Free Speech

WHEREIN I Discuss Free Speech and Unify the Nation by Making Everyone Disagree With Me

Submitted by C B Wright on

Free speech is one of those things that everyone loves when they want to use it, and hates when the other guy tries to use it too. This is, of course, an oversimplification, but when you stand back and look at all the churn surrounding the argument over whether or not Neo-Nazis and Klansmen should be allowed to march around, armed to the teeth, shouting “blood and soil” while protesting people who don’t like Civil War monuments, it does seem that when you simplify the arguments, you get “yes, I should be allowed to proudly proclaim that it’s good to be a racist prick and threaten to kill people” vs “no, you shouldn’t be allowed to proudly proclaim that it’s good to be a racist prick and threaten to kill people.”

Normally, I would find this argument pretty simple, though unpleasant, to respond to. My standard response would be “it’s not okay to be a racist prick. Racist pricks should be opposed. However, it should be done in a way that doesn’t break one of the few American principles that actually works rather well, in fact works better than people in power generally like, in fact so well that people in power are constantly looking for ways to make it go away without actually admitting they’re doing that.”

In other words, opposing a racist prick must be done in a way that doesn’t take away the racist prick’s right to proclaim his racist prickness to the world.