Hate speech or free speech?

minority — a racial, ethnic, religious, or social subdivision of a society that is subordinate to the dominant group in political, financial, or socialpower without regard to the size of these groups

I do believe a certain letter writer — whose opinion was published today in the Las Vegas newspaper under the headline: “It’s time for the United States to ban hate speech” — has achieved the remarkable accomplishment of penning the near-perfect self-contradictory argument.

The letter concludes:

In my mind, there is something morally wrong in treating all views as equally protected by the First Amendment. Any speech that is logically inimical to the rights of the minority should not have such protection.

Thus, a minority group that speaks ill of another minority group’s rights should be denied their First Amendment rights. Got it? And which minority group will police such hate speech?



34 comments on “Hate speech or free speech?

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    I’m a minority! I’m left handed, who do I sue?

  2. deleted says:

    This is a serious issue Thomas and this treatment of it doesn’t do it justice.

    It’s all well and fine to to just keep saying the First Amendment protects all speech and all speakers equally as if nothing on earth ought to ever change the calculation but that is just not so in anyone’s mind other than a dilettante.

    How can a country protect itself from groups that would use the democratic processes available in a country like this, to subvert, at the earliest opportunity, those democratic processes including free speech? Are we to stand defenseless as groups, like the Nazis, who have demonstrated throughout their history the propensity to first use a right to speak, then the near complete suppression of that right when they obtain power, all in the name of free speech?

    I asked you a few days ago about whether you believed a US president could preemptively declare war against a country that has not attacked us and you gave a reasoned answer but in my opinion it was lacking.

    Threats, including those from groups like the Nazis are real enough, and may at some point be imminent enough, that putting aside strict compliance with the First Amendment becomes a matter of self protection, and because I believe you to be a proponent of that, in terms of your personal right of self defense, I’m a little surprised you wouldn’t analogize your self defense, to the countries self defense, which would allow both to take measures not otherwise allowed when they reasonably believe their very continuation is threatened.

  3. Democracy is dead if people must be manipulated by their betters.

  4. deleted says:

    Such language Thomas. Betters? We are supposed to have a representative republic. Does the election of representatives mean that our chosen representatives are better in any sense? Does their election imply some trust for their judgment?

    If those representatives decide that a threat to this countries existence exists by Nazis or others, are we to suddenly suggest that the people we have put into those positions no longer have our trust or authority to make those decisions? If so, why have this system at all?

    Seems to me that even having a representative system of government means that we have decided those representatives are better, in some respects, than we are, even if it is for the limited purpose of making decisions about imminent threats because the masses of this country cannot, in any real time fashion, make those decisions.

  5. No, not better. They are simply put there to make the day-to-day decisions, but within the restrictions of the Constitution, such as Congress shall make no law …

  6. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights protect minorities from majority mob rule.

  7. Barbara says:

    Conservatives have always denounced identity politics and those groups who engage in racism and violence. The left embraces identity politics, racism, and violence with the end game of circumventing our founding principles, the Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution.

  8. Steve says:

    Attempting to subdue those making less than acceptable speech only hides them from view.
    Keeping them in that kind of darkness allows them to fester and grow.
    Light, on the other hand, exposes them and makes them much more visible for what they are.

    Yes the first amendment works for this as well, by keeping angry/hateful speech on full view and available for retort instead of forcing it to hide, which enables it rather than quieting it.

  9. deleted says:

    The Nazis used their freedom of speech rights in German to take over the country and later, when the rose to power, take free speech rights away from the German people. The Germans learned their lesson the hard way and Nazis no longer have the free speech rights that other groups in Germany have.

    We can learn from them the easy way, or we may follow their history and learn the hard way.

    Conservatives for years have argued that countries, and people, have the right to self protection when they reasonably believe their existence is threatened but for some reason, when the threat is coming from a right wing bunch of fanatics, they are silent and even opposed to actions intended at self preservation.

