Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dawkins disinvited from event because of an offensive tweet

Atheist and curmudgeon Richard Dawkins was disinvited from a speaking event after re-tweeting an offensive video. He's since apologized and deleted the tweet, but apparently that wasn't enough:

From the Daily Beast:
The apology was not enough for those organizing the NESCC, who issued a statement condemning Dawkins’ “approving re-tweet of a highly offensive video. We believe strongly in freedom of speech and freedom to express unpopular, and even offensive, views. However, unnecessarily divisive, counterproductive, and even hateful speech runs contrary to our mission and the environment we wish to foster at NECSS.” NECSS did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast. The question isn’t why Dawkins was disinvited from an event (anyone whose views or actions are in any way controversial is susceptible to this trend of intolerance), but why now?
I guess it's because organizations are now expected to "prove" themselves as sensitive or inclusive. But that's what's puzzling about the whole tweet-offense culture (or whatever it's being called these days): it's so seemingly random. The wrong tweet lands in the feed of the right person, and its effects are professionally devastating.