Hate is ignorance and we all should realize that people or groups that perpetuate it are truly just stupid. Simple concept to just accept because we can’t ban speech whether one is “stupid” or not. Free speech is just that, free and the government has no right to regulate a “stupid” group of people’s right to free speech.
“The minute it becomes acceptable to break the law to silence one group, all others become vulnerable to attack by anyone who disagrees with them. That’s why the Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down government attempts to ban hate speech.”
Editorial: Banning hate speech is also abhorrent
Posted at 5:00 AM
Last weekend’s events in Charlottesville, along with the threat of future protests by white supremacist groups, have sparked a national debate about placing legal limits on hate speech. The thinking is that some views are so abhorrent that they should be banned, and their advocates should not be allowed to assemble in public.
As long as it’s still legal to do so, we’d like to declare our abhorrence at the suggestion.
The rights of free speech and free assembly are bedrock principles of American democracy and major reasons why America’s founders revolted against British rule. There was a time when speaking against the British monarchy was deemed treasonous and subject to prison or even death. Even today, it’s technically illegal to call for abolition of the monarchy.
In the United States, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups are attempting a resurgence, bolstered in no small part by the sympathetic undertone of remarks issued on the campaign trail and in the White House by President Donald Trump. As repugnant as those groups are, it’s even more abhorrent to contemplate trashing the First Amendment to stifle their free speech.
The minute it becomes acceptable to break the law to silence one group, all others become vulnerable to attack by anyone who disagrees with them. That’s why the Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down government attempts to ban hate speech.
“A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in one assenting opinion this year.
The moment Americans empower the government to tell them what they can and cannot say, our nation and its cherished democratic principles will be doomed.
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Others must lead America
We are deeply distressed by our president’s cynical political calculations. By his meanness of tone and erratic behavior. By his serially insensitive reactions to the violent white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that has stained America.
If he’s looking around, the man now finds himself increasingly isolated. But Donald Trump probably isn’t leaving office anytime soon. And he isn’t likely to change. So America will have to deal with this bizarre, unfortunate presidency as it exists, rather than as we wish it to be.
That puts the onus on Congress, on Republican leaders such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President Mike Pence, on responsible administration officials, and on other adults who can challenge and counter him as necessary. They should proceed with the nation’s business, understanding that Trump may be more a distraction than a guiding force.
To the extent other leaders step up, America will be better off. The people’s interests will continue to be served. Legislation will get passed. The country will remain safe. American values will be protected. The courts, too, will continue to play their role, preserving the integrity of our democracy.
— Chicago Tribune