PSA to Snowflakes: Hate Speech is Free Speech
Blizzards of oversensitive snowflakes have swept across the nation, freezing dissenting opinions in an icy chill of petulance. The inability of young Americans to tolerate opposing viewpoints has dealt grueling consequences to today’s political climate. Unbeknownst to this generation of weak-kneed, victim-seeking millennials, hate speech is free speech and protected by the first amendment.
The most radical agitators are unquestionably of the left. They hide behind the guise of “anti-fascism,” as they throw violent riots and physically assault people for having the wrong opinion. A litany of conservative speakers have been banned from speaking at college campuses in this purge against “hate speech.” A group called “Antifa” routinely brings bricks, M80s, and other weapons to pro-right events to launch into crowds of peaceful observers. They openly advocate for violence and are willing to do almost anything to shut down anyone who doesn’t accept their deranged worldview.
The alt right has even picked up the social justice sword by disrupting a Julius Caesar play – which isn’t remotely on the same level – but the widespread condonement of it illustrates a pattern of unmistakable hypocrisy. This strategy is not only pathologically and morally inept, it’s contradictory at its most fundamental level. Antifa and other “anti hate speech” groups perform mind-bending mental gymnastics in attempt to rationalize their destructive lunacy. They fail spectacularly, and they’ve alienated countless otherwise-democratic voters. Unwittingly, the alt right has embraced some of the same destructive behavior, which doesn’t bode well for the future of public discourse – or sanity for that matter.
Pro Trump supporters interrupted a Shakespearian performance of “Julius Caesar,” as a Trump-like figure was assassinated. An outraged, alt right attendee stormed the stage and expressed her severe indignation at the violence perpetrated towards “Trump.” She was shouted down by the audience and removed by security. This act received an alarming amount of support from the alt right: interesting coming from a group that supposedly disdains political correctness.
This fragile, snowflake-like oversensitivity across the country is problematic for a variety of reasons. Either the agitators don’t understand America’s most fundamental freedom, or they believe there’s a “Right to not be Offended” clause encoded on the back of the Bill of Rights.
The idea that hate speech is not free speech is beyond dangerous; it negates the ambiguous interpretation of what is and is not “hate.” While leftists would love to eradicate certain kinds of speech they arbitrary deem hateful, they might have felt differently in the Jim Crow south, where it was the government that instituted legitimate oppression.
If certain types of speech can be illegalized, based solely on what a group of imperfect people subjectively deem to be virtuous, expressing an unpopular opinion could become a death sentence. This might seem sensationalistic, but when taken to its logical conclusion, it’s entirely true. For example, many leftist have advocated for – and even enacted in some cases – legal fines for anyone who dares uttering the “wrong” pronoun. If you refuse to pay the fine, you will go to jail. If you refuse to go to jail, men with guns will come and get you. If you still refuse, the consequences will be fatal.
This logic applies to all laws, which is why it’s extremely dangerous legislating something as trivial as “hateful speech.” Even though it’s not the immediate consequence, each law might as well be followed with “or else people with guns will take away, and you might be shot if you resist.” The Founding Fathers recognized that no authority should have the capacity to suppress dialogue behind the barrel of a gun; it opens a wide gateway to endless tyranny.
Silencing destructive ideas only ensures their growth, for they need the darkness to incubate. Under the burning light of honest debate and criticism, the true nature of an untested opinions is illuminated in front of the public eye. Without an open platform, the detrimental nature of a destructive idea would not be subject to public criticism, and thus driven underground and spread, like an intrusive weed dropping its seeds.
It’s wrong when the left physically blocks speakers from taking the stage, and it’s equally wrong when the alt right storms the stage to make a political statement. The hair-trigger nature of millennial, self-proclaimed political activists does not speak well for the future of the freedom of speech.
This spells a forecast of endless snowflakes for the next few years. They’re quick to melt once they make contact with the ground, however, the roads of public discourse are later frozen over, and rational discussions soon become a hazardous risk. The only way to unthaw the restrictive ice of subjugation is to wield the burning light of free expression embedded in the constitution. The very sanity of America is reliant on it.