My university is currently embroiled in a controversy stirred up over a rockstar professor’s almost inhumanly awful tweet celebrating Rush Limbaugh’s difficult death:
“When a terrible piece of scum who caused immeasurable harm to millions dies, there is no sympathy,” Parcak tweeted. “Only a desire that they suffered until their last breath.”https://www.al.com/news/2021/02/space-archaeologist-sarah-parcak-rush-limbaugh-should-have-suffered-uab-president-disgusted-by-her-tweet.html
Commentators on the right want Sarah Parcak fired, and the university president certainly appears to be considering it, although I have no idea how he could strip her tenure and get rid of her, unless she is guilty of much worse behavior than just nasty tweets. Even if he could, though, he shouldn’t, and here’s why.
On the one hand, free speech is the cornerstone of American life; our traditionally vehement defense of it is the one thing (other than the Atlantic and Pacific oceans) that separates us from all other nations on Earth, even the best of whom are at best lukewarm on the topic. Americans believe (or at least used to believe) that freedom of expression, religion, and the right to speak one’s conscience are divine rights that all humans share. While many on the left have abandoned this belief, it remains central to both the libertarian and nationalist wings of the Republican Party. Protecting speech you approve of is easy; protecting speech you despise takes willpower, and an ethical and moral dedication to the core principles of western civilization at the heart of the founding of the United States. So yes, Parcak, as well as every other kind of bigot and hater including all 75 million of us “literal Nazis”, should be able to speak their mind without fear of losing their livelihood, so long as they do it on their own time and don’t hurt anything more than peoples’ feelings.
On the other hand, a rejoinder to that viewpoint is this: our dedication to free speech has allowed subversive, antisocial nuts like Parcak to infiltrate the commanding heights of American society and rot all of our institutions, leading to the generally sorry state the country finds itself in at the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century. This has become a common attitude amongst the more activist right, and it’s hard to argue that they are wrong as we watch the tech overlords throttle online speech and the Biden junta crack down on dissent. Prior to 2016 I wouldn’t even have given that viewpoint the honor of refuting it — but in the wake of the past few years, it’s worth considering. Could we save the country (nay, civilization itself!) by joining in with the left’s “cancel culture”, and using their own Alinskyite tactics to freeze out people like Parcak?
The answer is a resounding no; they are immune to their own poison. If President Watts managed to dump Parcak, she would get snapped up by a less scrupulous institution almost immediately, and in the process would only become more powerful. Hell, Watts might lose his job in the process. Didn’t I mention that they control all of the commanding heights of US society? Firing her would just create a martyr, but worse, it would delegitimize our resistance from a moral perspective. In the political fight for civilization, the right is the resistance, and the left is the omnipresent State — they can wield the full coercive power of the government and its adjacent power centers against us, but our only weapon is our moral superiority over them, which we lose if we give up on our core principles. Better that she stay where she’s at, where she can be a shining beacon of the enemy’s orc-like repugnance, and an advertisement to the youth of why our side is the “right side of history”.
That being said — keep your eye on her. The second she steps over the line from fantasizing about hurting conservatives to actually planning it, or directly encouraging it to be done — well, our other stronghold is the courts. Losing a job is a temporary inconvenience to a leftist social justice warrior; going to prison or getting reamed in a multi-million dollar civil settlement is a different story entirely.