Cuomo Signs State Law Barring Sale and Display of “Symbols Of Hate”

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this week that would ban the the sale of Confederate flags and other symbols of “intolerance and hate” on public property and limit the display of such symbols. As a long-standing free speech advocate, you must often defend speech that you find offensive. However, the First Amendment is not designed to protect popular speech. We do not need protection for speech that people support.  The test of free speech is to support those with whom you disagree and speech that you oppose. This is one such case. In my view, the Cuomo legislation is a violation of the First Amendment.

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in Europe. Indeed, Norway recently criminalized private speech at home deemed hateful or offensive. Indeed, this legislation follows the European view that has destroyed free speech on that continent.

Cuomo wrote that “[b]y limiting the display and sale of the confederate flag, Nazi swastika and other symbols of hatred from being displayed or sold on state property, including the state fairgrounds, this will help safeguard New Yorkers from the fear-installing effects of these abhorrent symbols.”

The question is who will safeguard our free speech rights as politicians listed banned symbols that groups declared offensive.

Notably, Cuomo admitted that “certain technical changes are necessary” to make sure the ban is compliant with the First Amendment.  The first “technical change” would be to rescind the law.

Here is the language:





Notably, the law only allows for the sale or displays if they serve “an educational or historical purpose.” What if they serve social, ideological, political ,or literary purposes?  Those are also protected under the First Amendment. Moreover, it allows for the barring of images that are not limited to the broad definition of “symbols of white supremacy, neo-Nazi ideology or the battle flag of the Confederacy.”  Rather, it is covers a wide array of undefined “symbols of hate.” Many people differ on what groups or symbols they deem “hateful.” The legislation is an invitation for plunging down the slippery slope of censorship.

In Matal v. Tam the Court ruled against the government’s use of the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act. Justice Samuel Alito wrote:

Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate”. United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U. S. 644, 655 (1929) (Holmes, J., dissenting).

Justice Anthony Kennedy added the cautionary note that “a law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all.” 

The bill was sponsored by Reps. David Carlucci, Leroy Comrie, James Gaughran and Andrew Gounardes

222 thoughts on “Cuomo Signs State Law Barring Sale and Display of “Symbols Of Hate””

  1. “…and other symbols of hatred.” In other words, anything – especially anything relating to Trump since Trump opponents have declared all things Trump to be “hate”. It will now be legal to prosecute people simply for wearing a MAGA hat, displaying a Trump sign, or publicly expressing approbation of Trump or his supporters. This is the real purpose of this law. How many New Yorkers are really displaying Nazi or Confederate flags? Not too many.

    1. deboluccia, right below you is a Trumper who wants to mail his sh_t to the New York governor. So there’s a reason Trumpers get a bad name.

    2. I would put up Confederate flags if I lived in New York just to press the issue on the First Amendment. Cuomo can put up Nazi flags; he is the one acting like a fascist tyrant.

  2. Go on-line and buy rolls of toilet paper with Cuomo’s face printed on the sheets. Wipe and mail some pieces to Cuomo in New York.

    1. Liberty, that sounds like something a retarded nerdy loser would do. And I’m sure that’s you.

    2. I bet Liberty is Estovir, the toilet grinder guy. He always got something sick to write. Ya wonder what he do for work. Nobody I know hires fools like that.

  3. If Trump takes executive action the Dems will go to the Court but who cares?

    The Court had its chances to stick its fingers in this mess and it cowered and hid.

    More than half the country has lost respect for them and doesn’t care what they say.

    1. Young, “the court had its chances”??

      No, Trump’s chances faded with every legal defeat.

    2. Funny s..t Young.

      Clarence Thomas buddy. Clarence Thomas wouldn’t go along with this loser BS.

  4. JT, only under the incorporation theory which has gained prominence so that the supremes can legislate from the bench.

  5. Nerd Humor And The Party Secretariat for Global Media and Inclusion

    For dead-enders convinced that Trump is all that stands between America and communism, a certain nerd humor has become a staple of these blog threads. The joke, yuk, yuk, is this: ‘A series of press releases worded to mimic the official propaganda organ of some communist police state’.

    The joke is to take mundane news stories concerning Democrats and, or, liberals, and craft them into bogus news releases from the ‘Party Secretariat’. Nerdy Trumpers will slap their knees in fits of laughter; awed that the writer is openly dissing liberals with such ‘devastating’ sarcasm. In fact, the nerdiest of Trumpers will slap their knees so hard as to cause a sunburn effect on their thighs.

