I’m responding after having not read all the comments, and so I want to apologize if I’m unintentionally plagiarizing other thoughts here:
This article is the perfect example of drawing someone into a straw argument: it positions itself as arguing against a type of leftism that doesn’t actually exist within the context of its own analysis. In the shelter system, working with marginalized people in a social framework, there is an inherent power relation that would preclude the use of academic or theoretical knowledge and vocabulary. Essentially, people aware of privilege and power need to — and do — check themselves before entering spaces to do community work, cognizant that problematic language and behaviours abound.
The use of restrictions of freedom of speech and of trigger warnings occur not in these situations, but in their exact opposites; they occur when the power relation operates in the opposite direction, not to impose upon others, but to empower others to be able to express themselves without harm.
Accepting this author’s argument is akin to forgetting that power exists. and that makes its analysis really quite useless.
At the same time as making sure that we’re not prioritizing language policing over giving people food, we have to prioritize that people who need not be exposed to language that can and does harm them are not exposed to it.
The “radical left” “social justice warriors” aren’t the problem here; liberalism, and its insistence on over-emphasizing the individual in absurdly atomized ways is.