Once again, the country is shaken after another senseless mass shooting unfolded over the weekend. And, once again, politicians are making sure to milk this tragedy for everything they can.
This shooting fits the profile of so many others which have unfortunately become a backdrop of American society. Like previous shootings, this shooter was known to authorities for threatening to carry out a massacre at his high school. Also, like previous shootings, this shooter was in possession of illegal firearms that are banned in the state of New York.
Authorities would not state how or where the shooter acquired the weapons, nor would they state if he acquired them before or after he had been detained for threatening to shoot up his high school last June.
According to reports, the shooting in east Buffalo left 10 people dead and three others wounded. Because 11 of the victims were Black, authorities are investigating it as a hate crime. The individual responsible has since been taken into custody and has been charged with first-degree murder.
“The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime. This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind,” Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia at a press conference Sunday.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul wasted no time to begin exploiting this tragedy to push for more tyranny. Less than 24 hours after the shooting, she joined several other politicians, including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, at a Buffalo Baptist church to call for censorship.
“Yes, Lord, forgive the anger in my heart,” Hochul told the congregation, “but channel that into my passion to continue to fight to protect people, get the guns off the streets and silence the voices of hatred and racism and white supremacy all over the Internet.”
Apparently Hochul missed the part where hate speech and racism are already silenced on every major social media platform out there. Nevertheless, she later went on CNN to double down on her calls for censorship.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Hochul declared
“They need to be called out. And leaders elected officials from both parties need to stand up at this moment and call it out and to shame it and to make sure these people crawl back into their holes and stay there. This cannot be part of our mainstream dialogue here in the United States of America. Leaders have a responsibility to call it out…
we are dealing with it on the gun side but also on the social media side. And the combination of the wild access to guns, unfettered, we need national laws to deal with this as well as the unfettered sharing of hate information on the internet, that is a lethal combination. We saw that on display here just hours ago yesterday.”
Despite what the pro-censorship crowd thinks, silencing “bad speak” only tends to further divide, increase the spread of disinformation, and drive extremism. Hochul wants these racists to “crawl back into their holes and stay there,” but these “holes” are where hatred feeds on itself, free from challenging ideologies.
In reality, free speech is a danger to no one except for the people with hateful and illogical ideas. As we have pointed out time and again, racists hate free speech because none of their ideas hold up to being challenged in the public sphere. In order to spread their obstinance and hatred, they have to defend it, and, as history has shown us, hate is indefensible.
Public discourse is what reduced racism and hatred over the years, not censorship. In fact, censorship has proven repeatedly to do the exact opposite by driving racists and extremists into these dark private spaces where their illogical and hateful ideas are shielded from the public sphere, allowing them to fester.
Rest assured that if this shooter was radicalized online, it was in the deepest and darkest corners of the internet where the pro-censorship crowd has driven them and where no one is challenging their ignorance.
Instead of calling for censorship, the establishment should look at the role they are playing in this situation. As they call for silencing hatred, the legacy media actually spreads it by constantly referring to anyone who disagrees with the hive mind woke cult as a “racist” or “white supremacist” — even Black people.
While most people can see through the slanderous lies as the divisive propaganda that it is, others buy into it and feed off of it and use it to justify horrible ideas.
Hate and ignorance is a function of a lack of information — not the opposite. When we refuse to allow discourse, even on the most repugnant content, we feed that lack of information and breed more hate and ignorance. Discourse is the path to progress, not silence. Until we understand this as a society, we can expect more of the same.