Freedom of Speech

Violent Charlottesville Protester Claims 'Free Speech Does Not Protect Hate Speech'

That is not the law, and it shouldn't be.

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Yesterday Jason Kessler, who organized the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ended in deadly violence on Saturday, tried to hold a press conference at City Hall. As Ron Bailey reported here, the event was shut down by "an angry crowd" that "surged in and grabbed" Kessler. Here is how Jeff Winder, a protester who punched Kessler, justified his violence in an interview with The New York Times:

Jason Kessler has been bringing hate to our town for months and has been endangering the lives of people of color and endangering other lives in my community. Free speech does not protect hate speech.

Thus we see the logical consequences of the idea that Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, endorsed last spring by way of explaining why a public university's decision to cancel a speech by conservative commentator Ann Coulter did not raise any constitutional issues. If, as Dean claimed, "hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment," anyone who is deemed to be engaging in it can be censored by the government or even forcibly silenced by concerned citizens. If Kessler has no right to say what he wants to say and his message endangers people's lives, he can hardly expect the police to protect him when someone like Winder takes direct action to neutralize the threat.

It cannot be said too often that Winder, like Dean, is simply wrong as a matter of law. In the United States, "hate speech" is not a legally defined or constitutionally relevant category. Time and again, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that even the most repugnant bigotry is protected by the First Amendment.

The idea that "the Government has an interest in preventing speech expressing ideas that offend…strikes at the heart of the First Amendment," Justice Samuel Alito noted last January in Matal v. Tam, which overturned the federal ban on registration of disparaging trademarks. "Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express 'the thought that we hate.'"

What about the argument, made explicitly by Dean and implicitly by Winder, that hate speech is not protected because it incites violence? The Court has addressed that issue as well. In the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Court rejected criminal charges against a Ku Klux Klan leader, Clarence Brandenburg, who was accused of advocating violence in the service of a political cause and participating in a gathering aimed at promoting "the doctrines of criminal syndicalism."

The charges stemmed from a KKK rally that featured weapons, hoods and robes, a cross burning, and racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric. "Personally," Brandenburg said, "I believe the nigger should be returned to Africa, the Jew returned to Israel." He also alluded vaguely to the possibility of violent resistance. "We're not a revengent organization," he said, "but if our president, our Congress, our Supreme Court, continues to suppress the white, Caucasian race, it's possible that there might have to be some revengeance taken." The Court ruled that such speech is protected by the First Amendment unless it is aimed at inciting "imminent lawless action" and is likely to have that effect.

When people like Dean and Winder say that hate speech isn't legally protected, perhaps what they mean is that hate speech shouldn't be legally protected. If so, they should explain how that would work in practice: How would hate speech be defined, and who would define it?

As Katherine Mangu-Ward observed this morning, these are not details that can be safely worked out later once we all agree that hate speech does not deserve constitutional protection. Unless we can clearly say what hate speech is and is not, that proposition is not just impractical but incomprehensible. The phrase means different things to different people, whose opinions are bound to be colored by their ideologies and political allegiances. Not to put too fine a point on it, but not everyone will agree with Howard Dean that Ann Coulter's jokes qualify as hate speech, or with Rush Limbaugh that the rhetoric of Black Lives Matter activists does. The difficulty of reaching agreement on a workable definition suggests how dangerous it would be to carve out a new exception to the First Amendment.

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185 responses to “Violent Charlottesville Protester Claims 'Free Speech Does Not Protect Hate Speech'

  1. Attacks on the freedom of speech is hate speech.

    1. Your comment is hate speech and has been reported as such.

      1. Perhaps we could start by not acting like 5 year olds and using the term hate every 5 minutes like pussies.

        Same goes for all of the stupid buzz words and phrases that swirl around this lunacy and terrorism for that matter.

        When a civilization just re-defines old words and re-creates old fights, you know they are well past resurrection.

        1. I know, don’t you just hate that?

          1. I am woke to it.

            Idiocracy is here my friends.

            1. This is fascism. #ResistHate

              1. “The 1969 case of Brandenberg v. Ohio”?really? How silly can it get? Surely the author must know how far we have traveled since 1969, and how clear it has become that civility imposes certain basic limits in any society? Surely he would not dare to defend the “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated, so-called judge in our nation’s leading criminal “parody” case? See the documentation at:

                https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

                1. Is that your tongue distending your cheek?

                  How far have we traveled since the late 1700s? That old Constitution thing – are you saying we should just completely ignore it?

                  Brandenberg is nearly 50 years old and has scarcely been challenged because it’s a good decision.

            2. Idiocracy is here my friends.

              Ironically, overbreeding white hicks had little to do with it.

              1. Good point. The collegiate know-it-alls turned out to be Clevon.

                1. I must insist that the “Brandenburg” nonsense is finished. Even the federal courts agree with me, despite the “dissenting opinions” of a single, isolated judge and of a “media law scholar” who is clearly trying to provoke controversy. For details, see:

                  https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

          2. Three things I know for certain are, One) If we had no First Amendment or it was not a protected right the United States would be a far more segregated country today than it is today. Two) If you truly oppose something (H##E, for instance) you don’t wright it in upper case big bold letters and pin it on your own chest surrounded by small print. Like Henry Ford once said “just spell the name right”. Three) The FIFTH COLUMN NEVER SLEEPS.

