzingWhizzbees,

You have failed to understand what I said. I am not comparing the KKK to anti-war protesters, liberals or anyone else. What I am doing is pointing out the fact that what one considers to be sick or offensive is going to be dependent on the person and can sometimes vary widely. Like I said before, some will be sickened and offended by certain things that are said by an Anti-War speaker while nearly everyone will be offended by what a KKK person has to say.

What I'm trying to show is that when dealing with a large group of people at a graduation ceremony, your going to have a wide range of views on different things when it comes to politics and you will also have a wide range of things that will upset people. In such a situation at a graduation ceremony, it is inappropriate to bring in a very divisive and controversial speaker and topic.

You have to understand that things you might not find offensive are extremely offensive to others in the same way that nearly everyone would be offended by a member of the KKK. I'm not judging if one should be offended but rather that there is not a single standard for what is offensive, whether its my views or yours.

If you believe the students should not of stood up and yelled at Chris, then you must also say that with a KKK speaker, the same behavior is not warrented. In both situations, I understand why some people or all the people could be so offended that they would stand up and shout.

If this was a planned event where it was known ahead of time that person A would be talking about topic B, like a seminar or debate forum, then I would expect those who attend that to remain hushed. They knew ahead of time who the person was and what they would be talking about and would have some idea if there would be remarks are statements that they would find offensive.

The graduation ceremony was a completely different. Most people probably did not know who was about to speak and none of them knew the topic he would speak on and how controversial and divisive it was. Many people felt like they were being kicked in the teeth which is why they reacted the way they did.

Again, I'm not comparing the KKK person to anyone, but simply pointing out that there are things a liberal or conservative speaker could say that will enrage SOME people to the same degree as a KKK speaker. I'm not claiming that is justified, but just pointing out the reality of that fact. A reality that the University failed to understand. In the setting of the graduation ceremony, you have to be understanding and respectful of that fact, and the college failed to do this and ruined part of the ceremony.


"On the other hand - at one point over 50% of people in the United States said they wouldn't support war with Iraq. Anti-war campaigners believed war to be wrong because of its possible impact on the Iraqi people. Debate whether they were right or wrong, but don't try and pretend it's in any way comparable to the racist lies spouted by the KKK."

Your statistic about over 50% being against a war in Iraq is wrong. Its true that more than 50% were against the USA going alone without the UN at one point, but that does not mean they were against going to war with Iraq. Typically, when asked questions about whether they would support a war against Iraq without mentioning the UN, the number was between 60% and 80% support for the war.

There are also many people who felt(right or wrong) that the Anti-War crowd was aiding Saddam by supporting policies that would have left him in power. Many people supported the war because they felt the Anti-War crowds idea's would negatively impact the Iraqi people. Looking at what actually happened, they were in fact correct. Saddam's regime was brutal and responsible for the deaths of 10s of thousands of his own people every year. Only a tiny fraction of those numbers died in the war. The war removed the #1 cause of unnatural death in Iraq. It did so at the cost of 1,300 civilians, a much smaller number than the 1 million civilians that the anti-war crowd claimed would die in the war. Clearly, the cost for the Iraqi people of invading Iraq, was far far less than the cost that would be involved if the invasion was not launched and Saddam continued in power for the rest of the year or several more years. The war helped to save far more Iraqi lives, than it took.
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Old 05-27-2003, 09:25 PM   #40
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whenhiphopdrovethebigcars,

Don't even attempt to minimize what my father and others experienced when coming back from the Vietnam War. My father at one point could not have on his uniform when traveling because US military personal had been attacked and beaten. My father even faced harrassment from people who were supposed to be friends. Many Vietnam Vets who re-entered civilian life were denied jobs, housing, and faced discrimination in several other ways. This contributed to a wide variety of health problems for many vets, some even committed suicide. During the war itself, so called peace loving anti-war people burned down ROTC offices at University's.


"I would also recommend not to put all the liberals, peace activists, leftists, tree huggers and NGOs in one big box and let an experience that happened thirty years ago color my judgement."

First of all I have not done that! The fact that these things happened 30 years ago does not mean they are any less relevant today. Its very relevant to me because its my fathers experience.

Also, I did not bring up Greenpeace of Amnesty in this discussion so I don't know what your talking about.

"but I still do not understand why the students had to get so upset to try to shout the speaker down. They should be ashamed."

Would you still feel that way if the speaker had been a KKK member and the topic was "white power"?

If you answer yes to that question then I can understand, even though I think its a little unrealistic to expect.

The only people who I think should be ashamed are the members of the University who chose the speaker and approved the topic he would speak on. This is a graduation ceremony, not a political rally.
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Old 05-27-2003, 09:55 PM   #41
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STING2, I think you are taking my post way too personal. I never attempted to minimize anything. Also, I havenīt said that you have put all of them... in a box. You brought up the topic of what happened to your father, and so I reacted to it.

Still, I think it is exaggerated to compare the treatment of Vietman Vets (either by so called peace loving antiwar people or by the U.S. government) to the treatment of Afro Americans by the KKK.

