Petitioning AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION

Stop Protecting Hate Speech

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"For the future of our democracy, we must protect bigoted speech from government censorship." - American Civil Liberties Union

Stop protecting hate speech.
There is no value in defending the rights of those who incite harm and violence against susceptible minority groups and cultivate an atmosphere of clear and present danger. There are people who need resources and advocacy when confronting a massive governmental apparatus, but hate groups are not one of them.

The gathering of white supremacist groups in Charlottesville and Berkeley, the stabbing in Portland, and countless other incidents are not worth defending. Quite the contrary, they should be ruthlessly and unapologetically condemned.

It is patently irresponsible, cowardly, and spineless to appeal to outdated faux-Enlightenment-era sensibilities of liberalism when there are people being dehumanized, beaten, and killed for their ethnicity or defense of minority groups. White supremacy should be crushed and buried deep within a history book, not coddled or debated as "free speech."

In fact, this hand-wringing is precisely the tactic far-right groups such as Identity Evropa (whose leader has previously been convicted of a hate crime) rely upon to continue building a presence--so they can point fingers at counter-protest responses as antagonists of "free speech" to evade critique, gain sympathy, and minimize the harm caused by dehumanizing and violent rhetoric, if not outright violence. This is not worth defending.

While the U.S. government affords little protection regarding hate speech (except for instances in which they're the aggravating factor in hate crimes), countries such as Germany make it a criminal offense to display Nazi regalia or incite hatred against minority groups.

Let's remember that the 1st Amendment already protects "freedom of speech." People are currently legally and physically able to say nearly whatever they please. However, allocating resources and additional protections from an independent organization or otherwise bolstering a platform for violent and racist groups is wrong. At the very least, it is unnecessary. At the worst it is actively permitting and stoking the flames of violent hatred against minority groups.

If you're going to solicit donations on the basis of "protect[ing] the rights of immigrants, women, Muslims and more" then stop defending those who champion hate. If you're going to defend a holistic interpretation of civil liberties, and not become yet another institution which permits instances of violent white supremacy, then stop defending those who champion hate.

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  • AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION


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