        2. “Hate” definitely gets thrown around too much. I find all of the racist/racialist shit abhorrent, but I really don’t see most of it as being motivated by hate. More by simple assholishness, ignorance and fear.
          I don’t exactly associate with a lot of hard-core racists, so I’m not going to make any claim on how much they are motivated by what I would call “hatred”. But I do think that the great majority of what gets called “hate speech” has little to do with hate. And most is really just being a dick. You know you can piss a bunch of people off just by saying certain words, and some people get off on that.

          1. The “hate” appellation is a tool to distract from the legitimate grievances of the “racists” who lose out on jobs or promotions or have to pay additional taxes to subsidize race-based preferences.

            The recent stories regarding the Google engineer who was fired for publishing a scientifically-correct but unpopular truth of women in tech fields is an example of out-of-control PC-ism. Google’s race- and gender-based hiring and promotion programs are a legitimate target of “hatred” and a march against Google’s discriminatory policies would be warranted.

            At the low-end of the IQ scale, the issue becomes, “The guy who took my job is black!” The most visible element of the issue is blamed instead of the company/government/policies that led to the problem.

            The other aspect is that the Left eagerly describes anything they disagree with as “Nazism”. Damore’s well-reasoned article is labeled “sexist nazism” by the Left, where emotions are accepted as substitute for reason.

            The removal of the Lee statue isn’t the central issue. The South was a victim of Lincoln’s “unification” mania. Given that the South’s secession was the analogue of the recent “Brexit” vote, who among you would urge that Germany and France bomb Britain for leaving “the Union”? That’s what Lincoln did. Hauling away a Lee monument is less akin to eliminating a Hitler statue than to ripping down a monument to holocaust survivors.

            1. It’s even a bit more sad that Lee was an abolitionist and these idiots don’t respect the great man that he was. He had to make some a really hard decisions. Whether you agree with them or not, to demonize him is despicable.

        3. Yeah. Like “Gay Marriage”.

      2. Your screen name fits you perfectly.

  2. This is why I’m more worked up about left-wing violence. I’ve not seen right-wing asshats pretend that what they’re doing is OK. They just don’t give a shit.

    Left-wingers feel that their violence is a GOOD thing.

    As I’ve said a lot, hate speech is the ONLY reason we have a First Amendment. Popular or approved speech needs no protections.

    1. Left wingers have been told the big lie so much that they believe it.

    2. This and also the right wingers are in a political dead end. There’s a hard cap on their support and it shrinks decade by decade. No action is required. Just watch them destroy themselves with their hate.

      The left wingers are another story. They are lauded by the media and enjoy significant political and popular support. Their movement has legs.

      1. Other than Jason Kessler getting shoved, there was/has been very little press coverage of AntiFa’s violence over the weekend, and how they likely made things go from bad to worse.

      2. Except that left-wing policies will convert America into Venezuela. The leftist “legs” are running towards a cliff.

    3. “[R]ight-wing asshats [don’t] pretend that what they’re doing is OK. They just don’t give a shit. Left-wingers feel that their violence is a GOOD thing.”

      If there’s one thing worse than an asshole, it’s a self-righteous asshole.

    4. Both CNN and WaPo have published articles featuring Antifa that portray them in a not-terrible light. It is appalling.

  3. I heard a (D) Senator yesterday claiming that hate speech is not protected speech. People who don’t know the constitution shouldn’t be making laws, of course they ignore that old scrap of paper anyway

    1. If you claim the truth of something long enough, it becomes true. This is the legitimate fear. It’s how we lost the 4th, 9th, 10th and a large part of the second.

      People making such claims need to be vigorously called out.

    2. I’d be for the impeachment of any politician who votes yea on a bill that is found to be unconstitutional by a unanimous vote of SCOTUS. If you can’t even get one justice to support you you’ve got no business making laws. Send them home and ask their state/district to try again.

      1. Problem is impeachment is a political process for removal of office. In order to get the bill passed in the first place you would need a majority to pass it. Would that same majority turn around and vote themselves out?

      2. The problem is, depending on who becomes president it would not be too difficult to get five votes on SCOTUS that WOULD create a “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment. If a Democrat of the appropriate leaning (like Kamala Harris, Al Franken or Elizabeth Warren) gets to the oval office, and with a few deaths or retirements (Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer and Thomas are all getting on on years) and with only 51 votes needed, it is not hard to see Justice Barack Obama and three other young Sotomayors added to the Court to create that “hate speech ” exception, as well as the confiscation of privately owned firearms, constitutional rights to housing, and the unconstitutionality of the Electoral College. (So what if it’s written into the Constitution, there are ways.)

        1. That’s why there are over 300 million firearms in private hands.

        2. The problem here is the fallacy of scotus being considered the final arbiter of all things Constitutional. The document delegates no such authority to the supreme court.

    3. A friend and ex-relative (through marriage) of my wife is running for congress (D) and worked as a civil rights lawyer. He has been involved in some high profile dumbassery including a lawsuit against trump for “inciting violence” at a rally in Louisville.

