It seems to me as if a lot of the supposed “disdain for rational debate” that “social justice activists” have is a quite justified frustration at hypocrisy. While I get plenty exasperated by tactics like antifa and concepts like cultural appropriation, I think a lot of the supposed “illiberal leftism” emerges out of an anger at the sorts of people who love to talk but refuse to listen. They cannot see the hypocrisy in demanding that activists empathize with their perspectives without doing any empathizing of their own. Jordan Peterson has made fun of protests as an inexplicable shaking of “paper on sticks” that started in the ’60s, seemingly without having considered what the world looks like to those doing the paper-shaking. Ben Shapiro refuses to consider the possibility that wealth disparities across generations might affect African American social outcomes. Bret Weinstein accused protesters of oppressing him while publicly misrepresenting what they were doing. The righteous rage at these particular white people is less because of what they think than because they don’t think at all.

Nathan J. Robinson on empathy.