Unconstitutional Speech Ban: It May Sound Good, But Don’t Fall into This ‘Hate Speech’ Booby Trap

By John Zmirak Published on May 3, 2024

There’s a famous quip, variously attributed, which describes antisemitism as “socialism for the stupid.” That’s classic, but I’d like to add that it’s also “patriotism for traitors” (thinking of the Frenchmen who served the Nazis in World War II, telling themselves that they were saving France from “the Jews”).

Now the House Republicans have done one better. With their overwhelming support for an attack on our freedom of speech, they’ve shown us philosemitism for the gullible.

Yes, it’s appalling that our college campuses are being besieged by outside agitators, jihadi exchange students, and clueless American undergrads who are drunk on the bottles of White Guilt™ Sunblock (SPF 50,000) they used to just smear all over their skin. Those people are breaking dozens of laws, using violence, taking hostages, destroying property — all the things which mostly peaceful January 6 election integrity protestors are getting falsely convicted of and sentenced to decade-long prison terms for allegedly doing. But these amateur and professional agitators are walking free.

Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

So what do House Republicans do? Do they threaten to cut off funding to the colleges that don’t just coddle these radicals, but actively produce them via “diversity” classes and training? Do they target the tax-free endowments of those anti-American institutions? Of course not. Instead, they come up with the kind of national speech code that violates the First Amendment, threatens religious freedom, and offers another cudgel for the Deep State to pummel us with.

There’s an old joke that the Democrats are the Evil Party, and the Republicans the Stupid Party. In 2024 that’s no longer even funny. As the National Pulse reports:

The Republican-led House of Representatives has intervened in Joe Biden’s campus crisis by passing hate speech legislation defining anti-Semitism in incredibly broad terms and using that broad definition “for the enforcement of Federal antidiscrimination laws concerning education programs or activities, and for other purposes.”

R. 6090, to be cited as the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2023 if it becomes law, uses the “working definition of antisemitism” adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2016. This is extremely broad in scope, and includes “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor,” “Applying double standards” to Israel, and “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” …

“It is patently insane for House Republicans to insert themselves into the mayhem engulfing college campuses. Do not interrupt your enemies when they’re making a mistake!” said Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, echoing arguments first advanced by National Pulse editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam.

“Instead of passing anti-free speech laws that trample on the First Amendment or inserting themselves behind a podium at Columbia, just allow the left to continue embarrassing itself,” he argued.

Israel’s Real Friends Oppose This Crazy Law

Many solid, pro-Israel conservatives have weighed in, agreeing with Kirk. Glenn Beck — who got thrown off Fox News a decade ago for reporting on the jihadi threat to Israel — has offered a video warning how dangerous such legislation is:

Professor Paul Gottfried is  Chronicles magazine‘s editor in chief and a widely published scholar on the subject of Marxism and how its woke stepchildren have devastated the West. He is even more emphatic on the dangers a national speech code poses to Christians and conservatives. As a learned descendant of Austrian and Hungarian Jews, he considers such seemingly prosemitic legislation to be Trojan horses for leftist thought control. When I asked him about this bill, he wrote:

I was unaware that Congress just passed a law punishing anti-Semitic speech. It was a dumb thing to do, because while this legislation will satisfy the Jewish Left and the Left in general, it will do absolutely nothing to address the real problem, which is quite simply that the Left is out of control and is wrecking this country.

The new stupid law will undoubtedly give leftist administrators and judges more power to crush their opposition, while leftists will be left free to wreak havoc as “social idealists.” That is the effect of similar hate-speech laws that are in place in Canada, Germany, France, and now Scotland. They permit leftist regimes to intimidate those who oppose their social controls, their rewriting of history, and their reeducation of the public; and that seems to be the principal effect and perhaps purpose of such legislation.

