PART III: The New Censorship


Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 12.46.50 PMI began what was to be a three part discussion about the new censorship in America the week before the horrible events in Charleston.  (Part I, Part II) I did not realize, when writing it, how almost prophetic it would be. (Part II contains a very brief history of slavery in the US).  In many ways, it is an interesting study, before the new censorship of the post-Charleston world, and what has happened to his nation, afterward.  With luck, the outrage will settle down, and we can go back to reasonable discourse.  I am not that optimistic. If the following was going on, before what happened in Charleston, we can only imagine the chilling effect on the ability to speak one’s mind, today.

“…The prosecutor’s office in Flathead County, Montana (where Kalispell is located) is arguing that speech that exposes Jews — or other religious, racial, and other groups — “to hatred, contempt, ridicule, degradation, or disgrace” is criminally punishable, unless it consists of true factual statements. As the Montana criminal defamation statute is worded, this means that hatred-inducing opinions are criminally punishable, too. Yes, this is that extraordinarily rare thing: an American prosecution for “hate speech” (State v. Lenio). The First Amendment doesn’t allow that…” Eugene Volokh

Certain prosecutors in the state of Montana want to criminalize speech that might make others uncomfortable. There are some who think that the term “Youz Guys” is sexist and should be eliminated from our daily speech. If that were the only problem we were facing, it would be laughable. Unfortunately, it’s much worse. Throughout the nation, statues, memorials, plaques honoring individuals who are deemed politically incorrect and socially unacceptable are being removed….

Yes, there is a reason for this rant and rave, for the past two posts, a very specific reason. In Montana, the prosecutor who is trying to against hate speech, could criminalize what I have just written, and subject me to criminal prosecution for my comments about the Abenaki.”

“…The Montana statute, though, is different:

(1) Defamatory matter is anything that exposes a person or a group, class, or association to hatred, contempt, ridicule, degradation, or disgrace in society or injury to the person’s or its business or occupation.
(2) Whoever, with knowledge of its defamatory character, … communicates any defamatory matter to a third person without the consent of the person defamed commits the offense of criminal defamation ….
(3) Violation of subsection (2) is justified if:
(a) the defamatory matter is true;
(b) the communication is absolutely privileged;
(c) the communication consists of fair comment made in good faith with respect to persons participating in matters of public concern;
(d) the communication consists of a fair and true report or a fair summary of any judicial, legislative, or other public or official proceedings; or
(e) the communication is between persons each having an interest or duty with respect to the subject matter of the communication and is made with the purpose to further the interest or duty….”

Unfortunately, it’s worse than that. The Obama Administration apparently agrees with the world-wide crack-down on criticism of certain religions. In fact, our country is working with the UN to enact international laws, preventing the criticism of certain religions. According to Jonathan Turley:

“…In Britain, it is a crime to “abuse” or “threaten” a religion under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. A 15-year-old boy was charged last year for holding up a sign outside a Scientology building declaring, “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult. “In France, famed actress Brigitte Bardot was convicted for saying in 2006 that Muslims were ruining France in a letter to then-Interior Minister (and now President) Nicolas Sarkozy. This year, Ireland joined this self-destructive trend with a blasphemy law that calls for the prosecution of anyone who writes or utters views deemed “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.”…”

In Poland, popular pop star, Dorota Rabczewska, “Doda”, is facing a two year prison sentence for comments she made about the Bible. In Poland, the blasphemy laws are so strict, just implying criticism of a religion can land a person in prison. Her fiance burned a Bible on stage. His travel movements were restricted. He was forced to do 16 hours of community service. In the UK a person can go to prison for criticizing Scientology, or burning a Koran. In Austria, if you imply that Mohammad was a pedophile, which he was, you could go to prison. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann called for a world ban on anyone who criticizes any religion. In 2008, France brought criminal hate charges against author Pierre Péant for saying things about the Tutsis in a book about the Rwandan genocide. One of the reasons is because what he wrote disturbed those who lived through the genocide in Rwanda, and did not want to relive it.

Turley wrote:

“…Around the world, speech is under attack under an array of hate speech and anti-discrimination laws. It is irony of a new liberalism that the one thing that the West will not tolerate is intolerance. In the name of pluralism and tolerance, speech is being curtailed that insults or degrades individuals on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics. The result is a growing, if not insatiable, appetite for speech regulation that only increases after violent responses to controversial publications…”

Frankly, I don’t give a rip, either way about the Confederate flag in South Carolina.  I did not when I lived there.  Yes, it is offensive to some people, and no, it is not offensive to others.  The only reason it should not be removed from the state house property is that removing it is censorship.  The fool who censors history is going to repeat it. Listening to CNN, there is a commentator on it who says that white people must pay for our founder’s original sins.  What the hell?  They want the statues of Ben Tillman removed.  They want anything which divides people to be removed.  I gather if they want symbols of slavery removed then they must delete Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Madison, Monroe and so forth and so on.

I’ve been blogging politics for nearly 10 years, and have been active politically all my life. I’ve been writing about politics for a good decade. During the process, I’ve watched people and issues come and go. I’ve watched people change, some for the good. I’ve followed the rise of the Bush haters, and the Obama haters. What most people don’t realize is that the hatred is not really personal or issue based but just tit for tat. The left was merciless to Bush because the right was merciless to Carter. So, the right is merciless when it comes to Obama. The left will be outrageous when a GOP is elected POTUS. That’s the way the political game is played. The unfortunate part of this is it just gets nastier, on both sides.

In 2012 the right as vicious. It was so bad, I lost friends because I voted for Obama. And, no, it wasn’t about race. That’s the big lie in all of this. By the left lying that the attacks on Obama are racist, they can get away with being even nastier to the right. It never ends. I thought the tea parties were bad, but Romney’s supporters were even worse. They did some very nasty things to those of us who opposed him. The Obama supporters I was working with were some of the nicest political operatives I’ve ever worked with.

About a year or so ago, something on the left changed. As nasty as the far right has been, liberals have morphed into the most vicious, nasty, self-righteous bullies I’ve ever encountered. Claiming to have open minds and be tolerant, liberals are tolerant only of those ideas of which they approve. They are no longer capable of even listening to a position differing from their own, to the point where, if they aren’t careful, they’re starting to go down that same path that Ann Coulter is, only form a different direction.

Thanks for helping me prove my point, and find something else to write about. I don’t care if people change their positions, but they need to realize that they are starting to make good liberals look very bad. In November 2016, I think, if something isn’t done to moderate the language and the bullying, they’re going to do some serious damage to the Dems. I suspect I’m not the only person who now looks at the hard left as the Dem’s version of tea partiers.

People have no manners.  We have lost the ability to do the right thing, often because of political expediency, but also due to political correctness.  The left, once the bastion of free speech, doesn’t seem to quite grasp that those on the extreme right, even the ones we don’t like.  Contrary to the hysteria over the weekend, of the meeting of the rednecks at Stone Mountain, those rednecks had every right to meet and rally round their Confederate flags. The Supreme Court said that Illinois Nazis have a right to meet and march in public. No, we don’t like it, but they have that right.

Censorship hurts everyone.  It is destroying the very fabric of our nation.  We have silly little people in colleges who must have trigger warnings over books and ideas which bother them.  That is called censorship.  It hurts us all. With every little example of popular censorship, we loose just a little more of our freedom.