Or maybe ever. It’s called “Here Is Why It’s Time To Get Tough On Hate Speech In America,”and it comes from the poison pen of one Tanya Cohen, “human rights activist and writer.” Needless to say, it’s boiling with hate itself:
The recent controversy at the University of Iowa – in which an “artist” (supposedly an “anti-racist” one) put up an “art exhibit” which resembles a KKK member covered in newspaper clippings about racial violence – is a perfect example of why we need to implement real legislation against hate speech in the United States. The year is 2015 and all other countries have laws against hate speech along with laws against other forms of speech which violate basic human rights. As a matter of fact, international human rights law MANDATES laws against hate speech. Protecting vulnerable minorities from hate speech is one of the most basic and fundamental of human rights obligations, and all human rights organizations worldwide have emphasized this. But the United States refuses to protect even the most basic of human rights, firmly establishing itself as a pariah state that falls far behind the rest of the world in terms of protecting fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms.
Basically, her argument is that in order to stamp out “hate speech” — otherwise known as “free speech” — we have to start hating in a big way. In other words, typical Leftist fascism. It’s almost too insane and poorly argued (lots of appeals to authority, in this case “international law”) and, while wrapping itself in the usual cloak of “tolerance,” it is fundamentally and unequivocally un-American down to its toes.
… under international human rights law, anything which offends or insults ethnic minorities is illegal, even if it is not intended to be. What this means it that the KKK display at the University of Iowa constitutes illegal racial discrimination under international human rights law which the United States has ratified. The United Nations has repeatedly stressed that none of these laws restrict, limit, or infringe upon freedom of speech – as a matter of fact, they protect freedom of speech. The US has laws against racial discrimination, but these laws only target discrimination in service and employment. In all other countries, anti-discrimination laws ban the IDEA of racial discrimination, which means that ALL forms of racial discrimination – including hate speech – are outlawed. For example, there was huge outrage when Switzerland ruled that giving Nazi salutes was not always legally punishable as racial discrimination, and even the far-right Generation Identitaire were outraged. The KKK display at the University of Iowa would constitute illegal racial discrimination in any civilized country, so why doesn’t it constitute illegal racial discrimination in the US? Likewise, the US has laws against hate crimes, but these laws only increase penalties for other crimes motivated by hatred. They don’t include hate speech as a hate crime. In all other countries, hate crime laws automatically outlaw any expression of hatred. The KKK display at the University of Iowa would constitute a hate crime in any civilized country, so why doesn’t it constitute a hate crime in the US?
Don’t get me started on all the logical fallacies in this lunatic screed, including a heapin’ helping of straw men and facts not in evidence. Fascism isn’t about men in brown shirts marching through the streets: that’s simply its manifestation. Fascism is about bringing the heavy hammer of government down on your ideological opponents on the grounds that it’s good for them — and even better for you.
Even in countries with weak hate speech laws – countries where people freely spread lies and defamation about minorities – you still cannot legally advocate or justify violence against minority groups, and absolutely nobody believes that you should ever be allowed to. But, in the US, you can. The US allows people to advocate violence, murder, terrorism, and genocide – even against minorities – all in the name of “freedom”. How is genocide “freedom”? Where in the First Amendment does it say that genocide is acceptable? How can a supposedly civilized and democratic society possibly justify allowing people to freely incite violence and murder against vulnerable minoritiesEven in countries with weak hate speech laws – countries where people freely spread lies and defamation about minorities – you still cannot legally advocate or justify violence against minority groups, and absolutely nobody believes that you should ever be allowed to. But, in the US, you can. The US allows people to advocate violence, murder, terrorism, and genocide – even against minorities – all in the name of “freedom”. How is genocide “freedom”? Where in the First Amendment does it say that genocide is acceptable? How can a supposedly civilized and democratic society possibly justify allowing people to freely incite violence and murder against vulnerable minorities?
Let me leave you with one more thing…
Like any sensible person, I am a strong believer in the unalienable right to freedom of speech and I understand that defending freedom of speech is the most important when it’s speech that many people do not want to hear (like, for example, pro-LGBT speech in Russia). Freedom of speech is the core of any democratic society, and it’s important that freedom of speech be strongly respected and upheld. Censorship in all of its forms is something that must always be fiercely opposed. But we must never confuse hate speech with freedom of speech. Speech that offends, insults, demeans, threatens, disrespects, incites hatred or violence, and/or violates basic human rights and freedoms has absolutely no place in even the freest society.
The Soviet Union may be gone, but Communist ideology continues apace. There’s more — pay particular attention to her twenty-point anti-freedom manifesto later in the piece — but let me sum up Ms. Cohen’s argument: War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.
Where have we heard that before?
UPDATE: The question has been raised in some of the comments whether this is satire. As someone who sometimes writes political satire under the name, “David Kahane,” let me say that if it is, I am in awe. But given its tedious earnestness and mind-numbing length, it probably isn’t. As for the site itself, it appears to be legit, in a weird sort of amateurish way. Here are some links to its Facebook page, to a piece in Gawker, and a piece in Jezebel. You be the judge.
UPDATE II: a Thought Catalog editor explains how you, too, can be published on Thought Catalog:
I would say three things are crucial to getting your piece heard and posted:
1. Write something that is in your real voice, and is distinctly you. Don’t try to imitate the writers you see succeeding, because reading a thousand copycats of a certain style always gets old.
2. Be clean, concise, and convey to us who you are. Give us links to your Twitter or your blog and somewhere we can find you. Give us a few sentences to put yourself into good context.
3. Think, above all, is this something that other people would want to read? Let a friend look at it. Make them be brutally honest. Get to something that you feel very strongly about before you send it in.
The beauty of Thought Catalog is largely in its freedom, and there’s no editorial line or theme that I could encourage you to draw from because we truly publish everything.
“Citizen journalism” at its finest.
UPDATE III: Here is the link to “Tanya Cohen’s” Twitter page.
UPDATE IV: I think Tanya is probably not a joke. Here she is on the Daily Kos.
UPDATE V: She just posted this tweet: “I’m currently writing a response to the criticisms of my previous column.” A star is born.