In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. condemned this type of silencing, writing that he was "gravely disappointed" with the "white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than justice." ... WikipediaOn NPR's "On the Media" this morning I heard a discussion of tone policing and how attacks on protestors who are viewed as "going too far" has been used to subvert the message. https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/problem-with-civility
The Problem with CivilityIt is worth listening to.
I'll admit I also react badly to what looks like uncivil behavior. Like I wasn't for tossing Sarah Huckabee out of the restaurant. The owner who did that also killed her business. So there are consequences.
But having just been through years of being lectured about my tone by the tone police in MORE and seeing Mike Schirtzer purged under the cover of his "tone" when in fact it was a political purge, this story struck a note. I had not heard the expression "tone policing" as a way to deflect debate and yet I saw this in action in MORE on numerous occasions, with the final straw being taking an open discussion listserve and putting it under moderation which has in essence killed all debate in MORE.
It was funny as the same faction, all aligned politically, tried to control the listerves when we were in GEM, so I had an inkling that some form of political policing was behind the tone attacks. But this morning I heard it discussed in the main stream media for the first time.
The wiki item below focuses on tone policing as being used against women and minorities and the left, but it also comes from the left, especially from the sectarian left which always tries to control voices that don't align with their particular sect. On the other hand, to be fair, people do have a right to complain about tone if they are offended - that is fine. But what I found is that I would put out a serious argument and the tone police would ignore the entire argument and chastise me on tone. Sure, tell me I could avoid using a certain tone -- good friends have told me that curbing my sarcasm would strengthen my arguments.
So I tried very hard to avoid giving people an excuse to avoid my political points. The result? They just ignored what I was saying altogether. Dead silence. So now I avoid commenting at all inside the MORE bubble and will use Ed Notes to make my points.