    These Party Secretariat jokes will be running here for the next 4 years at least. Its author aspires to draw legions of nerdy readers to Johnathan Turley’s blog. The Party Secretariat is a firm believer that ‘misery loves company’.

    1. hey that makes me think of a joke

      What’s red and white and hangs from the telephone wire?

      a billionaire that got hit by a snowblower

      Saloth Sar

  6. Leftists, by definition, deprive freedom. They are criminals. See, e.g., USSR, PRC, NK, Cuba, Venezuela.

    1. you guys almost always misunderstand history, and the socalled Left.

      those regimes were all fundamentally unlike today’s anarchist, trotskyite postmodernist “left” which is an insanity upon which no nation could subsist.

      those other regimes have stumbled along for decades, somehow. impaired by socialism its true but they were working on patriotic forms of it

      they all had a major component of “nationalism” in their programs.

      and getting rid of natives who are traitorously complicit with foreigners

      that’s actually what we need now– nationalism and the will to take the fight to the quislings and traitors

      Saloth sar

  7. ALL leftists have criminal minds (a self-entitlement to deprive others’ rights). Leftists must be segregated to protect the rights of others.

    -Support Diversity and Inclusion; reward media partners for loyal service

    Mountain View, CA – The Party today announced that its platform and technology affiliate Google has granted new awards under its Google News Initiative program. The program supports the Party’s news and education goals by funding projects that inject new ideas into the news industry.

    In addition to thanking Google for its generous financial and ideological support, the Party congratulated the recipients of the latest round of awards. The funding reflects the recipients’ loyal service to the Party and its goals. With the success of this year’s program, the Party expects that future awards will provide even more generous financial support to a broader range of deserving recipients.

    The following are examples of the 2020 recipients and their projects:

    President and Board of Trustees of Santa Clara College:

    Particularly in 2020, newsrooms across the country have made impassioned declarations about their commitments to DEI. But newsrooms are increasingly resource-constrained, which makes manual diversity audits of sourcing and quoting practices impractical. Human audits also do not create an everyday ”nudge” factor (a concept from behavioral economics) to affect behavior change. This solution is to offer real-time/on-demand source-diversity proportions visualizations through a dashboard.

    Next City:

    People of color are left out of news coverage. Although there’s no hard numbers to prove it (because no one is counting), just ask anyone living in a majority-minority neighborhood whether they’re reflected in local media. Next City’s “representation tracker” will enable newsrooms to track the diversity of their published sources so they can hold themselves accountable. The tool tallies the number of named sources in coverage and breaks them down by demographics such as race, gender and sexual orientation.

    Vox Media:

    Creating a comprehensive, inclusive open-sourced style guide and editing resources designed to deliver lasting change. The Vox Media free editorial style guide serves a dual function: It is both a comprehensive resource that helps drive and responds to public discourse, and a training tool designed to teach staff how to keep DE&I issues at top of mind as they work.

    Educational Video Center:

    The Educational Video Center has a living archive of award-winning documentary films focusing on systemic inequities and structural racism produced over three decades by youth citizen journalists from historically oppressed communities in NYC. The project will help EVC achieve sustainability and growth, whilst amplifying important stories reported by low-income youth of color that are not being told in local and national media. Ohio:

    Creating a toolkit to help news organizations find and edit or remove archived stories that cause needless harm to the reputations of members of their communities. This project will create a system to scan archives and identify such stories so that human editors can decide whether to change or remove them. It will be shared with the rest of the industry upon completion.

    Mr. Richard Stengel, a first amendment authority, counter-disinformation expert, and Team Lead for Global Media for the Harris/Biden administration, offered the Party’s congratulations to the funding recipients and reiterated Party doctrine in the area. “As a government official travelling around the world, I came to see how our first amendment standards are an outlier,” said Mr. Stengel. “All speech is not equal. And where Truth cannot drive out Lies, we must add new guardrails.”

    The full list of approved projects is available here:

    Immediate implementation of these guidelines is authorized under previously approved directives adopted in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Further information on these guidelines will be communicated as circumstances dictate.


    In 2016, two scholars at Rand Corp. wrote a paper describing Russia’s “firehose of falsehood” propaganda model. Very different from Cold War-era propaganda, current Russian approaches work with prevailing technologies and social media platforms. There are two key features — “high numbers of channels and messages and a shameless willingness to disseminate partial truths or outright fictions.” There is no effort at consistency or credibility. The report quotes one analyst: “New Russian propaganda entertains, confuses and overwhelms the audience.”

