A Virginia Democrat has introduced a bill to “remove hate speech from public places.”
Del. Suhas Subramanyam introduced the bill in response to “antisemitic incidents” in the state.
If passed, the bill will require the government to remove any graffiti that is deemed to be hateful on the taxpayer’s dime, including on private property, if the owner fails to do so themselves.
“It’s been bad enough that we had to endure these incidents of racist and antisemitic graffiti, but it’s made worse when no one takes responsibility for the clean up and they remain in the public’s eye,” Subramanyam told WUSA9. “This bill would address that. Hate has no place in Virginia, and our diversity and unity is what makes us strong.”
It may be MLK Day, but Democrats aren’t here for all that “content of character” stuff.
Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, long in the running for being the vapidest member of Congress (oops, did I just commit a crime?), has introduced legislation that could make political criticism by white people against minorities a federal crime.
In what can only be called a convoluted mess, the bill proposes that a white person who “vilifies” any non-white person and has their words end up on social media, accessible by “persons who are predisposed to engaging in any action in furtherance of a white supremacy inspired hate crime,” would themselves be committing a federal crime.
The provision is so broad that you could drive a Mack truck through it. What is a “white supremacy-inspired hate crime” under this statute? How is “replacement theory” defined? Because what Democrats call “replacement theory” as a way to silence Republicans is often not replacement theory at all but is just a reiteration of Democrat-admitted aims to use immigration to influence elections.
Further, the use of “or” in section (B) is important because it leaves “vilifies” as a stand-alone qualifier. What is the limiting principle there? If I post on social media that Shelia Jackson Lee is an incredibly ignorant, abusive person who has a long history of treating her staff like dirt, does that mean I’ve “vilified” her under this proposed law? It would certainly seem so.
Then there’s the conspiracy angle to deal with. It does not appear that there’s actually any requirement that the “two or more persons” targeted under this statute have any real connection to one another. If someone commits a “white supremacy-inspired hate crime” against a person and I’ve likewise been politically criticizing that same person on social media, even justifiably, I would have now committed a federal crime myself.
Surprise — the Massachusetts Institute of Technology endorses students’ liberty to engage in offensive speech…officially.
In contrast to castigations of “hate speech” and the increasingly common notion that “hate speech isn’t free speech,” MIT is siding with the Constitution.
On December 21st, the Cambridge private land-grant research university released a Free Expression Statement.
From the document:
Free expression is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition of a diverse and inclusive community. We cannot have a truly free community of expression if some perspectives can be heard and others cannot. Learning from a diversity of viewpoints, and from the deliberation, debate, and dissent that accompany them, are essential ingredients of academic excellence.
Free expression promotes creativity by affirming the ability to exchange ideas without constraints. It not only facilitates individual autonomy and self-fulfillment, it provides for participation in collective decision-making and is essential to the search for truth and justice. … Academic freedom promotes scholarly rigor and the testing of ideas by protecting research, publication, and teaching from interference.
That principle means on-campus guests can’t be relegated to a single perspective:
A commitment to free expression includes hearing and hosting speakers, including those whose views or opinions may not be shared by many members of the MIT community and may be harmful to some. This commitment includes the freedom to criticize and peacefully protest speakers to whom one may object, but it does not extend to suppressing or restricting such speakers from expressing their views. Debate and deliberation of controversial ideas are hallmarks of the Institute’s educational and research missions and are essential to the pursuit of truth, knowledge, equity, and justice.
The school makes clear things such as “direct threats, harassment, plagiarism, or other speech that falls outside the boundaries of the First Amendment” won’t be protected. Furthermore, it expects “a collegial and respectful learning and working environment.”
A French “anti-hate” website claiming to catalogue far-right symbols has listed several mainstream Roman Catholic symbols, including crosses and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, alongside well-known Nazi devices.
The French “anti-hate” website Indextreme claims that it is looking to “observe, catalogue and publicize the graphic symbols used by the far right in France,” and places various mainstream Roman Catholic symbols alongside those of Nazism and other far-right ideologies.
The project, which was created by graphic designer Geoffrey Dorne and photojournalist Ricardo Parreira and has been promoted by the leftist French website StreetPress, lists many symbols broken up into various categories from phrases to animals, flags, gestures, numbers, and crosses.
Democratic Senator Ben Cardin suggested that “hate” is “not protected under the First Amendment” during a hearing, but later had to clarify that he was wrong.
The Maryland lawmaker made the comments while speaking with US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Deborah Lipstadt and American Jewish Committee Director of International Jewish Affairs Rabbi Andrew Baker.
“If you espouse hate, if you espouse violence, you’re not protected under the First Amendment,” Cardin falsely claimed.
“I think we can be more aggressive in the way that we handle that type of use of the internet,” he added, suggesting such content should be censored by Big Tech and the state.
