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Yes Lefties, Hate Speech is Free Speech
by Sean Gangol
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
It never ceases to amaze me how people on the left can make some of the dumbest statements with a straight face, such as, “Hate Speech is Not Free Speech.” What is their basis for this nonsense? I don’t recall the Founding Fathers making any exception for Hate Speech when they wrote the First Amendment to the Constitution. So how did they come to this conclusion? Are they getting us confused with our Canadian neighbors? They get it from the same place that they get most of their Social Justice nonsense, college campuses. It is no wonder that when a study was conducted on a college campus about free speech, an overwhelming number of students said that they would rather see the First Amendment repealed than allow speech that some would deem hurtful. When I heard that there was a campus that provided vending machines full of condoms and various forms of contraceptives, I was actually relieved, since I don’t think today’s college students are mature enough to reproduce.
I don’t even understand how you can pass a ban based on a concept that was created out of thin air and doesn ’t have any concise definition. Hell, I could just easily argue that Alec Baldwin going onto some late-night talk show and advocating the stoning of Republicans and their families is hate speech. That ’s what happens when you have a word that isn’t properly defined. You can twist it to make it mean whatever you want it to mean. This is also the same reason why I oppose hate crime laws. There is nothing more dangerous than an ambiguous law.
Recently, British journalist Piers Morgan called for more restrictions on the First Amendment by banning hate groups such as, the KKK and their Neo-Nazi friends. Years ago, when Morgan replaced Larry King on CNN, I had written a few articles about the way he would shove his anti-gun views down the throats of anybody who didn’t share his worldview. Now fast-forward to the year 2017, where I actually thought Morgan had matured when he lambasted another guest on Real Time with Bill Maher for the way he campared Trump to Hitler. Then he had to open his mouth about the First Amendment, which like the Second Amendment, he can’t seem to comprehend. Though I can excuse Piers Morgan’s ignorance of the Bill of Rights, since he isn’t from this country. Americans who repeat this same nonsense, not so much. The whole point of the First Amendment is to protect unpopular speech. It’s easy to defend speech when it is the warm and fuzzy kind that everybody likes. You also have to take into account that you can prematurely label any speech you don’t like “Nazi Speech.” It’s pretty much fashionable for anybody on the left to yell “Nazi ” at their opponents. Piers Morgan should have noticed this after his experience on Real Time.
What is really disappointing isn’t the left who is always looking for any excuse to restrict any speech they don ’t like. It’s the so-called conservatives and libertarians who don’t think it is important to defend so-called Hate Speech. What they don’t realize is that the term “Hate Speech” can be used to discredit any form of unpopular speech. It doesn’t matter if you are a traditional conservative or a libertarian, you will get the same amount of contempt from the left as the idiots who walk around with torches and chant “Jews will not replace us.” Once their speech is silenced, yours won’t be far behind.
I remember a while back on a horror movie forum of all places, there was a discussion about free speech and censorship. There was this one person who said that Neo-Nazi groups shouldn’t be allowed to broadcast their views on the radio and poison the minds of young children. Now at the time I was just an observer and didn’t really feel like arguing with that person’s misguided views, but if I had decided to put in my own two cents I would have ended up writing an entire book on why this view is wrong, though I will try to condense it down to one paragraph.
Putting aside the unlikeness that you will see many white supremist broadcasting on the radio waves in this day and age, you can’t just deny someone the right to express his views just because you don’t want your children to hear them. Extreme leftists could use this same logic to silence their right-wing opponents and right-wing extremists could do the same to the left at any given opportunity. Also, if history has taught us anything, puritans have used this excuse to propose bans on every form of music from Jazz to Rock-n-Roll to Gangsta Rap. Yet, it only made these forms of music even more appealing to youngsters, once overbearing adults turned them into forbidden fruit. Just ask those who were teenagers during the era where moralists, such as Tipper Gore went after hard-rock artists that were alleged to produce albums with subliminal messages that compelled young kids to worship Satan or commit suicide. This only encouraged teenagers to seek out the very albums that seemed to get all the adults worked up into a frenzy. I had a similar experience when left-wing extremists were trying to deny Richard Spencer a platform. At the time I didn’t know anything about Richard Spencer except that all the Social Justice Warriors called him a Nazi and that there was a video circulating where he was sucker-punched by a member of Antifa. It made me want to learn more about Richard Spencer and the group he represented. Granted, once I did learn what he was about, I didn’t want anything to do with him or his White Nationalist movement. When you try to suppress any form of free expression, whether it’s a hard-rock album or a speech made by a white supremist, it just makes it more intriguing for the very people that you trying to protect from the expression that you find repugnant. That is why the war on so-called hate speech can never be won.
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