Please stop to consistently mention the KKK into your posts. Many members of this forum have given you examples of how a fitting comparison would look like. Any liberal would just be as offended by Donald Rumsfelds view of foreign policy as you or any other conservative student might be pissed off by Chris view of foreign policy.

I still fail to understand why the students had to shout the speaker down. In my eyes, they thought that in the current U.S. political climate, they can afford to do that.

It seems to be fashionable to show off disrespect, even if that disrespect results from another potential disrespect. You will never see me supporting such stupidity.

Since you fail to understand what I am saying, I am sick of this topic, think that I have made myself very clear and choose to not waste my time with discussing the differences between KKK members and Chris Hedges or Michael Moore with you.
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Old 05-28-2003, 12:45 AM   #42
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HIPHOP,

"Since you fail to understand what I am saying, I am sick of this topic, think that I have made myself very clear and choose to not waste my time with discussing the differences between KKK members and Chris Hedges or Michael Moore with you"

It is you who decided to bring up the differences between the KKK and Chris Hedges. My point in bringing up the KKK was not to compare them to ANYONE, but to place them in exactly the same environement as Chris Hedges in order to make a point about the appropriatness of a political speach and the students reactions to it.

Once again, I was never making a comparison between KKK, Liberal, Conservative, Rumsfeld, Mr. Moore, or Joe Smith, or anyone. I was taking individuals with deeply held political beliefs and putting them in the same environment and comparing not their beliefs, but the crowds reactions to those beliefs.


I'd ask you to please answer the question to your statement if you can.

"but I still do not understand why the students had to get so upset to try to shout the speaker down. They should be ashamed."

Would you still feel that way if the speaker had been a KKK member and the topic was "white power"?

"Still, I think it is exaggerated to compare the treatment of Vietman Vets (either by so called peace loving antiwar people or by the U.S. government) to the treatment of Afro Americans by the KKK."

Fair enough, but I'd ask that you make sure you make an attempt to understand the hell that many Vietnam veterans went through before coming to such an ultimate conclusion. Your statements in the prior posts were not sensitive at all and generalized the suffering that many Vietnam Veterans went through. Instead of aknowledging hardships and discriminations they went through specifically, you proceeded to make general comments like "I bet this never happen to them" etc. Far better to aknowledge or find out what indeed happened than to make hasty presumptions like that.
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Old 05-28-2003, 10:05 AM   #43
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Actually, isn't the term "Afro American" an insult? hiphop, I think the phrase you're looking for is "African American".
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Old 05-28-2003, 01:58 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
You have failed to understand what I said. I am not comparing the KKK to anti-war protesters, liberals or anyone else. What I am doing is pointing out the fact that what one considers to be sick or offensive is going to be dependent on the person and can sometimes vary widely. Like I said before, some will be sickened and offended by certain things that are said by an Anti-War speaker while nearly everyone will be offended by what a KKK person has to say.


I'm not failing to understand - I'm just disagreeing!

There's a massive difference between someone being offended by the KKK and being "offended" by someone's views on the war. I don't agree with your pro-war stance, but I don't find it offensive - just wrong. Similarly, I would assume you're not offended that I opposed war, you simply disagree with me.

However, the KKK are not just a group of people I disagree with - they are violent, racist extremists. That's the difference between a university inviting a person with controversial opinions to speak about the war on Iraq, and inviting a member of the KKK to speak.

Quote:
In such a situation at a graduation ceremony, it is inappropriate to bring in a very divisive and controversial speaker and topic.


I agree - I wasn't disputing that, just disagreeing with your suggestion that anti-war campaigners are offensive in the same way that racists are offensive.

Quote:
If you believe the students should not of stood up and yelled at Chris, then you must also say that with a KKK speaker, the same behavior is not warrented. In both situations, I understand why some people or all the people could be so offended that they would stand up and shout.


Actually no - if a KKK speaker appeared at a graduation I would encourage every student in the room to get up and walk out in protest at them.

Let's use a more accurate comparison - let's say a pro-war speaker was invited to the graduation. I wouldstrongly disagree with that individual but I certainly wouldn't shout at them or boo. I assume, since you support those students who booed the anti-war speaker, you would be fine with anti-war students shouting abuse at a pro-war speaker and wouldn't label them as the undemocratic anti-war crowd etc.

I'll not reply to your comments about the war here since we've discussed it at least twenty times in the last few months, enough to know that we're not likely to change each others opinions, so I'd rather not take this thread too far off track.
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Old 05-28-2003, 02:43 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
However, the KKK is not just a group of people I disagree with - they are violent, racist extremists. That's the difference between a university inviting a person with controversial opinions to speak about the war on Iraq, and inviting a member of the KKK to speak.
No. Fundamentally, both groups have the equal right to express their views. Extremism does not diminish the right to express views. As long as they do not promote immediate violence (i.e., urging the crowd to physically attack others), the speech is equal.


Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
Actually no - if a KKK speaker appeared at a graduation I would encourage every student in the room to get up and walk out in protest at them.
This assumes a form of prior knowledge of the speaker's topic. Should this be disclosed to students so they could walk out of any speech? For an apple to apples comparison, what is the appropriate response if Chris Hedges' speech was about the superiority of one race? Do you still refrain from shouting down the speaker?
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