Freedom of Speech Under Attack

Freedom of Speech Under Attack

Freedom of Speech Under Attack

Our republic is under attack. The enemy isn’t standing on the outside, lobbing artillery across the border. The enemy is here, in our halls of justice and corridors of government. They are the politicians who appear devoted to not just limiting but tearing down our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. They are the men and women who won’t be satisfied until the nanny state they dream of becomes a reality.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Those 45 words form one of the cornerstones of our nation. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble and the right to petition the government for redress. We fought a revolution to insure those freedoms and now too many of our elected officials want to sweep them out the door. They don’t care that doing so will cause the foundations of our republic to crumble. In fact, I have no doubt some of those pols hope that is exactly what happens.

In the last 24 hours or so, we’ve seen the three latest examples of lawmakers using their position to not only limit the freedom of speech but to do so in such a way that many of us could easily find ourselves in trouble with the law.

The first example comes out of Connecticut. Three people were walking across a parking lot near a University of Connecticut apartment complex one night. According to reports, two of the three kept repeating the n-word. An 11-second video taken by someone who witnessed the incident hit social media. Needless to say, the cries for action were quick and loud.

It didn’t surprise me when the university said it would look into whether the students involved had violated university policy. But to find the two who actually said the word–according to the reports–had been charged criminally boggled my mind.

Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj, both 21 and described by police as white, were charged with ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by a maximum of 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $50 or both, according to state law.”

So, if you ridicule someone in Connecticut, have your lawyer on speed dial because chances are you just violated the law. I guess the state feels its citizens aren’t confident enough, strong enough to stand up to a few insults. Because they must play nanny to protect the feelz of these precious voters, freedom of speech must be cast aside–at least in their totalitarian world.

But what makes this worse is the fact there was apparently no specific target that night. The two young men were being stupid, as young men (and young women) often are. They had been playing a “game” where they yelled vulgarities at one another and then they switched to the n-word and were overheard by two people inside the apartment complex. So, stupidity without a target but they now have a criminal charge on their records because Connecticut doesn’t think freedom of speech should include words that “ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race.”

Oh, but it gets better–or worse, depending on your point of view.

President Trump set off another round of liberal outrage when he compared the ongoing impeachment investigation to a lynching.

Oh the cries of outrage were quick. From Politico:

But the invocation of ‘lynching’ to characterize a process explicitly sanctioned by the Constitution marked a new, racially insensitive show of malice by the president toward lawmakers seeking to remove him from office.”

There are several problems with this approach. First, they immediately assumed this was Trump being racially insensitive. That is often the first line of attack from the Left when they dislike something that’s been said. Second, they conveniently forgot their own politicians used the same word describing the Clinton impeachment. It was only after those quotes were dug up and posted online that folks like Joe Biden began trying to dig their way out of the hole.

Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) and Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) both condemned Trump for his use of the word “lynching”. Funny how they seem to have forgotten what they said in 1998 about the Clinton impeachment. That same day, former-Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) spoke of the “lynch mob mentality.” Jerry Nadler — you remember Jerry. The same Jerry Nadler who chairs the committee that will consider the articles of impeachment against Trump should it progress that far —  called the Clinton impeachment process a “lynch mob” on three different occasions in 1998. How quickly they forget.

Then you have good ole Joe Biden. He was quick to denounce Trump. Of course, he’d denounce Trump for getting a good hair cut if he thought it would buy him a vote.

Impeachment is not ‘lynching,’ it is part of our Constitution,” the former vice president said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Our country has a dark, shameful history with lynching, and to even think about making this comparison is abhorrent. It’s despicable.”

Oh how his tune has changed from 1998. Then he said the proceedings against Clinton could be viewed as a “partisan lynching.” When this was pointed out to him, he did one of his usual non-apology apologies.

He didn’t mean to use a hurtful word but Trump did. He knows it. I guess he can read Trump’s mind to be so sure about the president’s intent. Of course, the MSM believes they know what is in Trump’s mind as well and they’re doing their damnedest to prove it to us.

