The cornerstone of our First Amendment speech protections were intended to protect the minority viewpoint from the tyranny of majority. Our founders’ understanding of the truth of these principles came from lessons learned from years of personal experience with the tyrannical government of Great Britain. They understood that the most detestable or controversial speech needed protection in order to maintain freedom for all. They also keenly understood that religious and political speakers needed protection from those who would silence or imprison dissenters from the party in power.
Whereas, my last article focused on the government actors who run afoul of the Constitution by attempting to limit a person’s freedom of speech, freedom of religion or right to assemble and to protest, there are no such constitutional constraints when private individuals or corporations attempt to silence individuals’ speech. So when President Obama’s policies regarding governmental practices ended, the private sector’s leftist activists picked up the mantel of oppression and, have since, worn it with zeal.
Despite our fellow countrymen’s long held enjoyment of the fruits of this country’s founding principles which has allowed them the right to protest, the right to assemble and the right to speak freely on any topic they choose, today there is an effort from that same group to quash the rights of conservative people with whom they disagree, while retaining the “shield of protection” for themselves. Members of the hard left “give no quarter” to those they oppose and offer no reciprocity of freedom to their perceived enemies when it comes to individual rights.
What comprises “hate speech” is a highly subjective question whose answer is a matter of opinion. So it is disturbing to realize that there are a number of organizations in the private sector that are now inexplicably working with socialists, Marxist, feminists and anarchists in order to regulate speech. We have known for quite some time that the Main Stream Media news outlets were in the hands of the leftists. But now the oligarchs of digital information and communication corporations such as Google, Facebook, PayPal and You Tube are some of the latest private sector organizations to join their ranks. Recently, they have all openly censored Pamela Geller and others who attempt to spread the truth regarding the Muslim Brotherhood’s long-term goal of bringing Sharia to the West through Civilization Jihad.
Geller’s response to this attack was: “Free Speech is dead.”
So because of great technological advances, now unelected CEOs of global corporations have the ability to determine what unacceptable speech is and to shut it down by depriving their customers of vital access to their services. These actions severely restrict the free exchange of ideas and limit the ability of conservatives to disseminate their competing ideas of liberty and freedom. While Geller’s proclamation may be somewhat premature, free speech is certainly under heavy assault for conservatives, on numerous fronts.
While PayPal changed their minds after a groundswell of support for Pamela Geller reached the ears of the executives, unfortunately, for Geller it is the CEOs of these non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are now censoring speech and not the government where First Amendment protections would apply and a court house remedy would be possible. This places a dangerous amount of power in the hands of a few unelected people who are seemingly beyond the reach of constitutional restraint.
Before total access to the means of communication exchange is lost, these self-appointed arbiters and enforcers of so-called “hate speech” need to hear from Americans around the country for their un-American actions. People must demand that these globalist corporations cease their arbitrary censorship of American citizens by denying services to them based upon discriminatory motivations.
Another threat to freedom is the emergence of the anarchist Antifa group whose members claim to be anti-fascist while actively silencing those they disagree with through intimidation and violence. This group has already created an environment of terror in this country and promises more beginning November 4, 2017.
Their tactics were on full display a month ago when they physically assaulted the no-less despicable neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members as they held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Normally, when these hate-spewing individuals put their ugly beliefs on display for the entire world to see, they are ignored or rightly condemned for their racist and bigoted ideas and statements. But the fascist “Antifa,” showed up with masks on their faces and bags of chemicals, feces and urine to throw at the group. They carried boards with nails and screws embedded so as to maximize the impact and damage to their foes.
Both of these groups have despicable messages, but one group had a legal, constitutional right to be there. Antifa, had no right to assault any American citizens who were exercising their First Amendment rights. It was the job of the police to keep these groups apart and to protect the neo-Nazis/white supremacists, who had obtained a permit to demonstrate. For some unknown reason, the police apparently “stood down.”
In Berkley several weeks ago, a peaceful demonstration of people carrying signs with sentiments such as “No to Marxism” were set upon and attacked by a group of up to 4000 Antifa thugs who commenced to assault any demonstrators that did not immediately flee the campus. Evidence of the chilling effect that Antifa has had on conservative groups was evident when a group obtained a permit and intended to hold a peaceful protest in Sacramento actually cancelled their event because Antifa threatened to show up.