      It amazes me the absolutely stupid things he says regarding “rights”. It’s like he doesn’t have any grasp of the original intent of the constitution and of natural rights. I wish I knew how many “civil rights” types just operate on feels alone.

  4. The police stood there and watched it. They did nothing except lead Kessler away.

    Unless Winder is charged with assault, he is right – and there is no such thing as free-speech.

    1. It’s enough to make someone sympathetic to otherwise repugnant bigots who will put themselves between an unpopular speaker, or peaceful supporters of an unfashionable cause or candidate, and take the bear mace and bike locks while kicking the asses of “concerned citizens” bent on violently violating one’s rights.

  5. Hate speech=anything the proggies don’t like. If you express doubt about climate change, that will be considered hate speech against polar bears.

    1. yes the cosmos at reason will be aghast when their pieces arguing against the minimum wage are labeled “hate speech” against the poor.

      1. Is there something in this article that leads you to believe that reason supports the notion that “hate speech” should be outlawed?

        1. KM-W clearly stated her belief that political authorities are right to stop speech and assembly which provokes a violent response.

          1. Which has nothing to do with the specific content of the speech. Incitement to violence is a real legal concept in the US. “Hate speech” is not.

            1. Incitement to violence

              is a giant sack of baloney. who’s so weak they’d let someone word them into violence?

              1. Apparently, the entire Left and a good portion of the Right.

          2. Then all the opponents need to do is react violently every time their enemies speak, and political authorities will be justified to stop such speech? I don’t think KMW has thought this through.

            1. Yeah, the threshold for something to be considered incitement needs to be very high so that it can’t become a sort of heckler’s veto.

              Or maybe everyone should find something better to do with their time than to attend political rallies and protests.

              1. Any “high threshold” will come down over time until it’s not much of a threshold at all.

            2. I thought a key component of “incitement” was that it meant speech leading your SUPPORTERS to act in violence. But if that was ever correct, it has been allowed to lapse. We all know that any violence is “justified” by use of the dreaded “N word.”

          3. Hmmm. Just this morning, commenting on the Charlottesville violence, she says

            But if the justification for restrictions on the speech of one man is violence committed by another, there can be no end to list of people who may be silenced in the name of order.

            But I’ve been out for a few days. Did I miss something?

          4. Did she actually say this? Only an imminent and plausible threat is not legal speech, but suggesting that provocative marches should be banned is quite a statist statement.

            It wouldn’t surprise me, considering the opinions of other Reason writers with regards to free speech

            1. In a time when a surprising number of Americans believe that hate speech is against the law, this is a good moment to remember that while (very nearly) all speech is legal, assault is not. Charlottesville was right to let the protest go on, and local law enforcement is right to take legal action to stop the violence now.

              I could give her the benefit of the doubt as she is confined to a fake news bubble but the city of Charlotte did not “let the protest go on” and the Governor, with law enforcement, declared it an unlawful assembly well before the rally (and most of the violence) started.

              1. I don’t understand how you read that and what I quoted above from this morning and got “KM-W clearly stated her belief that political authorities are right to stop speech and assembly which provokes a violent response.”

                The clearly stated her belief that “very nearly all speech is legal” and that silencing someone because of a perceived threat of violence is wrong.

                Where did you get that she’s advocating for the government to shut down anyone’s speech?

                1. She approved of the government outlawing the permitted assembly where the speech was to take place.

                  I still think KM-W is the best thing at Reason whose maiden name is not Castillo.

                  1. By saying “Charlottesville was right to let the protest go on?”

                    She may have been ill-informed as to whether Charlottesville was actually letting the protests go on, but she seems to be saying “Charlottesville was right to let them speak despite the threat of violence.”

    2. Not just polar bears. Anyone who lives within 100 feet of sea level.

    3. The right to arm bears?

  6. “Free speech does not protect hate speech.”
    Immediately upon speaking these words, Jason was struck dumb. (sound, not intelligence)

    1. Yes, he was struck dumb (intelligence-wise) some time BEFORE making the statement.

  7. Where are the police in all of these incidences? Police purposely ‘standing down’ so one side can beat-up on another side only escalates the violence. What good are police for- just shooting up citizens?

    Some civil rights charges should be brought against city officials that are telling police to stand down rather than protecting speakers.

    1. “What good are police for- just shooting up citizens?” Why shooting dogs of course!

    2. There wasn’t any potential for a no-knock raid, so they weren’t sure what to do.

    3. The city of C-ville had plenty of warning to plan for this after the earlier KKK rallies, so did the Virginia governor. The city wanted it moved to McIntyre park “for safety reasons” but the ACLU took up the case of the rally organizers to keep it in the intended location near the downtown.

      I’m wondering if the ACLU knew all along that mayhem would ensue.

    4. What good are police for- just shooting up citizens?

      Mostly just for shaking them down and threatening to shoot them.

      Some civil rights charges should be brought against city officials that are telling police to stand down rather than protecting speakers.

      If it can be proven. I bet it will be very difficult to pin on any individual.

