Monday, December 24, 2012
Should Hate Speech Be Free Speech?
Let me answer that question right now, there is no reason for the freedom of speech to be infringed upon. I don’t care what it is, I will never disagree, that the rights outlined in the first Amendment of the Constitution be infringed upon.
Please don’t get me wrong. I despise these people, I would like nothing else but to see these people wiped off the face of the planet, but as American citizens they are entitled to the same rights as everyone else in this country and that first Amendment in my opinion is and should always be uncompromising. I have signed petitions and other futile things like that, but the bottom line is, it is their right to do this. Like I said, I have seen and heard comments coming from everywhere including government officials, saying that, “they should be arrested”, “they shouldn’t be allowed to protest at funerals”, “the government needs to be stop them”. As unfortunate as it is there is nothing that can be done by the government, or should be done. Just because something may be hard to hear, or disgusting to hear it does not mean that voice should be silenced. It is the cornerstone of what makes this a democratic and free nation.
What can be done? Well just because the government can’t do anything about it, that doesn’t mean actions can’t be taken and it doesn’t mean as Americans we can’t exercise our own first amendment rights. For example the day the Westboro Baptist Church was set to protest the Sandy Hook Funerals, a group of off duty firefighters and police officers that I know personally went to Connecticut to shield the families of the victims from the WBC. From what I understand the amount of first responders and civilians that showed up to counter protest and shield the families of victims out numbered the WBC members that where there to protest, significantly. Which means although the WBC was there, the families where able to mourn in peace without having to worry about seeing a sign that said “Thank God Your Child Is Dead”.
You can hate the people, you can hate their message, but you cannot doubt their resolve. Their ambition and persistence is unceasing. They don’t care about what people think about them and all they care about is attention. People talking about them is exactly what they want. So the second thing that can be done is just ignore them. They are exactly like children in the sense, that if they are not the center of attention they will scream and yell and do stupid things until they get heard. We just need to keep ignoring them. By talking about them, all we do is give them legitimacy. Which is why I rarely write about them or even talk about them. If their threats went unacknowledged maybe they wouldn’t follow through.