You can support the nazis’ rights without supporting nazis

A Facebook pal angrily defriended me this past weekend because I said it was possible to defend the rights of nazis while still being against them.

We have to protect speech we hate. Speech we all agree with doesn’t need protection. the 1st Amendment is meaningless if we decide speech limitations based on the content of that speech.alt evil

Now let me clarify: I am talking about speech, not action. Clearly, you do not have the right to speech that causes a “clear and present danger” for instance. (This is the old Supreme Court example about yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater and causing a stampede and a riot.)

This is why I have absolutely no problem with laws restricting guns at rallies. While it is true that some states allow open carry, you don’t have that right under the Constitution (which is why many states don’t allow open carry). You don’t have the right to take a gun anywhere you please any more than you have the right to speak wherever you please. I see no problem with a state saying that anyone who brings a weapon to a rally can be arrested. That’s not speech.

Yes, of course, their speech is hateful, but do you trust our government to make that distinction — to decide what speech is considered hateful and what isn’t? Especially this current administration? If they had their way, they’d make speech against Trump illegal.

Once the government decides “This speech is prohibited but this speech is not” they are opening a door that will be used against our speech next.

I am not taking the side of these nazis. Anyone who reads this blog should be well aware of that. I am taking the patriotic side of Freedom of Speech.

Mind you, this freedom doesn’t mean these nazis should not face counter-protests, should be listened to, should be given any respect whatsoever. I am completely in favor of these people being outed, losing their jobs, and being harassed for their hate. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of that speech.

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Keep Exposing These Nazis

Keep exposing these nazis. Make their faces known, let people know where they work, make them lose their jobs.

No, it isn’t a first amendment issue. Look at it this way:

If you’re an employer and you have a far left employee, he or she may believe in universal health care and gay rights and maybe even communism if they’re way out there, and it’s very likely that will never come up at the job and won’t affect their employment in the slightest.

But if you have an alt-right nazi KKK member working for you, then they believe that people who aren’t like them are inferior, should be kept out of the country, should have no rights. And they’re probably going to be dealing with women and minorities and gays and immigrants in the job — and even your other employees. Their views absolutely affect not just their jobs but your reputation as an employer. How can a black person or a gay person or a Jewish person expect to be treated with respect from your business when you have people like that working there?

So yes. Expose them. Make them realize there are consequences to their hatred.

dims

This is Peter Cvjetanovic.  He’s a student at the University of Nevada.

The Supreme Court, Hate Speech, and the Washington Redskins

The United States Supreme Court just ruled that the government cannot stop someone from getting a trademark on a name that the government considers “hate speech.”

This is an important win for freedom of speech. As I’ve said here many times, the 1st Amendment is meaningless if it only protects speech we all agree with. As the Court held:

[The idea that the government may restrict] speech expressing ideas that offend. . .strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”

The case involved an Asian-American rock band called “The Slants.” They wanted to trademark their name, but the government said no, you can’t, because it’s hate speech.

This case basically puts an end to the lawsuits against the sports teams with insulting names, such as the Washington Redskins.

Should the Redskins change their name? Absolutely. Should they be forced to do so by the government, making the determination as to what speech is acceptable for us to use? Absolutely not.

Speech we all agree with doesn’t need a 1st Amendment.

The Slants

The Slants

 

Kathy Griffin, Hypocrites, and the First Amendment

Comedian Kathy Griffin recently posted a picture of herself holding a severed bloody Trump head.

In comparison to all the crap conservatives posted about Obama — including actual death threats — it was mild, but still provocative. screen_shot_2017-05-30_at_1.47.48_pm_-_h_2017

Of course, that was the point, wasn’t it? Provocative? Isn’t that what comedians sometimes are like?

Immediately, GOP members without any sense of irony screamed about how inappropriate it was. “But the children may see it!” they yelled. Griffin lost some jobs, was criticized all over the internet, and many said she should be arrested for this.

Because, you know, if there’s one thing conservatives love, it’s America. They just hate what it stands for — you know, like that damned First Amendment, which is meaningless if it only protects speech we all agree with.

Then — and here is where you roll your eyes — GOP members who complained that the photo would harm children are now running that photo in campaign ads on prime time TV.

Why, it’s almost as if they really don’t care about the children at all and are merely blatant hypocrites!

“Political correctness” and freedom of speech

The phrase “political correctness” was coined by conservatives who were mad that they could no longer insult minorities, gays, or women without facing criticism in return. When I was a kid, political correctness was called “being polite.”

The problem with most people who whine about “political correctness” is that they have this idea that freedom of speech means freedom from consequences of that speech.

You have every right to say insulting and demeaning things. And we have every right to call you an asshole for saying those things. gervais

Often the people who defend their insulting comments don’t think they are being rude.

