Is Sunlight the Best Disinfectant for Hate Speech?

Let’s do away with this phrase: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

It’s a great disinfectant, but you know what else does a great job even faster? Caustic chemicals.

But what if you aren’t combating bacteria? What if the thing you’re trying to disinfect is actually Poison Oak. Then sunlight is exactly what it wants.

I bring this up because throughout all of this bullshit with Milo people keep saying that he should be given a platform to spew his hateful bullshit because once people see his horrible ideas then he’ll be destroyed… i.e. put him in the sunlight and he’ll die.

But he didn’t. Putting him in the sunlight gave him the energy he needed to grow. What killed him (or at least is killing him) was removing his platform and directly combating him… i.e. removing him the sunlight and pouring caustic chemicals on him.

If you understand that his hateful rhetoric is a weed and not a bacteria, then you’ll suddenly understand why giving it sunlight works against you.

If we encounter someone supporting hate speech by saying “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” we should respond with “Sunlight is also fuel to poisonous plants.”


Header image from Poison Oak, the asshole of the plant world.

3 thoughts on “Is Sunlight the Best Disinfectant for Hate Speech?”

  1. A little late to the discussion here, but you make a valid point. I would be interested to know how many racists changed their views because they saw one of their own speak his or her mind. It’s human nature to chicken out along with everyone else until somebody makes the jump.

  2. Leftists criticize colleges for behaving like companies instead of public agencies. But what’s happening with these speakers is showing the opposite. It’s precisely because colleges are treating the speakers as guests in a public forum that they’re allowed to spew their filth. If colleges owned up to what they actually are, despite the unpopularity of the role — markets providing knowledge in exchange for tuition fees — there wouldn’t be this problem. These speakers are enemies of knowledge; and from a marketing standpoint, colleges would be well within social decorum to deny them entry on the basis of protecting their brand from defilement.

    There is no moral basis for allowing dangerous — and possibly even armed — psychopaths to enter a college auditorium and leaving it up to students to defend themselves. This is a direct result of the crusade against “neoliberalism”, and sometimes it goes terribly wrong.

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