I frequently hear, when someone feels they are being unfairly silenced, wholly specious claims that their First Amendment rights have been violated. A celebrated example was when, Phil Robertson, one of the guys from the reality show Duck Dynasty, made appalling remarks about LGBTQ+ people and atheists and the A&E network (very briefly) removed the show from their schedule. People who largely share Robertson’s homophobic views cried foul, claiming that A&E had violated his First Amendment rights. Many people pointed out that this was bullshit, but some for what I think are the wrong reasons.Continue reading “A Non-Conforming Take on the First Amendment”
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Twitter lost their censorship cherry when they took what was an unprecedented step for them, shutting down an account due to the politics of the owner, a German neo-Nazi group. Like the rest of you, I can’t be bothered to feel sorry for the fascist morons in question. It’s also true that groups like this one are quite illegal in Germany, which is understandable.
While I can certainly sympathize with the desire to keep people like this in check, and Germany is certainly well-motivated to keep control of right-wing extremists in their midst. I’m just not sure they are going about it the right way. Right now there are 25,000 neo-Nazis or similar right-wing extremists in Germany. In the U.S., where such activity is merely frowned upon and socially ostracized, their numbers are tiny in comparison to those in Germany.
I hold firm to the belief that tolerance for extremist, offensive ideas is a more effective weapon against those who hold those beliefs. Continue reading “The Freedom to be an Obnoxious Bigoted Useless Twat”