    5. If they wait for the violence to erupt just enough, it’ll help push the ‘thin blue line’ narrative.

  8. Years ago on another website I posted remarks criticizing the Federal government’s ongoing military activity under The Authorization for Use of Military Force and a self-described veteran challenged my comments by asking whether or not I was or had ever served the country, as they had. I didn’t clarify and stated that perhaps we should debate the points I raised. They replied to me that since they had put their life on the line to protect my freedom of speech (and since others who were not me were still putting their lives on the line to protect my freedom of speech) that I should shut up.

    1. Those veterans, like all veterans, did not put their lives on the line in order to protect your freedom of speech or any other person’s freedom of speech.

      What they did do was choose to feed at the public trough, lick Caesar’s scrotum, be a pawn for the MIC and Empire, and play their part in bankrupting the country.

      1. Some had no choice in the matter.

        1. We haven’t had a draft in over 40 years.

        2. Everyone has a choice.

          1. Obviously too young to remember Vietnam.

            1. O Canada? Too young to forget that option?

            2. So is basically everyone currently in the active military.

      2. I served 13 years in the military on active duty and believe Mike to be right. I don’t think I met one guy who gave a fuck about the Constitution….they were there for the bennies only. That’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions to the rule, but these are rare exceptions.

    2. You don’t need to thank a veteran. They protected your right to be here and say what you wish, whether you choose to be delusional or not.

      The point they make is you tend to be more respectful of the Constitution and what it protects when you have volunteered to protect that right with your life.

      It really is all song and dance until you have risked your skin for someone else’s rights under the Constitution.

      1. And who, specifically, has done this?
        The US Military has done nothing whatsoever in service or support of my rights — for at least 70 years.

        It’s a lovely dream, but only a delusional dream, that “you tend to be more respectful of the Constitution and what it protects when you have volunteered to protect that right with your life.” As Wikipedia would say “Citation needed”.

        1. ^ This.

          It’s not perfectly clear to me how the US military actions of recent decades have any relationship with “my rights.”

          1. Other than as ongoing ready-at-hand excuses to abridge them, of course.

          2. It’s not perfectly clear to me how the US military actions of recent decades have any relationship with “my rights.”

            Up front, the meme of “fighting for your rights” is generally horseshit.

            One could certainly argue, however, that eliminating Al Qaeda, was done to protect you from future violations and revenge/justice for those whose rights were violated. Protected you individually, prolly not, but collectively.

            Had the politicians stopped there…it’d have been legitimate.

            1. That’s not an unfair point. I think strikes against AQ and ISIS in retaliation for their attacks on innocent American citizens is a legitimate military function and could be realistically referred to as “defending our rights.”

              It’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s worth noting.

              1. You are being quite generous, given the fact that neither Frank nor any body else can prove, without any doubt, that AQ attacked America AND given the overwhelming evidence that the US created and continues to fund AQ.

                  1. I love how embarrassed the cat looks in that picture.

                    1. The cat is embarrassed about the fact that his boy buys all the bullshit peddled by the state.

                    2. You can’t trust the state or your lying eyes. Loose Change and the alien autopsy tape are stone cold reality.

          3. They did a door to door confiscation of guns before Hurricane Katrina hit. They also bombed/droned some US citizens in foreign countries with no trial. They invaded foreign countries to free them from themselves all the while creating a massive amount of terrorists through open war, oppression and economic hardship. They did all of these things while heavily enriching the MIC and taking out ridiculous amounts of debt all in the public name. I’m sure I missed a few things.

          4. The US military, for better or worse, protected America’s citizens along with those of other countries from being forced to speak Russian. It’s a ghastly language. And it did so in proxy wars, keeping Americans safe at home.

        2. Thank you for shining the light on the cockroaches who keep insisting that veterans have been protecting freedom of speech or any other right after WWII

          1. Fuck off, troll.

      2. The point that the people Charles mentions seem to have been making is that you aren’t qualified to comment on how the military is used and what authorization is required constitutionally unless you have served in the military. Which is just plain stupid and wrong.

        Also, I’m pretty sure that there have been no wars in my lifetime that had anything to do with protecting my rights under the constitution.

        1. Indeed, military worship borders on the absurd. Something I’ll never understand about conservatives: anyone with eyes can see that the majority of military personnel are basically just government employees who do calisthenics.

          1. and tend to vote for people who promise them more stuff.

      3. If they tend to be more respectful of the Constitution, they would, per se, do as follows:

        (1) They would never participate in any undeclared wars;

        (2) They would never be part of a standing army;

        (3) They would never be part of a WOD program by assisting local LE or the DEA;

        (4) They would refuse to be stationed at any military installation outside of the US; and

        (5) They would protect each and every individual’s liberty, including pursuing and killing government employees who interfere with an individual’s exercise of such liberty.

        1. I have 1, 3 and 4 (not through refusal). 5 should be a civilian operation.
          Any veteran that says only veterans should have a say in military affairs missed some key training. This isn’t Starship Troopers. The military serves the country not rules it.

    3. “Well Hazel, did you serve in the WACs?”

    4. As current active duty I think challenging the AUMF is a good thing. Our legislative branch has been failing us with the AUMF for years (by not getting rid of it), and we our GWOT has become so broad as to be ridiculous. The ongoing actions in Syria and Iraq are a great example of my point.

    5. It’s hard to argue you’re protecting “freedom of speech” by a military operation half way around the world.

  9. Well, if they are ever successful in removing constitutional protections from hate speech, they can look forward to being the first to be locked up by their fellow proggies.

