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.
So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2019
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.
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