It’s time to reconsider protection for hate speech (More at the link)
America’s legal system would not break new ground if it began to impose common sense restrictions on hate speech. In other democracies and free societies, reasonable limitations on hate speech do not suffocate the marketplace of ideas. For example, in free, democratic countries like Germany and South Africa, which live with the legacy of the atrocities of the Holocaust and Apartheid, the governments are allowed to impose reasonable limitations on hate speech. Germany’s criminal code prohibits the public display of Nazi symbols, such as the swastika and SS logo, and Nazi phrases, such as “Heil Hitler” and “Sieg Heil.” Likewise, South Africa’s bill of rights contains protections for freedom of speech and expression, but explicitly excludes hate speech. These countries are no less free than the United States, nor do they fail to remember their histories. In Germany, for example, school children are required to learn about the Holocaust, Nazism, and visit a concentration camp in grade school.
Now, more than ever, is the right time in America’s history to engage in a debate on laws that restrict hate speech.
Okay. Everybody ready for the debate?
No. No f-ing way.
You know why counselor? Because the notion that all so-called hate speech necessarily leads to violence is just wrong-headed. These Nazi goons have been around a while. Yet even now, the threat of violence surrounding these guys is the ever present danger that they will get their heads kicked in.
Because I don’t trust anyone to stop at merely “hate speech.” I expect the arbiters of hate will include “failure to adhere to the new LGBT codes of conduct,” and simple conservationism.
If someone has the temerity to suggest that there are too many Americans on welfare, or that the Democratic cities of the northeast have been driven into ruin…well that’s clearly hateful. Same if I suggest that thinking you ought to be a 13-year old girl, when in fact you’re a 13 year old boy is not really proof that surgery and dresses are the solution.
Suggesting that America’s military should be the strongest and most focused killing machine known to man…since that’s how we avoid wars…I’m sure someone will find this hateful.
If I point out that terrorism is rarely committed by Norwegian Lutherans or that maybe someone should have both skills and job prospects before coming to America…well that’s all going to be considered hate.
How do I know this?
I listen to the left. I read their complaints about the right. They treat every idea outside their orthodoxy as heresy. Hate. Some have the politeness to say “it ought to be illegal.” Others just pretend that they have the right to block others from saying these things by violence.
The greatest explosion in the debate since the November, 2016 election has not been from hateful racists feeling their oats. It’s been from the left, clawing at ways to silence the ideas of people with whom they lost an argument.
I don’t trust anyone to censor my speech, except for the obvious restrictions on inciting or actually threatening someone. These slight exceptions to the idea of free speech…and the German or South African examples listed above do not change my attitudes toward handing over my First Amendment right to express myself.
No. No way. Over my dead keyboard.
Just in case you’re wondering, I really dislike white supremacy and Nazism. Nothing demonstrates stupid like trying to convince people you represent the ‘master race.’ Flying a flag — either flag — of nations with war records of 0 – 1 seems equally stupid.
I hate racism, sexism and most of the other -ism you can find. But you will not tell me to shut up. Not in this country.