It goes without saying that the term “hate” is completely arbitrary and has been weaponized by the left to chill scrutiny of everything from children being exposed to drag queens to legitimate criticism of public figures.
That’s why “hate” and even “hate speech” is protected by the First Amendment.
Cardin was subsequently forced to correct himself on Twitter, writing, “Hate speech is protected under the #FirstAmendment, unless it incites violence.”
Canadian Conservative politician Andrew Scheer picked up on this strange phenomenon back in April, saying that that the corporate media framing free speech as a “right wing value” was just plain weird. As though to drive home the point, Twitch’s Zachary Ryan called Musk a right-winger on Monday. And over the weekend, entrepreneur Samir Tabar had a question for a whiny Robert Reich:
Stop using Musk as your punching bag. Twitter was full of people who had opinions before Musk was around. What you label as ‘misinformation” are just views you don’t like. Deal with it. Since when is free speech a right wing value?
— Samir Tabar (@SamirTabar) December 11, 2022
Answer: since, well, now.
The evolution of this trend is not new. It was less than three years ago that the American Civil Liberties Union — which for decades was committed to an absolutist vision of free speech — signaled that it was no longer interested in defending the speech of those who don’t share the organization’s values.
Former ACLU head Ira Glasser has been vocal in opposing this shift not just at his old place of employment but among the left at large. As Spiked reported back in February 2020 (emphasis added), “This idea, Glasser laments, is alien to a lot of young people today, who see the ‘First Amendment as an antagonist to social justice’. Indeed, on US campuses ‘progressives’ constantly agitate for right-wing speakers, from Charles Murray to Ben Shapiro, to be banned or forcibly shut them down. ‘Hate speech is not free speech’ is a common refrain.”
That last sentence is key.
The ACLU, which in 1978 famously defended arguably the worst hate speech there is — Nazi speech — is now following the left-wing trend of labeling things it doesn’t like, and even Musk’s dedication to free speech, as promoting hate speech.
We recently discussed a troubling conviction in Great Britain of a man for his “toxic ideology.” Now Ireland appears ready to replicate that case a thousand fold. The proposed Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022 would criminalize the possession of material deemed hateful.
It is a full frontal assault on speech and associational rights. The law would allow for sweeping authoritarian measures in defining opposing viewpoints hateful. Ireland appears to be picking up the cudgel of speech criminalization from Britain, an abusive power once used against the Irish.
The law is a free speech nightmare. Even before addressing the crime of possession of harmful material, the law would “provide for an offence of condoning, denying or grossly trivialising genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.” The crime of condoning, denying or grossly trivailising” criminal conduct would make most autocrats blush. The lack of any meaningful definition invites arbitrary enforcement. The law expressly states the intent to combat “forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.”
What is so striking about the law is how utterly unapologetic it is in the use of criminal law to curtail not just free speech but free thought. It allows for the prosecution of citizens for “preparing or possessing material likely to incite violence or hatred against persons on account of their protected characteristics.” That could sweep deeply into not just political but literary expression.
The interest of the Irish in assuming such authoritarian measures is chilling given their own history under British rule, including violent crackdowns on nonviolent protests like “Bloody Sunday.” Free speech is now in a free fall in Great Britain and Ireland appears eager to follow suit.
Calls for diversity on campuses and in Main Street businesses and banning hate speech, even that protected by the First Amendment , are no longer issues to fight over for college students.
Now, it’s a reason for the electric chair .
In a remarkable shift showing how students, many lining up for President Joe Biden’s loan forgiveness plan, have turned left since the 2020 election, a new Yale survey suggests that America’s best and brightest are giving up on key constitutional freedoms and even embracing socialism.
In the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale University national student survey, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates and provided to Secrets, big majorities want companies to require employees to declare support for workplace diversity just to get a job.
And when it comes to speech, nearly half believe the death penalty is OK to shoot down hate speech.
Those who use so-called “hate speech” will soon be jailed for up to five years under new legislation published on Thursday.
Any individual found guilty of using “hate speech” in Ireland will soon find themselves facing up to five years in jail. The country’s Justice Minister, Helen McEntee, has been at the centre of the country’s push towards implementing effective “hate speech” legislation, with her department announcing on Thursday that the first draft of the new laws would soon enter the country’s parliament.
Under the rules as proposed, those found guilty of “any intentional or reckless communication or behaviour that is likely to incite violence or hatred against a person or persons because they are associated with a protected characteristic” would face up to five years in jail.
What’s more, any individual convicted of such an offence would be branded a “hate criminal”, a label which the minister says is designed to “follow an offender in court, in garda vetting, and so on”.
“[H]ate speech is not about free speech,” McEntee declared in a statement published by her department.
“Hate speech is designed to shut people down, to shut them up, to make them afraid to say who they are and to exclude and isolate them,” she continued. “There is nothing free about that, and there is, frankly, no place for it in our society.”