No, the First Amendment Is Not Limited by ‘Hate Speech’
Black Lives Matter founder falsely claims “hate speech” isn’t free speech. Anything to silence political opposition.
In the aftermath of Charlottesville’s antifa vs. alt-right riots, the mainstream media is, predictably, using the violence to feed the political narrative that all Donald Trump supporters are tacit defenders of white supremacy and racism. While the narrative is nothing new, it seems to have picked up steam due to the murder of a woman in the protest crowd by a sociopath from Ohio. Shamefully, the MSM exploited the murder to call into question the ACLU-defended First Amendment rights to freedom of speech — including ugly speech.
One of the Left’s favorite hobby horses is calling for the limiting of free speech it finds offensive, and leftists would love to have the power to silence speech they disagree with by labeling it “hate speech.” The trouble is the Constitution does not recognize this limit to Americans’ right to free speech. Still, that doesn’t stop leftists from claiming it does. A recent example emerges from an MSNBC interview of Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter — which, one might argue, is a black supremacist group.
Cullors was asked to explain the distinction between the BLM protesters and the white supremacist protesters who were clashing in Charlottesville. Cullors responds by claiming that BLM’s message is about seeking equality while the white supremacists’ is “hate speech.” Not a surprising response, but she then flat-out lies, stating — without any pushback from the MSNBC host — that “hate speech” is not protected by the First Amendment. The truth is that “hate speech” is protected, because for the U.S. Constitution that caveat simply does not exist. Time and again the Supreme Court has ruled broadly in favor of Americans’ right to free speech. Just because one person or group may find certain speech to be offensive and reprehensible, they do not have the right to call for the government to silence someone else. This is the entire essence of the freedom of speech.
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