Do We Have Too Much Freedom of Speech?

The U.S. provides for more freedom of speech and expression than just about any country in the world. Should we have less? Here is an article about the situation in Canada.
nytimes.com/2008/06/12/us/12hate.html

Freedom of speech requires us to defend speech we abhor. Consider the following:

Wild-Eyed Politically Correct Activist: “It should be against the law to deny the Holocaust! You should go to jail if you deny the Holocaust!”

Voice of Reason: “What is the Holocaust?”

WEPCA: “You’re stupid if you don’t know what the Holocaust is!”

VOR: “That may be, but if you make it illegal to deny it, you have to define what it is people are forbidden to deny.”

WEPCA: “It’s the Nazis killing the Jews in the gas ovens, of course!”

VOR: “The gas ovens were crematoria. The victims were killed elsewhere and then put in the ovens.”

WEPCA: “You’re splitting hairs! The Holocaust is the Nazis killing six million Jews!”

VOR: “The Nazis killed about twelve million people – half Jews and the other half gypsies, the mentally and physically handicapped, and Polish Catholics, about three million of the latter.”

WEPCA: “There’s a question about how many Catholics were killed. The Soviets may have inflated the numbers.”

VOR: “There may well be a question, but if you make it illegal to deny the Holocaust, it’s a question no one will be allowed to ask. So it will have to be three million Polish Catholics.”

WEPCA: “The Holocaust is the Nazis killing six million Jews!!”

VOR: “So you deny the other six million are part of the Holocaust? Doesn’t make YOU a Holocaust denier?”

WEPCA: “You’re twisting everything around!”

VOR: “What about the eleven million Chinese killed by the Japanese in WWII? Aren’t they Holocaust victims, too?”

WEPCA: “NO! Of course not! They were Chinese!!”

VOR: “So you have to be Caucasian to be a Holocaust victim?”

WEPCA: “You’re making me sound like a racist!!”

VOR: “It isn’t ME that’s making you sound that way.”

WEPCA: “You’re a %&^& Conservative and I hate you!”

VOR: “What about the Australians who were worked and starved to death on the Burma railroad? The Americans beaten and starved to death on the Battan Death March? The American pilots butchered and cannibalized on Chichi Jima?”

WEPCA: “You %&^& Right Wingnut! You’re a racist!”

VOR: “What about the Turkish genocide of the Armenians in WWI? The Killing Fields of Cambodia? The Soviet Collectivization artificial famine? The many genocides in Africa?”

WEPCA: “I hate you, you *&%$#ing *&^hole!”

VOR: “If you deny all those Holocausts, that makes you a Holocaust denier.”

WEPCA: “GARRGH! You (*&^ Son of a *&^%!”

VOR: “Total and complete melt-down. Somebody bring a mop.”

“Free speech matters because it works,” Mr. Silverglate continued. Scrutiny and debate are more effective ways of combating hate speech than censorship, he said, and all the more so in the post-Sept. 11 era.

“The world didn’t suffer because too many people read ‘Mein Kampf,’ ” Mr. Silverglate said. “Sending Hitler on a speaking tour of the United States would have been quite a good idea.”

Mr. Silverglate seemed to be echoing the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., whose 1919 dissent in Abrams v. United States eventually formed the basis for modern First Amendment law.

“The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market,” Justice Holmes wrote.

“I think that we should be eternally vigilant,” he added, “against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death.”

That pretty much sums up my opinion.

Even though a lot of people here are attracted to the idea of banning “hate speech” I doubt it will happen as long as we have the First Amendment and even lefties can’t quite bring themselves to call for repealing that.

One argument I’m sick of hearing is, “All the other Western democracies ban hate speech.” So? If all the other Western democracies jumped off a cliff, should we?

Back to the subject, I liked this comment from Maclean’s counsel to the Commission:

In response, the lawyer for Maclean’s, Roger D. McConchie, all but called the proceeding a sham.
“Innocent intent is not a defense,” Mr. McConchie said in a bitter criticism of the British Columbia law on hate speech. “Nor is truth. Nor is fair comment on true facts. Publication in the public interest and for the public benefit is not a defense. Opinion expressed in good faith is not a defense. Responsible journalism is not a defense.”

The First Amendemt in the US is all about the people vs. the government. Anti hate speech laws, are the government telling the people what is not acceptable. That is a violation of Free Speech, as it was intended.

The left thinks that free speech is fine as long as it does not lead to hurting people, but that is not found in the Constitution. ANYWHERE. So the left, likes to use the government to limit or not, free speech. Hate Crimes Legislation is such a law. Pornography protection is such a law.

Now, the Constitution, does not say that citizens in society, cannot dictate what is acceptable or not. It is our jobs, as private citizens, to dictate what is acceptable or not. Canada sees it differently. That Liberal/socialist ideals are the only acceptable ideas and their government protects that, as the article say’s (the last paragraph)

Limiting “hate speech” or speech that incites people, is freedom. But it is up to only the society as to how acceptable it is, not the government. Freedom, as intended by our Fore Fathers, means ONLY, freedom of the people, from the government. That is all. The rest, is up to the people in a society. Any issues with that, is having an issue with the Constitution. THEN, it is up to the people to ammend the Constitution.

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**Even though a lot of people here are attracted to the idea of banning “hate speech” I doubt it will happen **

as long as we have the First Amendment and even lefties can’t quite bring themselves to call for repealing that.

But it is on it’s way. If someone kills a gay, even if it were just to steal his wallet, they tack on extra jail time because they killed a gay. Kind of like clubbing a seal or shooting an Eagle. They are memebers of the protected “class”. We already have Hate Crime legislation. It is well on it’s way, and it is the left, obviously, who are pushing this. The left is in love with Europe and any other western nation, as long as it is NOT the US.

One argument I’m sick of hearing is, “All the other Western democracies ban hate speech.” So? If all the other Western democracies jumped off a cliff, should we?

I rather like being different from the rest of the world. The socialist always take pride in being different, but in the end, they want everybody to be the same. Just like them.

Do We [in the USA] Have Too Much Freedom of Speech?

NO, WE DO NOT.

Thank you.

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