    Russia’s method closely resembles Trump’s own propaganda strategy. Trump issues a blizzard of messages, using every medium he can find. He is usually untruthful but always entertaining. He never worries about consistency, asking only that you remember his most recent claims. When campaigning in 2016 he argued that the unemployment rate was a hoax, that the Federal Reserve was keeping interest rates dangerously low and that the stock market was a bubble about to burst. Once he entered the White House, he soon said the opposite about all three. If you bombard people in the present, few have time to dwell on the past.

    Wittingly or unwittingly, Trump uses the Russian model, which rests on the principle that people get convinced when they hear the same message many times from a variety of sources, no matter how biased. He adds to this an intuitive understanding of how social media works. If you make a claim that is truly outrageous, it will attract attention and eyeballs, spread far and wide, and ensure that people hear it repeatedly — and over time begin to believe it. A boring truth dies on Twitter, while a sensational lie goes viral and (most disturbingly) over time become a half-truth.

    Trump has set a new standard because he simply does not view the truth as a constraint. Today Trump announced he will veto the defense appropriations bill, apparently because it removes Confederate names from bases and does not repeal Section 230, a rule about social media companies. But he decided it would be simpler to claim that “THE BIGGEST WINNER OF OUR NEW DEFENSE BILL IS CHINA.” There is no conceivable sense in which this is factual — the bill actually would create a formal deterrence initiative against Chinese expansionism. But Trump understands that a sensational lie is far more effective than a complicated truth.

    Edited from: “Russia Hasn’t Just Hacked Our Computer Systems. It’s Hacked Our Minds”

    Today’s Washington Post


    Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump·10h

    I will Veto the Defense Bill, which will make China very unhappy. They love it. Must have Section 230 termination, protect our National Monuments and allow for removal of military from far away, and very unappreciative, lands. Thank you!

    From “The Real Donald Trump”, Twiter


      Trump and rightwing media are going to keep repeating, over and over, that Biden is somehow a patsy for China. Never mind that there’s no truth whatsoever to this. Biden, one should note, never publicly called on Chinese leader Xi Jinping to find Trump’s tax returns. Nor has Biden publicly sided with Xi Jinping over U.S. intelligence.

      But linking Biden with China is vindictive payback for the Mueller Probe which was totally warranted. The Biden-China link is going to be the mother of all What Abouts. So, when Democrats say, “There’s no China link”..

      Trumpers can shoot back with, “Trump had nothing to do with Russia, but Democrats impeached him anyway”.

      The true dead-enders will accompany this reply with malicious emojis to underline the vindictive tone.

      1. actually yes Hunter was in cahoots with the CCP and joe was to get paid off too

        the Chicom media also interfered in the election

        but Russia! Democrats say

        which makes you COMPLICITOUS

        1. Anonymous, you’re in the rightwing bubble. But the real story now is that giant Russian hack. You should visit mainstream media to find out what that’s about.

          1. “the real story now is that giant Russian hack.”

            It is ? we do not know that it is the russians – and contra the left, the Russians are not the most significant hackers in the world.

            Regardless, nations hack nations all the time, as do unafiliated hackers. China was hacked recently and that is the source of much of democrats problems.

            Absolutely we shoulf be warry of this hack – regardless of its origin.

            But it is not the “real news story”.

            “You should visit mainstream media to find out what that’s about.”

            The MSM does not know what it is about. Nor do they seem to care. As always they are just busy trying to convert it into some anti-trump nonsense.

      2. Biden was on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and voted to allow China into the WTO back in 2000. Being on that committee meant he had plenty of information about their human rights violations, their propaganda, and how they treated foreign companies, especially tech companies. He isn’t going to be tough on China.

      3. The track record of US intelligence – both long term and short term is abysmal.

        Not “siding” with them is not problematic – whether you are Trump or Biden.

        Regardless, the left ahs spent 4 years trying to find a scintila of evidence connecting Trump with Putin and has found nothing.
        I especially found the Moscow Trump Hotel “conspiracy theory” laughable. If Trump was in Putin’s pocket – why wasn’t the Trump Hotel Moscow approved ?

        Is Biden in Xi’s pocket ? No.

        Is Biden’s relationship to china wrong in most every way ? Yes.

        The Biden family was in bed with a chinese defense contractor.
        That is probably legal.
        It is also something the public should have been told before the election,
        and it is a reason to be deeply suspicious of Biden’s actions.

        Is Biden “soft on China” – absolutely.

        While contra the right, the long term goal of the US should always be a good relationship with China.
        Xi has stalled and partly reversed 5 decades of post Mao liberalization in china. China under Xi is a threat that must be taken seriously.
        Biden does not.