“Gee, you sure are fat.”

“Hey! Don’t be so mean.”

“I wasn’t being mean, I was just stating a fact. How dare you be so rude to me simply for stating my opinion! How dare you enforce your political correctness on me!”

That’s how you guys look to us. You look like big whiners who can dish it out but can’t take criticism in return.

If your idea of free speech is that you can degrade others and be insulting without consequence, then maybe you need to better understand the 1st amendment, which guarantees your right to be as insulting as you want but doesn’t protect you from other people calling you out for it.

This is not to say that people can’t go too far. Preventing someone with a different viewpoint from speaking doesn’t support the concept of “freedom of speech” much. This happens too often on college campuses where well-meaning but misguided students won’t let people with different opinions have a forum.

But — and here’s a key that many opponents of “political correctness” don’t get — this is not the same thing as the government doing it. I’m getting pretty sick of comparisons like “Political correctness is exactly what the Soviet Union used to do!” Since the United States government is not forcing political correctness on everyone, no it isn’t. The 1st amendment limits the government from curtailing your freedom of speech. It doesn’t guarantee you a forum nor does it protect you against criticism.

And if the government suddenly came down with laws requiring “political correctness,” I would be the first to be fighting against them. (It’s why I am also against “hate crimes.”)

So, in conclusion, please stop whining about “political correctness” every time someone criticizes you for insulting things you have said. . Grow a thicker skin already, you big babies.

 

“You must pledge to support the laws of this land that I don’t agree with!”

Here we go again.

Another teacher is in trouble for demanding that a student participate in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, but this time it’s the teacher’s response that makes me giggle.

The student refused because the pledge contains the words “Under God” and stated (correctly) that it is illegal to force someone to say the pledge. The teacher replied, “I don’t care about the law.”

The Justice League saying the Pledge of Allegiance from a comic book in the 40s. Notice something missing?

The Justice League saying the Pledge of Allegiance from a comic book in the 40s. Notice something missing?

Got it? The teacher wants to teach respect to our country and wants everyone to pledge allegiance to that country while at the same time ignoring the very laws of that country.

The teacher then called her “disrespectful.” Let’s see — which one said that people should ignore the laws of this country? Was it the student?

Such a patriotic attitude this teacher has! (Insert comic German accent) “You vill obey und salute the government. Ve do not allow individual thought here!”

This is America — where we don’t force people to love the government. After all, of what use is a forced pledge? If someone forces you to say something against your will, what’s the point? How is it meaningful? Does the irony not hit people? “We are forcing you to pledge against your will — for freedom!!!”

The United States Supreme Court held that no one could be forced to say the pledge over fifty years ago in a case involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who persuasively argued that such a pledge violated their religious beliefs concerning worshiping objects or something.

I am always amused by patriots who want to force Americans to do things like this — which seem to me to be one of the most unAmerican thing you can do. Say the pledge because you mean it, and not because you have to. That’s true patriotism.

Much of the debate against the pledge would be neutralized if we could just remove the “under God” part that was added in the 50s. (I personally just remain silent whenever it comes to those words.) Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pledge that includes all Americans? Isn’t that what America is supposed to be about?

You don’t have a right to a job!

Give me a freakin’ break.

National Bigot Kim Davis was playing the martyr card again today, complaining that she had to choose between “her conscience and freedom” because gosh darn it, the evil government that she works for wants to make her do her job.

Well, no, Ms. Bigot — your choice is not between “your conscience and freedom”.  It’s between your job and freedom. If you don’t want to do your job, just quit already.

A sign recently erected in Kim Davis' town

A sign recently erected in Kim Davis’ town

This is the same old argument we see time and time again, always by people who have no understanding of their Constitutional rights. Your right to have an opinion doesn’t mean you have the right to force it on everyone else, nor does it mean you are protected from the consequences of that opinion.

Just since I started this blog a few years ago, this issue has come up more than once.

There was that bank teller (also from Kentucky) that complained that her rights were violated when she was fired after she kept preaching to customers, despite being told to stop by her boss.

And that CEO from Mozilla who whined that he was being wrongly fired for fighting against gay marriage while his business was actively anti-discrimination.

And the conservative pundist Charles Krauthamer, who doesn’t understand that he doesn’t have the right to have his column printed in the paper.

And “actor” Rob Schneider who lost his job as an insurance spokesman after dissing vaccinations (which insurance companies like).

In each of these situations, people wrongly thought that losing their jobs because of what they said meant their freedom of speech was violated. You don’t have the right to a specific job! If your speech, religion, or actions stand in the way of you doing your job, then you’re not being “punished” for your opinions — you’re being punished for not doing your freakin’ job.