“Payback Time”: “Unite The Right” Organizer Denounces Heather Heyer As “Fat, Disgusting Communist”

14xp-heather-master315An entire country mourned the death of Heather Heyer, a paralegal, who went to Charlottesville to protest the hateful march of neo-Nazis and clansmen — only to be murdered when James A. Fields, 20, allegedly rammed his car into protesters.  Now the organizer of the racist march has sent out a tweet calling her a “fat, disgusting Communist” — a tweet he later blamed on being drugged out of his gourd.  Jason Kessler explained that he has been doing some heavy drugs and drinking lately.

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Ryerson University Cancels Free Speech Panel As A Threat To Public Safety

Ryerson_University_CrestI have previously written about how cities and universities are now cancelling conservative speakers in order to protect public safety. I recently discussed this rising rationale for barring speakers, a way for officials to claim that they are still being content neutral while achieving the same result of censoring speakers. The latest such example occurred in Canada at Ryerson University where the school canceled a free speech panel after some groups criticized the appearance of conservative speakers.   The school gave them what they demanded in the name of protecting public safety.

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New York Times Column Calls For End To “Color-Blind Logic” In Defense of Free Speech

Freedom_of_SpeechI have been writing for years about the rising wave of intolerance for free speech that has swept over Europe and is now reaching our own shores in the United States.  Attacks on free speech are increasing from the left which has cracked down on speech deemed offensive or intimidating to any group.  Thus far, the United States has been a bulwark against this trend, but an editorial in the New York Times this week is a chilling example of how voices against free speech are now becoming mainstream. The editorial was written by K-Sue Park is a housing attorney and the Critical Race Studies fellow at the U.C.L.A. School of Law.  Park criticizes the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for what she views as blind fealty to free speech and suggests that it is time to stop defending Nazis because sometimes standing on the wrong side of history in defense of a cause you think is right is still just standing on the wrong side of history.  Of course, many of us believe that the wrong side of history is the side where free speech depends on what you want to say — and whether people like Park agree with it.

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Pelosi Calls For Permit To Be Revoked For Rally Of Pro-Trump Prayer Group In San Francisco

220px-nancy_pelosiHouse Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has always displayed a rather fluid view of constitutional rights (though in fairness, that is not a major distinction from other politicians).  However, this week Pelosi appeared to embrace content based discrimination in the area of free speech.  Pelosi is demanding that the National Park Service reconsider a permit for what she called a “white supremacist rally” in San Francisco.  In light of the violence in Charlottesville, Pelosi insists that “The NPS should reevaluate its decision and its capacity to protect the public during such a toxic rally.” The problem is leaving it to the government to declare what groups are toxic from Pelosi’s list of constructive banned viewpoints.  I felt ill watching the torch march of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville as white supremacists yelled disgusting anti-Semitic and racist chants.  It reminded me of the Nazi rallies before World War II — before my father and so many others went off to fight fascism.  However, despite that revulsion, I remain committed to the right of everyone to speak and protest regardless of the content of their views.

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Trump Administration Demands Information On Over A Million Visitors To Anti-Trump Website

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American Tourist Arrested For Giving Nazi Salute In Berlin

Coat_of_arms_of_Germany.svgWe recently discussed the arrest of two Chinese tourists for taking pictures of giving the Nazi salute in Berlin.  Now, an American has been arrested for giving the salute in Dresden — after a passerby punched him.  The arrests highlight the failed effort of Germans to criminalize certain forms of speech to deter neo-Nazis.

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The New School Issues Guide On Microaggressions, Including Use Of Small Seats Or Sitting Away From Homeless People

imagesI have been a long critic of the erosion of free speech on college campuses and the use of the ill-defined concept of “micro aggressions” to sanction students and faculty alike.   Those concerns were magnified with the release of a guide by The New School, a university in New York City, on avoiding microaggressions.  There are now a variety of such aggressions from “microinsults” to “microassaults” to “microinvalidation.”  Microaggressions can now include having seats that are deemed too small or sitting too far from a homeless person on the subway.

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