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Fire station madness

An example of how tolerance and diversity mean universal suppression: firemen forbidden to put pictures of loved ones, flags on lockers. Several weeks ago a sexually offensive slogan was found on the outside of a fireman’s locker. Management didn’t want it there—for starters, it could expose them to a lawsuit for sexual harassment—but tolerance and diversity make content-based discrimination extremely tricky, so they adopted the only practical policy and banned all personal decorations from the outside of lockers, including pictures of colleagues killed on 9/11. The union hired civil rights attorney Ron Kuby and sued. So now the department is trying to wiggle out of a ridiculous legal situation by an unprincipled accommodation: they said they would allow flags and 9/11 pictures, but refused to put that in writing. The union doesn’t care for the result, but maybe things will die down until the next flare-up.



“tolerance and diversity mean universal suppression.”

Two languages will develop—public and private. The public language will be a lie, and everyone will know it. Those who take seriously the public language will be universally regarded as buffoons. Havel dramatized this kind of public lie in Czechoslovakia under communism.

This also means the death of politics, at all levels. An exchange of views, opinions, and proposals is now impossible. If the Greeks were right, and politics is the highest calling of man—real engagement with other men on issues of practical concern—then something will be lost.