And that brings us to the latest bit of dangerous undermining by our elected officials. This time, the dunce cap belongs to Rep. Dan Hunt, a Democrat from Boston who currently serves in the state’s legislature. Mr. Hunt has proposed adding the following two sentences to the current laws on the books:

A person who uses the word ‘bitch’ directed at another person to accost, annoy, degrade or demean the other person shall be considered to be a disorderly person in violation of this section.”

If the proposal passes and you get into an argument with your girlfriend or sister or co-worker and call her (or him) a bitch, you can be arrested. You can face a fine or even jail time. As with the UConn case, anyone who hears you can report you. You don’t have to have been actually insulting anyone. They just have to think you do. Then it will be up to you to prove yourself innocent.

Because that is the way it works, my friends. This is the sort of offense that the burden will fall to the accused to prove they didn’t have the requisite intent. The pols might say different, but think about it. These sorts of laws are written much like the old joke “Do you still beat your wife?”. There is no way to answer that question without making it sound like you either did or still do beat her.

That is troubling enough. But what is worse is this attempt by more and more of our elected officials to police what we say and how we say it. Not only does it further pull us into the not-so-loving embrace of a nanny state, but it is contrary to what our forefathers had in mind when they adopted the First Amendment.

Yes, there are exceptions to the Freedom of Speech clause.  Pornography isn’t protected. Neither are threats against the president. Another exception is if the words are “fighting words”. There are a few others as well. What each of these exceptions have in common is they are framed to protect people’s health, perhaps even their lives, or protect our nation.

Calling someone the n-word or a bitch or using a racially charged word should not be illegal. Ill-advised, you bet. Should employers or educators be able to impose limits on speech in the workplace or on campus? I’m torn. But the government should not be in the business of telling us we can’t call someone a bitch (especially if it isn’t illegal to call someone else a bastard).

When I see our elected officials pressing for such laws, my heart weeps. Then I get angry. This is not the republic our forefathers envisioned. Instead, we are one step closer to joining China with its social credit system. Is that what you want for your children and grandchildren? I certainly don’t. I’d rather teach my son or daughter how to deal with someone being crass or even cruel than to put my trust in the government to deal with the miscreants.

If you value your First Amendment rights, let your state and federal legislators know. Keep an eye on the bills coming up locally and nationally. We cannot afford to continue down this slippery slope. Stand up and exercise your constitutional rights. Do it now, before it is too late.

Welcome, Instapundit readers!

 

Featured Image: Constitution on Flag by stevecuk. Licensed under standard Adobe Stock license.

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12 Comments
  • This process has been sanctioned, quietly of course, by persons and organizations anxious to enlist or placate various groups eager to claim the mantle of victims. They’ve been awarded shamanistic privileges over the use of certain words. This must be challenged and reversed. Unfortunately, few persons have the courage to do so…including, it seems, the author of this article. Pray tell us, Miss Green: what is this “N-word” you’re unwilling to speak or type?

    The rights we fail to exercise are the easiest to take away from us. I’d rather be deemed rude than be censored, but each to his own taste, I suppose.

    • Amanda Green says:

      You fail to recognize one thing. No one made me use “n-word” instead of the full word. I made a conscious decision not to use it. Why? Because I detest the word. Always have. Always will. That’s the difference between what happened at UConn and what I wrote today. Those young men are being prosecuted and censored for using the term. The fact I chose not to use it should not be viewed as lack of courage or anything other than a personal choice. Sorry if you don’t approve. Just as I would stand up for your right to say “nigger” (happy now?), you should also stand up for my right to choose not to say it. Or do you subscribe to the same sort of double-standard we see from too many on the Left?

      We are very fortunate here at VG. None of the other writers or the blog owner tries to tell us what we can or can’t say. That is very refreshing, especially when you look at what is going on elsewhere in the blogosphere. So when someone accuses me of lacking courage or intimates I’ve been censored, I tend to get a bit touchy on the subject. That is especially true when it comes to First Amendment issues.

      However, there is one factor we do have to consider. Our blog goes out worldwide. That means our blog owner can be held liable to certain international laws. I take that very seriously. I don’t mind if someone tries to come after me for what I write here. However, I do not want to expose her to liability. That means sometimes I might temper my language by choosing another word than the one I’d use on my personal blog or in a personal conversation. However, in this instance, that’s not the case because I don’t use that particular term. Nor do I use derogatory terms for Jews, Hispanics, Irish, Gays, etc. That is not who I am.

