Posted somewhere on Facebook and then shared widely with name redacted, thus author unknown.
I was thinking of the “free exchange of ideas” last night. You know, it’s not like a market, it’s like a potluck. Everyone brings their own ideas and you sample others and some are familiar with a twist, some are interesting but not to your taste, some are bad, some are life changing. You can get into a discussion about recipes or technique, or what have you, as people talk about the food.
If some brings mashed potatoes, you can debate the appropriateness for a potluck: Is it too bland? Will it get cold on the table? Do potatoes make up too much of our diet? But if someone puts a steaming platter of dog shit on the table, we’re not going to debate it. And when we tell them to take it off the table, it’s not because we are afraid of eating their dog shit or we think that it’s going to revolutionize lunch but we don’t want to allow that to happen. We tell them to get it off the table because there is no debate to be had. It’s dog shit. It’s not an open question, it’s not a matter of palettes or picky eaters.
That’s why we don’t engage with neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and it’s why we don’t (or shouldn’t) let them come to the potluck.