        “Trump and rightwing media are going to keep repeating, over and over, that Biden is somehow a patsy for China. Never mind that there’s no truth whatsoever to this.”
        Beat that straw man to death.
        The Biden family relationship to China is probably legal. But it is not appropriate for the president of the untied states.

        “But linking Biden with China is vindictive payback for the Mueller Probe which was totally warranted.”
        Nope – even Horowitz found that BEFORE the Strzok Flynn interview their remained insuficicent foundation to continue XFH and XFR.
        That is doubly true of Mueller. The Mueller investigation was illegal, and those authorizing it and conducting it either knew or should have known.

        “The Biden-China link is going to be the mother of all What Abouts.”
        Are you saying that the Biden’s do not have significant financial entanglements with a chinese defense contractor ?

        You say this is a “what about” – Do you have evidence that Trump is in business with Russian defense contractors ?

        If not, then you are blowing smoke. Worse you are trying to create parity between a FALSE claim about Trump and a TRUE one about Biden.

        “So, when Democrats say, “There’s no China link”..”
        The correct response is “that is a lie” – because it obviously is.

        “Trumpers can shoot back with, “Trump had nothing to do with Russia, but Democrats impeached him anyway”.”
        Again a bad Straw man.

        Trump was impeached for asking the Ukraine to investigate the corrupt dealings of the Biden’s in Ukraine.
        In otherwords – Trump was impeached for seeking the truth on conduct that was CLEARLY suspicious, and possibly criminal.

        Are many people vindictive towards democrats ? Certainly! They have every right to be.

        Everything that democrats have accused Trump of has proven false.
        Everything that democrats have accused Trump of they have been doing themselves.
        Democrats have engaged in misconduct without consequence.

        Being vindictive towards those who have not paid the required price for their misconduct is warranted.

        This country has been put through 4 years of hell by democrats – 12 if you count the obama years.
        There has been no consequence for that.
        If we do not expect the same misconduct to be repeated – there must be a serious consequence.

          1. Biden is between a rock and a hard place on nearly every front.

            He owes his presidency to groups like the media, the left, the deep state, that he can not repay without serious negative consequences.

            Biden can not politically afford more conflict in the mideast, eastern europe, Asia. But he will be challenged by Russia, China, and Iran.

            He can profess to want a kinder gentler immigration policy – but the number of illegals headed to the US is already spiking, and they will be competing with unemployed americans for jobs.

            Trumps agenda of lower taxes and regulation has worked.

            Biden can not afford a weak economy.

          2. Democrats should consider

            “When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.”

            Oscar Wilde

        1. John Say, read the Mueller Report and Senate Intell Comm Report for evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Putin’s Russian agents and Putin’s intent. Unlike the bogus election fraud accusations there is specific and substantial proof.

          1. JF – we have been through this before.

            Your claims are nonsense.

            The mueller report is a whinny peice of garbage produced by an illegal biased partisan investigation that does not actually prove anything.
            It mostly alleges what it might have proved – given a miracle.

            At the moment there is more evidence against Hunter Biden than Paul Manafort.

            There is more evidence against Joe Biden than ever existed regarding Trump.

            What you claim is in mueller and the Senate report – is not there.

            We have been through this.

            Putin did nothing unusual in 2016.
            No americans collaborated with him.

            Putin actions did have a massive impact – AFTER the election, because left wing nuts like yourself beleived ludicrously stupid conspiracy theories that have long since been debunked.

            Converserly all the purported republican conspiracy theories about the Bidens have far more actual facts, are clear evidence of immoral conduct, and by the standards democrats impose on republicans are criminal.

            And Joe Biden is inextricably tied to this.

            Missing from most peoples understanding and the media’s questions is the presuption that this is all about Hunter.

            It is not – it is all about Joe.

            Hunters conduct might stink – but the produce being sold was influence with the vice president of the united states – Joe Biden

          2. There is proof ? Then where is it ?

            Hunter Biden actually recieved money from China and Russia and other places.

            There is plenty of evidence that Hunter was paid for his influence and access to VP Biden.

            The only role the russians play in this is – giving money to the Biden’s in return for favors.

            The idiots who prior to the election claimed this was russian disinformation are quite obviously full of Schiff.

            The laptop hard drives are inarguably Hunters

            Further BEFORE the laptop Hunter was under investigation because banks reported his unusual transactions – AS THEY WERE REQUIRED BY LAW/

            There is a growing body of evidence that Joe Biden – and even Dr. Jill were involved in all of this.

            Much of the evidence is coming from the Biden’s themselves or close american associates.