    • John says:

      Mr. Poretto is correct. The ‘polite’ ceding of ground in not saying certain words has ultimately led to ceding power to the Left. Just look at the pathetic failure of Conservatism over the past century to actually conserve anything. This isn’t a word that I care to use either, but it’s undeniable that the Left is creating a parallel legal system, powered by their own racist, sexist, and classist beliefs, to punish whites (and men, or both) specifically. Leftists will loudly praise blacks who use this word on a regular basis, but as soon as a white person does the same thing it’s evil?

  • Kathy says:

    “Hate speech” laws lead to possible unconstitutional laws as you suggest. They should not exist. I find some words to be awful, but the old sticks and stones” thinking has a place.

    • Amanda Green says:

      I completely agree. I have always been leery of hate speech laws because of the simple question of WHO decides what is hate speech.

  • “ridicule on account of creed, RELIGION, color, denomination, nationality or race.”

    Let me know when the Connecticut authorities round up all of the FFRF members in the State.

  • John says:

    All “Hate speech” laws are unconstitutional on their face. There is no such thing as hate speech, and any time anyone uses this term they should be forced to define exactly (and I mean exactly which words, which acts, exhaustively) this means. The Left plays the “Hate speech” game because it’s a moving target they can redefine to smear whoever they like.

  • John says:

    Ultimately this seems to be outrage over a battle that has already been lost. The 1st Amendment is more than just Freedom of Speech, but Speech is the only one we seem to care about and even that is under attack.

    The 1964 Civil Rights act and subsequent rulings and legislation removed the right of Free Association for white Americans. That was the death knell of the 1st Amendment to me. Ultimately humans are social creatures, and your practical ability to exercise any of your rights largely depends on who you surround yourself with. It used to be individuals could surround themselves with likeminded individuals who shared their cultural norms, values, spirituality, etc. That is no longer the case.

    Many areas of the country are being forced to accept refugees from Africa and central American countries that have no concept of American cultural norms and practices. The US government did, and continues to find majority white communities and targets them specifically to accept violent so-called refugees. Any attempt to preserve the people and culture of a given place is said to be racist, and will be summarily dismissed despite overwhelming objections. The resultant crime, violence, theft, property damage, that’s of no concern.

    White individuals are now being charged for crimes for words regularly said on national TV & radio by black individuals. Young (primarily white) men are being targeted using nebulous ‘red flag laws’ that remove due process & protections against unreasonable search and seizures for jokes they make online. Individuals defending themselves against violent attacks by mobs of angry black men will be charged with a crime (and not the mob) if they are even accused of having uttered certain words after being physically assaulted.

    Many states have established numerous institutions to this religious faith we call “Multiculturalism” and preach its gospel of “Diversity & Inclusion” (as well as racist white guilt) which tax dollars are used for, and if businesses fail to demonstrate appropriate faithfulness to the rites of this church, they will be hounded into nonexistence. In our schools, students are regularly instructed in this new faith and encouraged to confess their sins, excoriate themselves for the sins of their fathers, and make reparations to people who legally hold power over them and are advantaged through job selection, mentorship, and other opportunities.

    Ultimately the Left has won. The Bill of Rights was never a magic protection against the erosion of our natural rights. It always was a piece of paper, and that paper won’t protect you when the Left wields the state (which it captured since it wants more money and money pays the bills for all those state actors) against you to punish your speech, force you to make pledges to their godless religion & bow to its icons, seize your guns, nullify your vote with fraud, conduct persistent surveillance against you and everyone else in the country,

    Until Rule of Law is restored the US has no legitimate government, just tyranny by the social justice mob and its lackeys, whether in Congress or in black robes.

    • ogregeek says:

      John, I agree with your post, but not your prescription. To restore the rule of law, it is necessary to restore an enlightenment culture that loves western civilization and celebrates those ideals. Our current culture is far too corrupted to ever form the basis of a free state. I fear that the only path of return to health leads through a dark and violent place.

  • […] What Difference Does the Constitution Make, When It Is Routinely and Brazenly Ignored By Those in Power? Freedom of Speech Under Attack […]

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