Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Kipling "Erasure"

Manchester U. students scrub Kipling's "If" off the wall of the student union and replace it with Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise." I'm not the biggest fan of either poem, but it seems to me that the two would coexist more than just peacefully side-by-side. 
   But the social justice Taliban doesn't want equality and equal time/space. What they want is cultural replacement.
   The SJT might respond: all you evil white guys have had your shot; it's time that "black and brown" (as they love to say) people have a chance. So this really is an equal time/space argument. That's not their dumbest argument--not by far. But I'd say that addition is preferable to replacement. So, so long as they push cultural cleansing, people like me will oppose them. (Also: it's not as if Maya Angelou and company aren't represented at contemporary universities.) 
   But I doubt that PC/SJ just seeks equal time/space in even this modified sense. To a great extent, they're against Kipling and company. And, well, Western civilization. Up until the 1960s, at least. Their actual argument is: Kiping was a colonialist. Ergo he's evil. Ergo it's not like it's ever going to be ok to favorably highlight anything he wrote. It's a kind of ideological one drop doctrine. 
   I don't really have much of a position on the Kipling vs. Angelou question. And I think one might have a reasonable discussion about the Kipling stuff. But that's not what happens with the PCs. They're trying to implement their Talibannery, and one can't spend all day in conversation when such stuff's going on. So, though I'm still thinking it over, I oppose them while I'm doing so. Of course poems can be painted and repainted on walls. So there's not much to get too freaked out about there. But this is obviously in the same vicinity as tearing down monuments, so I think it deserves some thought.


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