There is an interesting free speech controversy in Melbourne and on the Internet. Melbourne street artist, Lushsux, has not only been told by a city council to remove a parody mural of Hillary Clinton but his Instagram account has been shutdown. Once again, the concern is that there remains a overt liberal bias in the sanctioning of comments or images on the Internet. Twitter for example has been repeatedly criticized for its barring or harassing conservative writers. UPDATE: Lushsux has responded to the city demands by painting over the picture to place Clinton in a burka.
There is a controversial arrest in Elkview, West Virginia where Matthew Lane Furby, 26, was arrested after posting a video on Facebook allegedly calling for police officers to be killed. The police say that they were alerted to a video where Furby said “the only good cops out there are dead cops.” However, the anti-police comments raise questions over protected speech under the first amendment. He has been charged with making threats of terroristic acts.
Brown university is the subject of intense criticism in the wake of a documentary from one of its graduates on the evisceration of free speech on campus. The elite school has followed the same course of other schools in declaring speech or symbols “micro aggressions” and allowing students to prevent speakers from appearing on campus or addressing other students. The film by Rob Montz is scathing and embarrassing as he shows students successfully barring people from uttering opposing views or shouting down a man because he is a white heterosexual.
We have followed the rise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has single-handedly destroyed Turkey’s secular traditions and rolled back on civil liberties. With the support of Islamic parties, Erdogan used the recent failed coup to complete his work in arresting his critics, forcing the resignation of thousands of secular academics, and suspending all civil liberties in a proclaimed state of emergency. The United States helped create the tyranny rising in Turkey in its support of Erdogan as he systemically dismantled the only secular, free country in the Arab world. Now, Erdogan is threatening the United States that he wants his greatest critic, US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, delivered to him and that a failure to yield to his demands would be a “big mistake.” Now, one could easily dismiss this threat as the ravings of an egomaniacal, delusional dictator with a persecution complex. However, Erdogan already forced German Chancellor Angela Merkel to reject basic free speech rights to appease him.
We previously discussed how Turkey’s rising dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was likely to use the failed military coup to complete his objective to become a virtual dictator (backed by Islamist parties). That dire prediction appears to be fast becoming true with a roundup of thousands and the declaration of a state of emergency. Turkish academics have also been banned from leaving the country. Of course, Erdogan has offered his usual Orwellian rationization for the three-month state of emergency as necessary to protect civil liberties by suspending them “to eliminate the threat to democracy in our country, the rule of law, and the rights and freedom of our citizens.” With that, and the support of his Islamist allies who passed sweeping new powers for the budding Sultan, Erdogan suspended civil liberties in Turkey. In the meantime, women have reportedly avoided the streets because of being targeted by Erdogan’s Islamist supporters.
We have previously discussed the troubling efforts to bar conservative speakers from college campuses and social media, particularly Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos who has become something of an icon for young conservatives. Twitter has long been criticized for banning or harassing conservative figures, including repeated suspensions against Yiannopoulos. Now, the company is under fire for permanently banning Yiannopoulos — just 20 minutes before his “Gays for Trump” event takes place at the Republican National Convention.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is made a highly disturbing proposal that people who visit sites that are deemed as favoring terrorist groups. As articulated by Gingrich in his Fox News interview, the proposal would eviscerate the first amendment and leave that government in a position to regulate speech and association based on an ill-defined standard. Gingrich also attracted criticism for his proposal to test Muslims to allow for deportation of anyone who “believes in Sharia” — a proposal that would sanction peoplr for their religious and political views.