  10. This is good. Because it will certainly not stand constitutional scrutiny and so it will be found unconstitutional and thus help define that hate speech is legal. Whether that out of NY, this is aligned with the move to prevent people from expressing their boycott, divest, and sanction interests against Israel is an open question.

  11. If you want to learn how a political party will treat all of its people. You need only look at how that party first treats its weakest citizens. Corruption in leadership starts from the top down. Begins from the bottom up. The past is prologue.

  12. Chief Justice John Roberts can stop worrying about his reputation or the legacy of his Court.

    Both are irretrievably destroyed to all appearances.

    Attorney Lin Wood made a breathtaking accusation against Roberts and Bryer today, accusing them on the basis of a phone call between the two of them that was damning. He also suggested that the ‘John Roberts’ on one of the flight manifests to Lolita Island could be the justice and that that must be investigated. He calls for both men to step down.

    We have all seen accusations of this type in comments on various sites and, after reading them, at best we allowed that some of Roberts’ decisions raised eyebrows.

    It is quite another matter for an attorney with the prominence of Lin Wood to make an accusation like this. If he can’t back it up it could destroy him. Remember the old saying, ‘if you strike at the king. . . .” I am impressed by the claim that Mr. Wood appears to be referencing an actual phone call in some of his posts. We have suspected that the intelligence agencies were monitoring the justices. After all, some members of Congress were monitored. It may be that Mr. Wood has gotten his hands on one of those recordings. We will see. Unfortunately, Roberts’ decisions have played right in to accusations of this sort, rendering them plausible to many.

    Another report comes from the a speech before the Texas legislature.

    If this is true it is appalling and points to a complete absence of moral or legal courage in the Court. It would be a disgrace if true.

    Meanwhile the Court has accepted a couple of Sidney Powell’s appeals but it appears to be slow-walking them until they are moot. Again, if true, it is a disgusting display of cowardice.

    I have said since days just after the ‘election’ that the problem was a coup and an invasion and too big for the courts, but I never imagined that the courts, almost all of them, would shrink to insignificance in the face of this problem.

    More and more people are calling for President Trump to use his executive powers to end this attack on America, and I am one of them.

    1. Wood says he has a suspicion. Does he have evidence?

      Farnsworth’s testimony is classic hearsay. He didn’t hear this conversation among the Justices himself. The Justices haven’t been meeting in person due to Covid, so that should be easy to debunk.

      1. Wood has a suspicion about Robert’s ride on the Lolita Express and thinks it should be investigated. So do I. As to the phone conversation it sounds as if he has a copy of the audio. Time will tell.

        The overheard shouting in the Court could be a pure fabrication but it should be easy to disprove. Yet it is a fabrication that wounds the Court because they have made it seem plausible. It could be false but like The Queen’s Necklace during the French Revolution– False but Fatal.

          1. The past 4 years have disarmed the phrase “conspiracy theory”.

            Several broad, formal and informal conspiracies have been exposed that only a few people would have beleived in the past.

            Today claiming something is a “conspiracy theory” no longer discredits it.

            There are numerous claims that are floating arround regarding Roberts (these do not appear to be conspiracy theories in the litteral sense), I would like better evidence prior to accepting them. But they are not automatically implausible because those like you call them conspiracy theories.

            You still do not seem to get that spewing false accusations for years has a cost – your credibility, your integrity.

            As I have noted repeatedly – tin foil hat Alex Jones has proven more credible than the leading lights of mainstream media.

            How did that come about ?

  13. Here in Florida we are claiming to put up a huge sign on the state line to warn newcomers to leave all their crap Socialist Democratic Political behind.

  14. Is New York going to be the first US state to have a Ministry of Love? And, of course, mandatory Two Minutes Hate sessions for all state employees.

  15. Another scandal: the vote on the Senate floor had only 3 dissents. The committee vote in the state assembly was unanimous. That’s the Fredocon Donorist Party, always looking out for us.

  16. IN all the articles I could not find your definition of “Hate Speech”, which needed to discuss Free Speech, which under Human Rights Convention does have a limiter of it in article 30.

  17. Another move of the “Overton Window” towards open censorship and European style hate speech laws. And if you oppose or even question this law YOU ARE AN EVIL RACIST HOMOPHOBIC NAZI WHO WANTS TO GAS AND PUT PEOPLE IN OVENS. And this designation will include old style free speech liberals such as JT.

    On another but similar note, wasn’t Chuck Yeager recently condemned as a “racist p@@@e of s@@t” by the woke crowd because he opposed lowering astronaut standards during the early 60’s?


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