    1. Some are salivating at the prospect of that crack in the dam.

  10. ‘Free Speech Does Not Protect Hate Speech’

    unless it’s spoken by leftists, then it’s speaking truth to power or something

  11. There are really multiple layers of horse manure to shovel off before we can even dream of getting past what’s going on.

    On the “left”, not only is an absolute ignorance of the Constitution on display in regards to their authoritarian-tinged attacks on free speech, but private entities are also taking it upon themselves to shut down speech from within. The latter is certainly legal in most cases, but it’s a terrible, cringeworthy course of action, because obviously, they are both strengthening the assumptions of those who they shut down, and also closing all possible dialogue with them.

    On the “right”, it’s also cringeworthy to watch those who would prefer a pure authoritarian state decry their free speech being shut down. It’s a colossal contradiction to ride the coattails of liberal democracy to an illiberal end. There’s something ridiculous about watching a person steeped in authoritarianism attempting to champion free speech (or any other Constitutional right).

    Free speech is a nonviolent release valve for pent-up resentment, and once those valves are closed, that resentment will manifest in very, very awful ways.

  12. Idiot

  13. Free speech does not protect hate speech.

    There’s no such thing as “hate speech” or “free speech”. There is just the freedom of speech, and you either have it or you do not.

    1. It really is an almost completely nonsensical thing to say.

    2. Everyone has the right to free speech- it’s either government recognizes the innate human right to voice one’s opinion without the threat of violence and censorship or the government is reactionary and believes it can control the innate abilities of man.

    3. Pretty succinct

  14. How would hate speech be defined, and who would define it?

    Given that people like Dean and Winder seem to want the state to solve all problems, I’m sure they’d be happy with letting the current President decide how hate speech is defined. Right?

    1. Indeed, criminalization of hate speech would be an arbitrary set of rules, which directly contradicts the Constitution. In the cases of speech that is actually illegal (scamming others, lying under oath, threatening others, etc), there are clear criteria and principles that make those cases of speech illegal.

      Which Howard Dean and others either don’t understand at all, or simply don’t care.

  15. Yeah but let’s be honest, if the hillbilly fascists ever did take over, they would not be remotely bound by free speech protection norms. Going after liberals for every hypocrisy seems to be more important to those of you on the right than actually working on your own ideas.

    1. At least they’re not Oklahomans.

    2. “Hillbilly fascists” have a whole lot less political influence than left-liberals. Given the choice, I’d have to choose the liberals over people who want a white ethno-state. Fortunately, there is about zero chance of the white nationalists or any kind of serious racial separatists getting any real power. So I’m going to keep worrying about the people who have any chance of getting into a position of power (and that includes most politicians and political activists on the left and right).

      1. There is still racism in America, which makes sense because racism and bigotry is prevalent all over the world. At least we don’t practice genocide due to it. The idea that white nationalist have a huge power base is ridiculous and only perpetuated because of the narrative being pushed about Trump. I think these rallies are good (not the violence) because it highlights the fact we still have challenges that require attention via public discourse.

        1. The idea that white nationalist have a huge power base is ridiculous and only perpetuated because of the narrative being pushed about Trump.

          This. Even the regressive hate group known as the SPLC puts Klan membership at only about 5-6 thousand nationwide. Despite what happened in Charlottesville, the klan really isn’t much of a thing anymore, and hasn’t been for some time.

          1. Yeah – didn’t the Charlottesville counter-protestors outnumber the white supremacists something like ten to one?

            1. Probably. Isn’t that typically the case?

              1. Does seem to be.

                Just once I’d like to see a headline like

                THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS TURN OUT TO SHOW SMALL GROUP OF FRINGE LUNATICS THAT THEY ARE NOT MAINSTREAM

        2. The idea that white nationalist have a huge power base is ridiculous and only perpetuated because of the narrative being pushed about Trump.

          ^ This.

          Slate is already working the let’s go ahead and just start referring to Republicans as the KKK angle.

          1. I want to see Reason branded an “alt-right” magazine and website. ENB as an “alt-right apologist for sexual slavery”

            1. She has been, hasn’t she?

              I know over at Jezebel there are few people as despised as “rape-apologist” Cathy Young.

          2. Did Slate ever stop working that angle?

        3. To the panicky public, the world is descending into chaos.

          Over in reality, the world is more peaceful today than it has been in the past, and most likely, ever.

          That’s a huge discrepancy. It also explains a lot of what we’re seeing.

          1. To the panicky public, the world is descending into chaos.

            Over in reality, the world is more peaceful today than it has been in the past, and most likely, ever.

            ^ This.

            As someone who studied medieval literature and history in college, I’m endlessly amused by the common modern narrative that we are somehow descending into chaos and living some sort of “nightmare of modernity.”

            A good counter response is to ask someone who is freaking out about the Modern Age where and when in human history they would prefer to be?

            1. When your big problems include being depressed because life is too easy, too much choice and poor people getting fat, I think you are in a pretty good place.

            2. Absolutely.

              The more everyone becomes detached from just how much worse off people were, the less context everyone has to judge the state of humanity from.

              Medieval literature and art is fascinating.

