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.
— Amendment 1, Constitution of United States of America
As America’s wars continue to ravage nations throughout the Middle East, with a death toll measuring the millions of innocent men, women, and children, Americans are organizing not to end these wars, but to silence people with whom they disagree. A new poll taken by the Campaign for Free Speech has found that the majority of Americans think that the First Amendment to the Constitution is outdated and needs to be rewritten to kidnap and cage people for speech that offends them.
What the happened to the euphemism of “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”?
Sadly, many Americans have worked themselves into such a tizzy trying to silence those with whom they disagree that real issues like war, in which millions are slaughtered, are pushed to the wayside and priorities are focused on insane laws that attempt to limit speech.
War is the worst thing in the world. It's worse than economic injustice. It's worse than the war on drugs. It's worse than racism, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism. Those things are bad. War is worse. The priorities of leftists and progressives should reflect this.
— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) October 26, 2019
According to the poll, 51% of Americans think the First Amendment is outdated and should be rewritten. 54% said they would prefer “possible jail time” for “hate speech” — which would be interpreted by the state — while another 46% shared they would want “nothing more than a ticket and fine.” Illustrating the ignorance involved in demands to limit what people can say, 80% of those surveyed admitted that they don’t actually know what the First Amendment really protects.
Those polled believed this statement is true: “The First Amendment allows anyone to say their opinion no matter what, and they are protected by law from any consequences of saying those thoughts or opinions.”
This is obviously a distorted view of the Constitution as the phrase “freedom of speech” does not come with terms and conditions because words alone, less the obvious yelling “fire” in a movie theater, cannot cause physical harm. The First Amendment simply means that the state cannot punish you for your words. It has nothing to do with “opinion” other than having one cannot land you in jail.
Even more damning is the fact that 57% of those surveyed want the government to be able to go after journalists and news outlets who publish “biased” information. Given the current state of media in the United States, this could apply to 100% of all media outlets.
If you are reading this and laughing, you should be. After you’ve had your laugh, however, you need to realize that although this sounds asinine, tyrannical, and utterly insane, it is already happening.
As TFTP reported last week, State Rep. Daniel Hunt (D–Boston) thinks that the citizens of Massachusetts — whose state motto is ironically “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty” — should not be allowed to say the word bitch when attempting “to accost, annoy, degrade or demean” another person. The legislation, H. 3719, quite literally makes it a crime to call someone a bitch and mean it.
As politicians began trying to ban the word bitch, two University of Connecticut students were arrested after they were captured on video saying the n-word…to each other. Everyone can agree that using this word is extremely vulgar and unacceptable in today’s society, but should it land you in jail? According to lawmakers in Connecticut, the answer is yes.
Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj, both 21, were arrested and charged with “ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality, or race.” For their speech, which was exchanged only between the two of them, they face 30 days in jail and a $50 fine.
While the folks who want to limit speech and jail people for words that offend them are likely doing so with good intentions, their actions are having the opposite effect. By attempting to silence others, these do-gooders are actually lending toward the ever-increasing divide in this country.
Racism in the United States has been on the decline over the past several decades. However, pushing people into fringe groups by attempting to silence them or punching people for their ignorant views has rekindled a new level of hate.
Neo-Nazis and white supremacists have been fading away for years. Their ranks were diminishing and their tactics and mission of supremacy based on skin color had become laughable. However, in the past few years, a new faction, ironically spearheaded by the left, began to act as a recruiting tool for white nationalism.
Anti-white rhetoric has fueled hatred and served as a catalyst in the growing movement of white nationalists. By concentrating on skin color — instead of a person’s character — a massive “anti-white” movement was born and pushed through the mainstream media, and thus the dying white supremacy movement was given new life.
Hate groups in the US grew from 784 in 2014 to 892 in 2015, a 14 percent increase, according to 2016 data by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
From 2014 to 2015, the number of active Klu Klux Klan chapters in the United States grew from 72 to 190, a massive increase for a group so closely associated with hatred.
As David Marcus pointed out in a hard hitting piece for the Federalist, white people are being asked—or pushed—to take stock of their whiteness and identify with it more. This is a remarkably bad idea. The last thing our society needs is for white people to feel more tribal. The result of this tribalism will not be a catharsis of white identity, improving equality for non-whites. It will be resentment towards being the only tribe not given the special treatment bestowed by victimhood.
We are now seeing the inevitable result of such irresponsible practices of race shaming. As whites — who may have been on the verge of racism — sat back and watched the mainstream media chastise their skin color, they eventually reached a tipping point. Charlottesville was an example of what happens when this state-sponsored and media supported divide is pushed on the populace.
Once the radical left, who’ve been taught over the past several years to despise ‘whiteness’, saw the epitome of said ‘whiteness’ take over the ‘white’ house, the perfect storm was created.
The ranks of Antifa and similar groups — just like their counterparts in the white nationalists — also began to swell.
As we’ve seen over the past few years, when white nationalists and Antifa or similar groups, meet face to face, violence is now inevitable.
These two factions have become a literal representation of the divide and conquer tactics employed through the left/right paradigm.
While this survey may be somewhat disheartening to those who value freedom and peace, there are still many people out there who understand the importance of allowing others free speech — even if it offends them.
People simply want to get along and these battles covered on the mainstream media of white nationalists and leftist radicals brawling in the streets are highly uncommon. These groups represent a very small minority of society, yet the media devotes hundreds of hours of coverage to them while ignoring issues that would help society heal and stoke peace.
Where was CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, et. al. when veterans led a peaceful protest in New Orleans last year to raise awareness for the growing epidemic of suicides? Or, why is it that when you Google “antiwar protest” the entire first page of Google mentions only Vietnam and no modern movement? If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would think that the US media and technology companies are working in unison to push superficial infighting on the populace so the war machine can keep on marching without those “criminals” who’d dare advocate for peace.
While this is my personal opinion and not a fact, the divide and conquer tactics by the mainstream couldn’t be more evident. Fortunately, however, there are still many Americans, for now, who appear to be rejecting it. It is up to us to continue to counter the narrative and push for peace—even when it’s with people with whom we disagree. For peace is not only the desired result, but as the great Dr. King said, it is the path on which we get there.