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  • Writer's picturePeter Serefine


Hate speech is still free speech

There is so much talk about hate speech in the news today, some things need to be cleared up. The first amendment to the US Constitution is what makes the United States a free country.

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.

No law abridging the freedom of speech...ponder that for a moment. It really could not be more clear. The freedom of speech in the United States does not have exceptions for hateful or mean statements. The US Supreme Court has ruled that actively calling for violence and actively inciting immediate panic in a crowd are the only two exceptions. So why are so many politicians calling for tech companies to control hate speech? These politicians obviously don't care about your first amendment rights.

Hate speech is exactly what we need to protect most of all. Despicable, vile, hateful groups need the right to exist. They need the right to gather and spill filth from their mouths. Racial and bigoted comments need to be protected right up until they actually call for violence. Short of violence, their right to speak is equal to yours. Censor them and you will be censored too.

If we allow hate speech to be regulated it won't take any time at all before the government redefines hate speech to fit some progressive agenda. We must adopt the philosophy from Friends of Voltaire, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." If burning the stars and stripes is protected by free speech, then burning the flag of any nation or any group must also be protected by free speech.

Defense of speech that we agree with comes easily. Defending statements that fit the current paradigm is simply not enough. The social and political views will eventually change. Remember, there was a time when wanting to abolish slavery or calling for equal rights for women could have been considered hate speech.

Don't support a bigot or a racist, but don't allow the government to silence them either. The restriction of a right is not only a slippery slope, it is a greasy and wet slope made of teflon that government will push us down completely unhindered the moment we give even the slightest opportunity. Sooner or later it will be your opion that is silenced.

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