All federal laws in Germany against inciting hate are contained in this penal code. The scope is so sweeping that anyone who insults anyone because of his/her/its membership in a group or detracts thereby from someone’s “human dignity” can be thrown in the slammer and be subject to huge fines. Of course dumping on white people, males, Christians, or the German nation is to my knowledge never punished under this bloated instrument of thought control.

In Europe, all such legal disasters begin with laws criminalizing Holocaust denial — laws that then morph into a more extensive muzzling of free speech. In Germany, laws against Holocaust denial morphed into laws against Holocaust trivialization, which soon resulted in a more general criminalization of Hetzrede (hate speech). Hate-speech laws in Germany hardly ever affect groups on the left, no matter how abusively they act. As a research scholar in this field, let me assure you that hate-speech laws in every Western country work exactly as the totalitarian leftists who pass them want them to operate.

Most laws against antisemitism, like the Loi Gayssot passed in France in 1990, have been attempts to silence opposition to the Left’s rewriting of history. The law passed in France, which was groundbreaking, made any questioning of the Nuremberg judgments a “crime against humanity.” The sponsor was a Jewish Communist whose major interest in this matter may have been to whitewash Soviet behavior, e.g., by blaming the massacre in the Katyn Woods on the Germans and by never mentioning the Soviet-Nazi alliance against Poland.

Laws against Holocaust denial and against “hate speech” as in Canada, Germany, Scotland, etc. are always aimed at silencing opposition to leftist woke governments. The Germans have criminalized not only Holocaust denial (Holocaustverleugnung) but also even more ominously Holocaust trivialization (Holocaustverharmlosung). This allows Germany’s totalitarian regime to throw people into jail for suggesting things that the government doesn’t want said, e.g., that late-term abortion is something the Nazis would have done or that the pandemic lockdowns recalled life in a concentration camp.

By the way, the Republicans who voted for this terrible legislation should be ashamed of themselves for backing a transparently leftist scheme for taking away more of our once constitutionally guaranteed freedom.

Will We Go Full-On Fascist, Like Canada?

Gottfried pointed to Canada’s hate-speech regimen. As The Stream has already reported, existing laws are being used to try to imprison Christian preachers for opposing LGBT activism. But a much more draconian law is currently being considered, which we wrote about months ago.

That pending “hate-speech” bill (Bill c-63), according to the National Post:

proposes to target “online harms,” including hate speech, with the establishment of a “digital safety” commission, a digital safety ombudsperson, and a digital safety office. The commission would be vested with the authority to investigate social media platforms that allegedly aren’t compliant with the law, levy fines and carry out their proceedings in closed hearings. All these officials will be appointed by the federal cabinet.

‘Under the proposed act, hate speech complaints against individuals would be directed to the Canadian Human Rights Commission which, unlike the courts, would be exempt from the ordinary rules of evidence. No proof beyond a reasonable doubt will be required for a tribunal to find that the subject of a complaint before them constitutes “hate.” All that’s necessary is the “balance of probabilities” that a violation of the law has occurred. Bill C-63 would also establish new Criminal Code penalties: to advocate or promote genocide is to be liable for imprisonment for life.’

Furthermore, Canada’s Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms warns that the bill will punish people even before they see trial:

“If the judge believes that there are ‘reasonable grounds’ to justify the fear [that someone might engage in ‘hate speech’] the court can violate the liberty interests of the accused citizen by requiring her or him to do any or all of the following:

  • wear an ankle bracelet (electronic monitoring device)

  • obey a curfew and stay at home, as determined by the judge

  • abstain from alcohol, drugs, or both

  • provide bodily substances (e.g. blood, urine) to confirm abstinence from drugs or alcohol

  • not communicate with certain designated persons

  • not go to certain places, as determined by the judge

  • surrender her or his legally owned and legally required firearms.”

All that would happen to a Canadian even before he was convicted. And that’s the direction America is headed, thanks to the flatlining strategists of our beloved House GOP.

 

John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or coauthor of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. His newest book is No Second Amendment, No First.

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