Now Antifa, through www.refusefascism.org is promoting a new level of protests/rioting to begin on November 4, 2017 in cities across this country. They are recruiting new members and assert that they will not stop until President Trump and VP Pence resign. In a recent You Tube video, one Antifa member clarified the groups’ position when she stated that being offended by a sign of a demonstrator gave her the “right to defend” herself by offensively attacking a peaceful sign holder. This Orwellian doublespeak is not a legal defense and the police need to take action against these lawless marauders.
In order to help preserve first amendment rights for all individuals, law enforcement members should be reminded that while the actions of private groups attempting to silence other groups does not, by themselves, violate the First Amendment, the actions used to intimidate others into silence most likely are criminal and the police’s failure to protect a group of individuals who are exercising their first amendment rights is a violation of the Constitution. See Bible Believers v. Wayne Cnty (6th Cir., 2015) (holding that “Wayne County, however, through its Deputy Chiefs and Corporation Counsel, effectuated a constitutionally impermissible heckler's veto by allowing an angry mob of riotous adolescents to dictate what religious beliefs and opinions could and could not be expressed. This, the Constitution simply does not allow.”)
In the wake of the Charlottesville attacks, the members of the DNC and the main stream media failed to denounce the extreme and violent tactics of Antifa and have apparently adopted a new plank of their platform that leaves Thomas Jefferson’s ideals of freedom in the dust. The Marxists/Islamists, however, quickly denounced the neo-Nazis. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood’s CAIR’s denouncement of the neo-Nazis’ right to freedom of speech was very confusing given that Hitler’s Nazis and Islam’s Grand Mufti worked closely together during WWII against their common enemy, the Jews. Islamists have evidently switched enemies.
Another group, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which was once a staunch defender of even the most hateful, shocking and controversial speech, in the interest of protecting First Amendment rights for all individuals, announced that they will no longer defend neo-Nazis/white supremacists’ speech, if it leads to violence. This announcement should alarm all Americans that understand that hateful speech needs the most protection under the U.S. Constitution. The real life effect of the ACLU’s decision means that there will be less speech protections available for a growing group of people who are “judged” to have unacceptable or “politically incorrect” speech according to a vocal minority or an oppressive majority. By failing to defend the “vilest” of speakers, the ACLU has now chosen politics over principles.
But even more disturbing is that the ACLU’s new position to “no longer defend speech that incites violence” is consistent with the United Nations’ Resolution 16/18 which, if enforced in the United States, would severely restrict the protections of the First Amendment and the speech protections found under the Wisconsin State Constitution by creating a “test of consequences” which is outside of any holding by the U.S. Supreme Court. This United Nations’ standard for speech says that if your speech causes someone else to commit an act of violence, then you, the speaker, can be held criminally responsible. This new and dangerous doctrine removes personal responsibility from a violent mob and places the sole responsibility for the mob’s violent actions on the speaker(s). This premise is unconstitutional in the United States of America and should not be tolerated.
This United Nations’ resolution was first promulgated at a meeting called the “Istanbul Process” in Istanbul, Turkey in December of 2011 coordinated by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Obama Administration through then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The OIC, a Muslim Brotherhood Organization made up of 56 Muslim states and the Palestinians, exists to create Islamic jurisprudence for Muslims living in Muslim Minority countries. The “test of consequences” was a compromise to the outright anti-blasphemy legislation that the Muslim Majority countries wanted the member nations of the United Nations to adopt in order to criminalize such things a slandering the Prophet Mohammed or speaking against Islamic Law (Sharia).
With the First Amendment to the United States Constitution standing as a major roadblock to outright anti-blasphemy legislation, the “test of consequences” was a subtle way of changing decades of U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence without involving the Court itself. The Obama Administration abandoned its overt plans to attempt to enforce Resolution 16/18 after Benghazi. However, while speaking at the U.N. two week later, President Obama clung to his restricted speech goals and signaled his continuing intent to modify the First Amendment through others means when he stated to the world that “the future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet.”
Stayed tuned for part III.