News & Politics

Hate Speech Isn't Free Speech. And Guess Who Decides What Is and Isn't Hate Speech?

Everybody knows that free speech is great. America’s founding fathers liked it so much, they put it in the very first amendment they made to the Constitution! But way back then, those old white guys couldn’t have foreseen that hundreds of years later, free speech would be used to say things that offend liberals.

The outdated concept of “freedom of speech” was fine for its time, but these days we know better. Some speech shouldn’t be free, because it might upset somebody who matters more than you do. Some ideas are too dangerous to be allowed to run loose out there. Speech must be controlled. Otherwise, the people who want to run your life won’t be able to control the things you talk about, and therefore the things you think about.

Just ask conservative comedian Steven Crowder, whose work I tend to enjoy even though he’s a filthy Canadian. Crowder is currently having problems with Twitter and YouTube over a hidden camera prank he did at the South by Southwest festival in Austin last week. I’ll let Crowder explain it (assuming the following video hasn’t been deleted from YouTube by the time you read this):

I would embed the offending video in question, but YouTube keeps taking down copies of it as soon as people put them up. Which, of course, they have the right to do. But you can find the video at something called BitChute, which is a YouTube alternative I had never heard of until yesterday. Go ahead and check out that video while you still can.

Did you watch it? Okay, so that’s what all the fuss is about. The premise of the bit is that SXSW held a meeting for people who identify as something other than what they were when they were born, and a Crowder intern crashed it while “identifying” as a computer. Which makes sense to me. If you can be whatever you want to be in 2018 America, why not be something useful?

It’s not the funniest hidden camera prank I’ve ever seen, but it’s pretty good. It’s certainly no worse than anything you’d see on, say, Jimmy Kimmel or The Daily Show. The “SvenComputer” kid keeps his cool while wearing a dumb costume and saying really silly things that mock the really silly things these people believe. As the book says: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There’s no defense against it. All you can do is try to silence it.

So the kid got kicked out of SXSW, which the festival organizers had the right to do. The footage of the prank is being censored by YouTube, which YouTube has the right to do. Crowder was suspended from Twitter for promoting the video, and apparently, anybody else who uses Twitter to link to a copy of the video is being suspended as well. Which, again, Twitter has the right to do.

These companies have the right to shut down speech they don’t like, even if that speech doesn’t really violate their preexisting rules and codes and whatnot. They can also ignore speech that does violate those rules and codes and whatnot, if that speech offends people these companies don’t mind offending. That’s how it works.

And I can point out that those companies are a rotten bunch of liars and hypocrites and wannabe fascists. If the folks at PJ Media decide that my saying so is offensive, they don’t have to publish this post. That’s also how it works.

Speaking of Twitter, here’s something that hasn’t been taken down… yet:

This one seems a little different because it’s the principal of a high school shutting down a kid in the middle of a protest. Allegedly, the principal threatened to have the student arrested for protesting the wrong thing. That seems a bit ironic, doesn’t it? “Speak truth to power… unless the power is me!

And now a history teacher in California has been put on leave after asking if anti-abortion students should get their own day to protest:

Since when are teachers supposed to tell kids to think for themselves and question their own preconceptions?

Don’t worry about any of this stuff, everybody. You won’t suffer any personal or professional consequences for expressing your personal beliefs, or even just making simple statements of fact, as long as you first make sure they’re popular.

P.S. If anything you’ve just read or watched has triggered you, I’m very sorry that you’re an idiot.