Free Speech or Bust
The recent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia clarified once again just how divided we’ve become as a country. The fact that people died as a result of a seeming “white nationalist” driving his car through the crowd just added more flames to what is becoming a raging national inferno.
The reaction to the tragedy was predictable; virtually the entire media focused exclusively on the “neo-nazis,” “racists,” or just outright “nazis,” as they repeatedly referred to those who organized the rally and attended in support of it, and directed all blame for what transpired upon them. Their ire wasn’t really directed at anything these “white nationalists” did or said, but at the fact they were there, together, expressing their collective views.
Having read a multitude of news reports, as well as countless social media comments, many of them from friends I respect, it’s obvious that at least half of this country doesn’t truly believe in the Bill of Rights. Once an individual or group has been labeled, falsely or not, as “nazi” or “racist,” then everything they say is automatically branded “hate” speech, and the most strident leftists inform us very passionately that “hate” speech isn’t protected by the First Amendment.
None of the Founding Fathers would have even comprehended what is meant by “hate” speech. We all hate some things, and some people. The irony here is that the loud opponents of “hate” speech are expressing their opposition with a venomous hate themselves. And while protesting against “nazis” because of their failure to be inclusive towards certain groups, they are failing themselves to recognize the “nazis” right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. These social justice warrior types, as always, are far more intolerant than their enemies.
Ivanka Trump categorically stated that there is “no place” in America for “racism” or “white supremacy.” As I noted on Facebook, exactly what do those who feel these “nazis” have no place in America intend to do with them? Lock them up? Do we really want to add to our record prison population by simply throwing people behind bars who offend the loudest individuals or groups? I’ve written before about how over legislated as a people we are; it’s clear that the establishment left wants to expand this insanity and start imprisoning those with forbidden political beliefs.
Why is “hate” speech confined to the far right? Why have the Black Panthers or Nation of Islam never been accused of this “hate?” Why haven’t the countless anti- Trump demonstrators who’ve been caught on tape physically assaulting peaceful Trump supporters ever been accused of “hate?” Why not those who’ve urged the assassination of Trump? What about the college that advertised a “white people free” day? Again, we all hate certain beliefs of others. Why is the establishment left (and mainstream media) view of “hate” all that counts?
The ACLU, to its credit, fought for the “white nationalists” right to assemble in Charlottesville. There are few other voices on the left now who will even acknowledge that these people had a right to be there, let alone to express their political rhetoric. Both Voltaire and Patrick Henry eloquently declared their support of those they vehemently disagreed with to express their views. There are few Voltaires and Patrick Henrys, let alone Gore Vidals and Nat Hentoffs, in the vanguard of today’s left, however.
The likes of Keith Olbermann, who truly appears to have lost his mind, and J.K. Rowling, are apoplectic on this whole “hate” thing. They see more “nazis” and “racists” than the number of “communists” Joe McCarthy could have imagined at the height of his powers. Under intense pressure by these kinds of high-profile social justice warriors, President Trump predictably caved in, like any good Stupid Party leader, and singled out white “racists” for condemnation. Nothing about Antifa, or Black Lives Matter, however. When they express their anger towards white people, and resort to violence, it somehow isn’t “hate,” or it is an acceptable response to the very presence of “racists” in their midst.
“Hate” speech is incompatible with any concept of Freedom of Speech. You can’t pick and choose what “hate” to include or exclude under the First Amendment. No true civil libertarian from the past would understand, let alone support, any notion of “hate” speech. What “hate” speech amounts to is a direct abridgment of our right to express ourselves. We all ought to oppose that, but much of the country is so riled up about this issue that they simply cannot be reasoned with. They will simply respond with “there is no place for hate” in America. Diversity is our strength, and all that.
The First Amendment wasn’t devised to protect popular, mainstream thought. It was designed explicitly to protect unpopular ideas, views that fall far outside the mainstream. The notion of defending to our dying day the right of someone to say something we strongly disagree with, is directly related to the Golden Rule, as well as the oft-ignored Christian concept of loving one’s enemy. I understand this is all very difficult, as most of us have great trouble loving our neighbors, let alone our enemies.
The other element of the Charlottesville incident that will never be examined by our incredibly lame mainstream media, is the fact both sides were undoubtedly riddled with undercover government assets. I pointed out in Hidden History how extreme groups on both the left and the right have always been infiltrated by government agents. Also, there are indications that the “white nationalist” who organized the event was a recent Obama supporter and affiliated with the Occupy movement. Maybe he’s just a kinder and gentler “nazi.” Not to mention, of course, the alleged ad on Craigs List, looking for paid demonstrators, which was quickly scrubbed from the record.
I have grown incredibly tired of identity politics, and these contrived incidents which serve only to divide us further. If they can get us fighting about race, religion, gender, etc., then they have successfully distracted us from their persistent corruption and incompetence, the perpetual wars, the crumbling economy, etc.
My credo is we should all treat everyone with respect. We should all have to abide by the same rules, laws and standards of conduct. How I wish America would start producing some more civil libertarians.