          2. You are very right as far as violence the world over and about the incredible progress the world population has seen.

            That said, I live in a town that has seen massive increases in crime for about 4 years now. There is no argument that leftists policies over the last 8 years have caused massive damage to the economy and the resultant increase in crime that comes with it.
            And I say this with full knowledge that all politicians in Washington are leftists more than free market, liberty, non-aggression, fiscal responsibility advocates and that certainly include the squirrel.

            The notion that congress is controlled by the small government party is one of the funniest things that a progtard can ever be brainwashed by.

      2. “What would happen if hillbilly fascists took over the government, as hillbilly fascists are wont to do?” You can’t guarantee a good outcome there, which is why your philosophy isn’t constant-diarrhea-panicky enough!

      3. Except for the fact that their man is the president of the united states and liberals have no power.

        1. Communists feel totes left out.

        2. Right, and the communist party ruled the US with an iron fist from 2009 – 2017.

          Lay off the absinthe, buddy.

          1. Breitbart is real news to you, though, right?

        3. As long as there are 41 Democrats in the Senate, liberals have plenty enough power.

    3. Tony|8.14.17 @ 2:50PM|#
      “Yeah but let’s be honest, if the hillbilly fascists ever did take over, they would not be remotely bound by free speech protection norms.”

      Socialist imbeciles have proven they don’t care about free speech.

  16. Money isn’t hate speech! Or, something!

    1. Hate money?

  17. I wouldn’t worry about the hillbilly fascists taking over. They are far outnumbered by the antifa fascists.

    And the leftists fascists have the media on their side.
    Your side is winning by leaps and bounds. And yet, you think the non-aggression, liberty advocating, free market capitalists on this site are racists.

    Your inability to comprehend discussion is frightening and hilarious in its consistency.

    1. I meant that to you Tony. Good to see you have really started listening.

    2. I wouldn’t worry about the hillbilly fascists taking over. They are far outnumbered by the antifa fascists.

      Seconded.

    3. They are already in power. Are you not paying attention? My side is winning? How?

      1. Here’s how it works:

        Racists like Trump, so that makes Trump a racist.

        Communists like democrats, so that makes democrats communists.

        History shows us that communism is a disaster. Therefore, people are happier being led by racists, who narrowly avoided Commupocalypse 2016. QED.

        It’s really just as simplistic as looking at human happiness.

        This is called “evidence-based policy thinking.”

        1. IB is on a roll today.

        2. Al Sharpton would make sure that we not focus on Trump being a racist (even though he is), because psychoanalyzing an individual is counterproductive to the end of fixing racist structures of society.

          You are not on a roll, you are talking gibberish because you don’t care about these issues except to the extent that you can score points for your tribe, which for some reason appears to include Nazis?

          1. Someone is trying to use current events to score points for their tribe?

            Let’s get that son of a bitch together, Tony!

        3. “”Racists like Trump, so that makes Trump a racist.””

          The funny thing is Trump is a democrat. Yeah, he ran as a republican but he has supported democrats most of his life until the last couple of years. If it is true that Trump is a racist, and those who support you make you one. Then the fact that Trump has donated money to the Clintons makes the Clintons racist too, and many other democrats too. If that’s the logic we want to follow.

      2. Never stop making stuff up, Tony.

      3. They are already in power.

        Right. Trump is a secret nazi manchurian candidate like Barry was a secret islamofascist manchurian candidate. It is known.

        1. No, he’s actually a bigot, and to the extent that he has employed agents of bigotry like Steve Bannon and others, and has spent his entire short political career mostly courting xenophobes, antisemites, and nazis, you have to decide whether that’s because he actually finds common cause with them or is some kind of political tactician using them for his own ends. My guess is he’s probably a common racist uncle (he has a history) and is letting himself be led around by Bannon and co. because he’s a moron. But do go on defending him if you want to.

          1. Isn’t his son in law Jewish?

            What’s your evidence that he’s “actually” a bigot? Obama attended a church headed by a bigot for years. Van Jones used to be involved with him until he was revealed to be a 9/11 truther.

            I’ve never even heard of Steve Bannon until last year. Prior to the election year the libertarian beef with Trump was crony capitalism and eminent domain abuse, which goes unchecked in the liberal world. Wall Street is certifiably ran by democrat donors and white male progressives, it’s not some “right wing” organization.

            You realize that antifas and women’s March organizers ask white faculties to leave campus and urge others not to shop at business owned by whites and men? That’s racism. Reverend Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakan have all said mean things about Jews and they’re liberal icons. Sorry.

            1. “”What’s your evidence that he’s “actually” a bigot?””

              Some unnamed person read him some unnamed document over the phone.

  18. I would have punched him in the face too. Not because of his speech, but because he’s an asshole who needs a good punch in the face for his actions to incite violence.

    1. Wouldn’t you love to know who actually threw the first punch in this thing? Not that is matters but would love to know.

      And I find it hilarious that the white devil guy was giving a speech about freedom of speech when that guy came up to him and started yelling at him and eventually punched him. It used to be the hippies who got punched by crew-cut old guard democrat rednecks in Mississippi. Now the lefty man buns seem to start the most violence.

