Disagreement is not censorship


This post is my response to Kevin Coval’s Huffington Post article on being “censored” by J Street.


Dear Kevin,

I love and respect you and your work, but I think on this issue you may have missed the mark. Overall, you and I share relatively similar political goals, but I think that this sort of rhetoric does more harm than good.

First off, censorship is clearly inexcusable (including the events you mention in your ‘burning books’ poem). Political black-listing is worse. But the loss of distinction between violence, political threat, and legitimate disagreement is arguably just as dangerous. You were not arrested or prosecuted for your views, nor were you silenced or otherwise disenfranchised. You were simply disinvited from speaking at an event whose hosts disagreed with your rhetoric. Moreover, no attack was made on your freedom of speech or access to public discourse. If someone at J Street had…

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