    It’s a fine line in my opinion and I am fully informed as to the potential problems but a God forbid the day comes when our Constitutional rights are used to destroy the country because people were more concerned about the ideals and ignored the realities.

  10. deleted says:

    Like I said, the Germans learned their lesson the hard way, and they’re not going down that road again.

    They let the Nazis March, but they regulated what they could say, to whom they could say it, their ability to carry a certain number of flags, their ability to shout slogans, and their ability to give interviews. And oddly enough, there was no violence.


  11. That’s the ticket. Copy Germany!

  12. totalitarian — of or relating to a political regime based on subordination of the individual to the state and strict control of all aspects of the life and productive capacity of the nation especially by coercive measures (such as censorship and terrorism)

  13. Deleted says:

    Are you suggesting that Germany never has anything worthy of being copied by this country Thomas?

    And I appreciate the definition but it really doesn’t have much to do with anything I said.

  14. Look out for the thought police.

  15. deleted says:

    See Thomas this just makes it appear that you see this a ample problem resolved by rigid ideology and I don’t see it that way.

    Chanting the First Amendment, First Amendment, First Amendment seems great. In theory.

    I don’t see that it did the Germans any good when the original Nazis starting using it to take over their country though.

  16. Barbara says:

    Of course violence by the left is acceptable when it is done to keep conservatives from speaking on campuses or to call for killing cops – pigs in a blanket, blah, blah blah. Bill Ayers only wishes he had blown up more buildings and he is a darling of the left – a mentor to Obama.

  17. The Nazis won only 40 percent of the vote in the 1932 election. It was after Hitler was named chancellor that the rights of free speech and press were suspended and the Nazis consolidated their power through intimidation and violence.

  18. deleted says:

    Yes, and the chanted and march and shouted hate slogans and propaganda all the while.

    And once they got in, they did away with free speech for everyone. And somehow you don’t recognize that as a lesson for this country?

    It didn’t take an overwhelming majority for them to ultimately kill free speech and liberty (along with people) but through democratic institutions that overcame.

  19. deleted says:

    And pay close attention to self identified “conservative” Barbara above who, in the face of nazis screaming their hate, directs her attacks on “the left”.

    It was precisely that unspoken support for these groups that propelled them to power, all the while the first thing the Nazis did, before they just started killing anyone that moved, was go after “the left”.

  20. deleted says:

    They tried to wrap themselves in the fFirst Amendment, catering to people who honestly believe in it, all for their nefarious purposes of wiping out that freedom the moment they are given the chance.

    And we’re going to let that happen so we can say…what? That we stood up for the rights of people, until people decided they didn’t want it anymore? If the ideas and ideals that were established in the Constitution were worth fighting and dying for to establish, how can less effort be expected to make sure it remains an important part of this country’s future?

    “Boston faced dueling demonstrations, but a rally to promote “free speech” was brief and unamplified. It was undercut by police planning and starved by an enormous buffer zone between protesters and their opponents, many of whom had feared that the rally would become a haven for neo-Nazis and white nationalists.”

  21. Barbara says:

    I have clearly denounced violence from any group. You on the other hand have never denounced those groups who engage in violence such as ANTIFA and BLM. To me, white supremacists and ANTIFA and BLM are all the same – all would overturn our founding principles of natural rights in favor of centralized, government control.

  22. deleted says:

    The same false equivalence that even some (not many) conservatives have spoken out against.

    Thomas, as I said, this was a lay up that anyone ought to have been able to make political hay over, and yet because many conservatives, like Barbara here, refuse to just say “the Nazis are evil hate mongers that cannot be tolerated in this country, their allegiances will be questioned.

    Sorry Barbara, where was I? Oh right, say it with me, loud and proud:

    “The Nazis are evil, and this country cannot stand idly by while they spew their racist hate filled garbage”

    And we won’t.

    Then…whatever else you want to add.

  23. Nazis are evil people whose wrongheaded ideas should be soundly trounced in a fair debate.

  24. deleted says:

    That’s very consistent with what you’ve said before Thomas and you certainly get points for consistency and integrity.