    2. The weak minded always resort to violence.

      1. Including the weak minded Nazi who drove his car into a crowd.

      2. The weak minded always resort to violence.

        Parrots are weak minded. Sometimes they repeat empty phrases without any clue as to their factual nature or even what they mean.

        1. Not just a phrase, it’s been my experience.

  19. Democracy can’t survive freedom of speech!

  20. I’d like to make a system where everyone could either sign up for freedom of speech or not. If you don’t sign up for it, then you don’t have it. Winder and Kessler could stick by their principles, refuse to sign, and then be prosecuted for what they have to say.

  21. And we’re gonna go to the protesters, and the online forums, and the magazines, and the podcasts, and the right wing radio hosts, and whoever else who says things we don’t like, and we’re gonna give them a punch right in the face like BYAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!

    1. It’s funny when you people feel the need to go on the defensive for retard Nazis.

      1. It’s the libertarian Venezuela.

      2. Poor binary-minded Tony actually believes if you point out Anti-Fa’s violence, then that means you must support Nazis.

        Fuck off, slaver.

  22. I wish this wasn’t all over a Confederate statue. Otherwise we could start preaching the value of secession. Why are we keeping this shit together? Blow it all up

    1. Count me in

    2. The Confederate situation was a tariff-operated version of the mercantilist Metropolis-Colony setup. Brits allowed northerners to build ships and weapons the better to fight other Europeans, then were replaced by northerners in 1776. But the slaveholding colony remained. What changed was that the warlike Acts of Navigation were replaced by import tariffs that benefited the industrial north. After Lincoln was elected, Morrill of Delaware got Congress to pass another Tariff of Abominations to squeeze Southern states. The war started before Lincoln took office and, in exhausted desperation, repeated Lord Dunmore’s Emancipation Proclamation gambit to change the system. So the Civil War was no more “about” slavery than was the original struggle to internalize the Metropolis-Colony system and elbow out the Brits. It was a Second Rebellion against taxation and cartels. This is what the communists are hot about. Any symbol of resistance to slavery through taxation is to them a blow aimed at the capitation tax in plank 2 of the Communist Manifesto. It’s another European-style religious war only tangentially related to memory of the peculiar institution.

  23. Just make sure you don’t morph into Glenn Greenwald who’s entire defense of ‘free speech’ concerns ONLY Nazi speech. Apparently no one else is entitled to the same freedoms though.

  24. WAY TO STAND UP AGAINST SOME PROTESTOR IGNORANT ABOUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT.

    THAT TAKES GUTS. TO BE SO TRANSPARENT AS TO FOCUS ON THAT STORY FROM THE WHITE NATIONALISM WEEKEND OF VIOLENCE

  25. Part one:

    From what I understand the first amendment is not a guarantee that all speech is protected. It’s a guarantee that the government and its agents will not prosecute or harass citizens for expressing their views in any form or forum. As well that the views expressed should not be taken into consideration when any laws, like assault for example, are broken due to what was expressed.

    This doesn’t mean that any body including the government is obligated to supply a venue or protection so that anyone can express their views. Or that the person expressing them doesn’t have to deal with any consequences that result. It’s the major reason why yelling fire in a crowded theater isn’t considered exercising the right to free speech. And also why web sites/media in general can refuse to air certain views.

    To me the whole “hate speech” idea is like supplying venues and protection to protesters. An attempt to diffuse any potential violence/controversy some views/actions might produce. As a social libertarian I rankle at this, but understand the perceived need. The problem for me is who decides and what criteria do they use? More importantly how do we, the free citizens, prevent this power being abused since in it’s essence it could silence it’s very detractors.

    1. “This doesn’t mean that any body including the government is obligated to supply a venue or protection so that anyone can express their views.”

      When police are ordered to stand-down and not intervene to prevent criminal attacks on people exercising their First Amendment rights (even if those people are Nazi asshats) THAT is in itself a violation of the First Amendment. When the police do not do their jobs, the government is complicit in the violence, and in the effort to deprive them of their rights.

  26. Part two:

    I’m not a supremacist and don’t support them in any way. But I also feel that if their ability to express their views are curtailed it only encourages them to go underground. Or even more dangerously encourages people to break laws designed to protect us all where they are concerned, hence the reasoning behind the assault. I was taught that two wrongs do not make a right and still believe that.

    In the end, I’d much prefer to know where everyone stands and then act accordingly, then be blindsided by threats I wasn’t aware of. This goes for both “sides” of any issue. Suppressing a viewpoint no matter how personally repugnant it is is dangerous IMHO. It only opens the door to more suppression not less. Something that isn’t being considered in all this I fear.

    BTW: still find it ironic that a site promoting free speech has a word limit on comments.

    1. Disqus and livefyre also have word limits.

      Private companies have their own TOS on commenting.

  27. Violent Charlottesville Protestor is Idiot.

  28. The Constitution protects free speech from the STATE, not private individuals or companies. So Nazis are free to hold and speak their shitty ideas free from state oppression, but private citizens and companies are also free to refuse to amplify them, and to speak back against them. I hope that someday Nazis will once again be relegated to freely speaking their shitty ideas, free from state oppression, to their unfortunate families at Thanksgiving, and I also hope that they will be shouted down by their families, also exercising their Constitutional free speech rights to tell Nazis to STFU.

