Freedom of speech, yes. Freedom of hate speech, more difficult to defend. The line is not always easy to draw. For obvious reasons, this is a discussion which recurs again and again here in Germany.
Violence is not a left or right issue. The president incited violence on his way to election day, and continues his insulting ways. His supporters were atrociously violent ~~ and he promised to pay legal fees. This has led to increased violent bigotry on the streets, which in turn sparks fear, and riles up whatever others sides there are. There are no fewer halos around the heads of leftists or rightists. The best that can be done, was done the day after the inauguration, with the Women's March for America. Anyone who wanted to protest with violence was told they did not belong and to stay out of it. This led to a remarkably supportive and peaceful event, and an enormous turn out of hokey homegrown people. To make either that event or this UCB event leftist ~~ and there is nothing about being leftist that leads to violence, peace being all the rage ~~ is to deflect from the serious problem we have with this president who is trying to get away with illegal conflicts of interest while he tries to dictate unconstitutional orders. Furthermore, what he is doing cannot be construed as either leftist or rightist. He has simply chosen more conservative GOP as his vehicle. The next tyrant could easily be from the left.
You either let people talk, or you don't. Talk is talk. You have the right to peaceably assemble. You do not have right to riot.
No, talk is not just talk. What about slander or defamation, which I believe are illegal in the U.S.? (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) What about cyberbullying or verbal harassment?
You can file for libel, if you wish. There are limits to free speech that everyone acknowledges. But libel is a statement the speaker knows is false that damages another's reputation. It is not just something someone finds offensive.
I agree, Frank. Let them speak. What this article shows is that the right does not have a monopoly on violence against those who oppose. The violence is neither left nor right, although he the dictator wannabe would lured the bigots to the right. Violence is up against minorities since he came on the scene. He fans flames and lights new fires that never would have been. This despicable tyrant we have is acting as if from the right, shutting people up with insults, projecting his vileness onto these very people, taking computers away, pronouncing gag orders, publicly attacking our judges as well as any public servants left or right who oppose him, and more, and more, and he keeps doing it -- identified: the root cause of the violent divide we are witnessing. He creates violence by setting people against each other, creating strife, making people believe we are worse off than what we are,that rapists come across borders, that the unemployment rate is not low, that we need to fear immigrants. The very reason he is the most unpopular (and now most hated) president of at least our lifetime is because of all this. Tonight, I am attending a Lowell City Council meeting, so that we keep doing what we do so well, be the melting pot, the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. I'll be with world class experts on how to keep strife down in neighborhoods: http://www.lowellsun.com/breakingnews/ci_30777126/petition-seeks-make-lowell-sanctuary-city. It shouldn't be necessary that people around the country have to get together in town halls to counter a president's illegal executive orders. But it is Lowell's turn. There may be shouting, probably not, but it will be peaceful. We are going to make sure Lowell keeps its conservative, moderate, and liberal greatness.
Which illegal order are we talking about? The McCarran-Walter Act has been law since 1952. It was passed with a super-majority in 1952 after President Truman veoted it. One may not like it, but it is, like it or not, the law of the land. There are plenty I'm not too fond of. I obey them.
Hi Frank, I just got back from the council meeting, and had an aha experience on my way there, that held out as I heard speakers speak, and then the councilors. It looks like (next week) Lowell will not become a sanctuary city. To do so, would be to set people against each other, something the councilors who spoke want no part of. We'll see next week, as the city manager will draw something up for vote based on the petition and what he heard ~~ but it appears that the council is seeing that there is nothing the federal government can do to change the way we do things. We've been doing things using as much wisdom as can be humanly mustered with as many good people as can apply such intimate wisdom, and we will continue to do so. As he would say, "Don't worry about it," or as the Jamaican salesmun says, "No problem, mun."
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McCarran-Walter is law, so obviously legal, but it remains to be seen whether Trump's Executive Order is deemed constitutional, which is another matter.I suppose I believe that there are certain moral laws which are higher than civil law.Frank, there are times when it is necessary not to obey the law: the history of apartheid in South Africa demonstrates this. (When I moved to Zimbabwe in 1978, it was illegal to allow the family members, for example wife and children, of black 'servants', as they were termed then, to live on your property. We occupied a church-owned house and decided quite deliberately to disobey the law.)And as much I would always plead for non-violent protest, we all know that sometimes even violence may be necessary, particularly to overturn dictatorships. I hope it doesn't come to this in the U.S.All of which doesn't mean that I would forbid a controversial figure from speaking on a university campus. But we need to see the issues in a wider context, without clinging to simplistic black and white views (aka Trump, in my opinion).
Also I'd like to add that there is little which is straightforward about a law: it's often a matter of interpretation.
In the early 1990s, a pathetic remnant of the Klan marched down Main Street in my Delaware college town. It was impossible to find anyone who agreed with their racist message, but the campus community widely understood that they had the right to speak freely--a sentiment echoed by the ACLU, the University of Delaware journalism faculty, the campus newspaper, local pundits, and a great many others.After the police searched them for weapons, around 50 Klansmen marched less than half a mile through a gauntlet of hundreds of jeering but peaceful locals. Their rights having been exercised, the Klansmen got on a bus and left. Weeks of tension lifted. The marchers had been shown for the losers they were: not the "invisible empire" of their hilarious boasts, but a bunch of bums from the nearby woods. Letting them speak in public dispelled their aura of mystery and deprived them of power.Around the same time, the controversial Afrocentric, anti-Semitic professor Leonard Jeffries came to campus. Jewish and conservative groups protested peacefully. He spoke, he left. I don't think it's a coincidence that his peaceful speaking tour marked the beginning of the end of his prominence in national headlines.Letting odious people speak used to be a commonplace among those of us who consider ourselves liberal in the broadest sense, especially those of us who are writers or artists. I hadn't expected the idea to come under such attack barely one generation later.