    It am not seem like it, or shall I say, my opinions may not be interpreted that way, but I also believe the First Amendment deserves strident advocacy.

    I’m just not in favor of laying down in front of a steamroller chanting for the ideal while I get crushed beneath people that would do away with it entirely if they were able.

    And the nazis have already demonstrated their propensity to do just that, even when people recognize them as evil because “the marketplace” doesn’t always lead to the best result.

    I mean, how are the Dallas Cowboys the most watched team in the NFL?

  25. Every now and then, the tree of liberty must be refreshed with blood.

  26. Barbara says:

    Of course I denounce Nazi’s as hate mongers. Let me ask you a hypothetical question first asked by Daniel Horowitz. Given that Nazi’s are hate mongers and racists, should we admit immigrants in large numbers from areas of the world and cultures dominated by overwhelming white supremacist sentiments? Should we vet their social media postings and background and deny entry to those who promote the neo-Nazi agenda?

  27. Barbara says:

    Yes Americans, even hate mongers, are protected by the 1st amendment to spew their racists ideology. My question involves those who would immigrate to America. Should a self avowed Neo-Nazi whose ideology is not compatible with Americanism be allowed to immigrate and be granted citizenship?

  28. deleted says:

    I guess Horowitz would have supported denying entry to the Jews on that ship just prior to WWII, since obviously those people came from a country he would see as dominated by white racist nationalists.

    The toad.

    Course, given the consumer guys history, we know who he’s REALLY talking about don’t we Barbara;)

    But, to answer your question outright; no, we shouldn’t look at the country of origin as the basis for determining whether to admit an immigrant and the reasons should be pretty clear to anyone.

    In the first place, those people are clearly wanting to LEAVE that country. Like has happened many times in this country’s history (Cuba and Germany to name but two examples) people generally leave countries that have policies they disagree with, not ones where they are “in their element”.

    Drilling down a little deeper, what I would strongly object to, would be some sort of litmus teat, established by some lunatic, regarding which religion or color or race of people we are going to admit in the US. I mean hey, I’m all for one maybe that would bar completely the admission of any nazi but I wouldn’t support a ban on Buddists or Hairy Krisnas;)

    Maybe no libertarians though, or librarians cause they’re both more trouble than they’re worth.

  29. deleted says:

    Kudos to them. And I’ll add that when you lose Liberty University alum, as a republican president, it’s probably time to change course (and I don’t don’t mean the golfing kind)

    “In a group letter being prepared to be sent to university officials, several alumni declare their intention to return their diplomas and call for Falwell to repudiate Trump’s remarks:

    “While this state of affairs has been in place for many months, the Chancellor’s recent comments on the attack upon our neighbors in Charlottesville have brought our outrage and our sorrow to a boiling point. During the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, white supremacists, nationalists, and neo-Nazis perpetrated brutal violence against anti-racist protesters, murdering one woman and injuring many. Instead of condemning racist and white nationalist ideologies, Mr. Trump provided equivocal and contradictory comments. The Chancellor then characterized Mr. Trump’s remarks, which included the claim that some of the persons marching as white nationalists and white supremacists at the rally were ‘very fine people,’ as ‘bold’ and ‘truthful.’ This is incompatible with Liberty University’s stated values, and incompatible with a Christian witness.”


  30. Barbara says:

    So you would admit a self avowed Neo-Nazi and grant him citizenship, but then deny him his first amendment rights to peacefully assemble and spread his evil, racist ideology? On what level does that make sense?

  31. deleted says:

    Barbara where did I say that I would admit a self avowed Nazi?

    I’ll help you out since somehow you missed it (and maybe what I actually said would help)

    “I mean hey, I’m all for one maybe that would bar completely the admission of any nazi”

    Geez girl.

  32. Barbara says:

    Okay, so you would deny Nazis entry into the US. Please explain why you would exclude this group.

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