I am a very obscure dissident academic, but I occasionally receive messages from dissidents of even greater obscurity who are in need of encouragement and advice. Some have been geographers, some have been from other fields, but all were lonesome, some were angry, and not a few were afraid. One of these correspondents wrote to me first a few years back, and we have exchanged a few messages since then. This morning he wrote to say that he has come under a full-scale SJW attack, with blue-haired paratroopers dropping from the sky and metrosexual landing craft disgorging intersectional infantry onto his poorly defended beaches.
I don’t know any details, and am indeed somewhat sketchy as to his exact circumstances, but it does sound as if every dissident’s nightmare has become his reality. I’ve attached the body of my answer to the poor fellow, without any claims as to its merit. If you have anything to add or correct, please do so, since I believe he is an Orthosphere reader.
“I’m sorry but not surprised, since all dissidents live under constant threat of slander, libel and attack. I have no expertise in this area, but believe Vox Day’s Social Justice Warriors Always Lie contains helpful advice. It is certainly good that you have not apologized, since an apology will always be enlarged into a confession, and a confession will always be expanded to take in every allegation they choose to throw at you.
One thing I have learned at considerable personal cost is that Leftists lay the trap of an “academic debate,” and that naive conservative academics walk right into it. They want you to relax in a speculative mood, or get steamed up in an angry mood, because you may then say things they can use against you. You are under no obligation to offer explanations to people who are trying to destroy you, and you are under no obligation to answer their “questions.” If they spread damaging lies about you, sue them in court.
If their charges are true, I think the first rule is, once again, to avoid giving them more ammunition. And explanations, answers and clarifications are going to be more ammunition. I would also resist the temptation to cover your tracks by claiming to be more moderate than your published or attested statements prove you to be. If they rip those statements out of context, you might respond with a complete quote, but I expect this would be counterproductive if the context is too long or complicated for most people to read. I’m not sure if there is much to be gained by appeals to intellectual diversity or freedom of conscience, since there is either respect for these things or there is not. You will not win a mob of bigots round with a speech on fairness.
The second rule is that you must win the sympathy of the uncommitted by making the uncommitted believe that your attackers are unhinged and have gone too far. For most of us, this means staying calm and unruffled, hoping that the SJW’s will be lured into turning up the heat. Truly wild accusations are points in your favor, and you should not let them make you angry. I think there are subtle ways to provoke an antagonist into going too far, but I know I lack the guile to employ them. The bulk of your profession is no doubt to the left of you, but it is probably to the right of the harpies who are attacking you. Whether by inaction or subtlety, you want to make the harpies screech, since this reveals their true nature as harpies.”