  29. Hate speech laws are the end of freedom.

  30. Steam and ice are the same thing, water. If Ann Coulter says good morning to an ANTIFA group CNN would probably report it as hate speech. When a Conservative uttered the words All lives matters on TV the entire left went into an outrage for weeks. So exactly what does hate entail and exactly who gets to decide. I certainly hope it isn’t the government considering their record of screwing things up. Maybe you would like an illiterate buffoon like Trump deciding or Hillary when she stated we will take those boys to heel like her famous Klan mentor or when on national television when being welcomed on stage by a black women came jive walking across the stage like some cartoon characters depiction of black people.
    So called hate speech only appeals to limited audience’s and the majority of Americans find it disgusting no matter which race is using it.
    It appears to many of us standing on the sidelines that our government and their lackeys the MSM are trying to start civil war in this country. If history repeats itself which often it does the instigators usually don’t survive it. Maybe they should stop their rhetoric before it is to late for all of us.

  31. I was raised in a Communist family that took very seriously and personally the lessons of events such as the Stalinist purges and the Hollywood blacklist. One of the simply nostrums I grew up with: “the answer to speech is speech”. As my mother once told me, “if you don’t know what to say, go get some schooling until you figure it out”. Unfortunately, today’s leftists — enabled as they are by the MSM and leading politicians in both parties — don’t feel that same obligation. They are holding the hammer and feel no need to stop swinging it.

    Jason Kessler is assaulted at a press conference, and the hand-wringing media say nothing. “Protestors” pull down a statue of a Confederate general in North Carolina, and the hand-wringing media say nothing. Oprah says that white people must die out, the hand-wringing media say nothing. The anti-white boulder is rolling downhill; pardon me for pointing it out.

  32. If I say, “I don’t hate President Trump.” I get accused of being a racist, sexist, homophobic, hate-monger.

    If I say, “I HATE Trump.” I get treated like I’m Ghandi, Mother Theresa and MLK all rolled into one.

    I’m so confused.

  33. This has bothered me since I first read it–

    As Ron Bailey reported here, the event was shut down by “an angry crowd” that “surged in and grabbed” Kessler. Here is how Jeff Winder, a protester who punched Kessler, justified his violence in an interview with The New York Times:

    They didn’t ‘surge in and grab’ Kessler–and they weren’t an ‘angry crowd’.

    They were a violent mob that attacked and assaulted Kessler. The same violent mob that turned the ‘Unite the Right’ rally into a melee.

    And everyone is giving them a pass–the admitted assailant is giving interviews instead of being tossed in the back of a paddy wagon.

    This alone should be enough to tell you why we’re at this point–the real violent people determined to see this country burn are being treated like they’re angels.

  34. The Constitution uses free and freedom in the first two Amendments in constructions like “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (politicians encroaching with infringing regulations or outright coercion). The part about abridging backs this up. But the string about the right peaceably to assemble suggests “the people” have a moral claim to meet nonaggressively. To international socialists, national socialist speech hits too close to home. To a non-socialist the two faiths are practically identical in their belief that altruism requires initiation of force. Look at the Second Amendment and it is about a free state–one in which aggression is disallowed. No socialists can bear the thought of that either. Perhaps both the racial and economic collectivists would be happier in Europe, where there is no First or Second Amendment to spoil the fun.

  35. Hate speech is still free speech. As long as you aren’t doing anything illegal in the process then people should be allowed to say whatever they like. When you start to create exceptions you undermine the very fabric of the First Amendment. I seem to recall many BLM gatherings that produced more hate speech than I’ve ever heard, yet nobody had problems with that. Anyone who did was automatically decried a racist. There’s a double standard here which should not go ignored.

  36. They warned us that if Trump were elected, there would be hatred, discord, and tyranny. But they forgot to tell us it would be more from the Left than the Right!

  37. Unless kids go to Hillsdale College these days they don’t even know what is in the Constitution. Or, they know, but there Communist indoctrinated minds don’t care.
    Look, it’s going to take another civil war to stop this. You all might as well get ready. You know what the Dems endorse: Communism and the raping of the U.S. Treasury. Republicans are little better as a party. They attack their own president for being truthful and don’t have the balls to do what is needed to put us back on course. They also enjoy some treasury raping themselves.
    Look, it’s going to happen. It needs to happen. Unless we cull about 50% of the mentally defective Communist citizens, that have their hands out and are actively participating in the bankruptcy of this country, our kids are so screwed.
    It may be too late already. Add up the debt and unfunded liabilities of this country and it comes to $700,000 per U.S. Household.

  38. Three things I know for certain are, One) If we had no First Amendment was not a protected right the United States would be a far more segregated country today than it is.. Two) If you truly oppose something you don’t wright it in upper case big bold letters and pin it on your own chest surrounded by small print. Like Henry Ford once said “just spell the name right”. Three) The FIFTH COLUMN NEVER SLEEPS.

  39. Your article makes it sound as if Rush Limbaugh believes that “Hate Speech”, what ever that means should be banned.
    Sloppy? or what?

  40. Depriving people of hate speech is like depriving rattlesnakes of their rattles: it’s a danger to everyone.

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