It’s Time to Stop Pretending ‘Free Speech’ Rallies Are Actually About Free Speech

(TFC Op-ed) — As white supremacists of all sorts rebrand, they still cling to the concept of “free speech rallies”. Do you notice how they don’t invite groups opposed to them to speak? Do you notice all of the speakers are of the alt-right or alt-light variety? Do you notice the blatant racism? The rallies aren’t about free speech. They never were. They’re about getting stupid people to defend them and to side with them based on a buzzword. They wouldn’t get very far calling the “Unite the Right” “free speech” rally a “KKK-Nazi-White Nationalist conference” now would they?

Like all good propagandists, they term themselves something that is ridiculous to oppose. Look at the terms for the two main sides of the abortion debate. You aren’t really going to call yourself “anti-choice” or “anti-life”, are you? It’s a word game typically used to trick those who are of lower intelligence. Free Speech is a lofty ideal, so this time they’re targeting college-educated people. Nobody wants to stand against free speech.

Free speech is one of the most important facets of a free society. A person should be able to stand in the open and state their opinion, no matter how offensive it is. While we may disagree, they should be able to stand in a crowd and sing the praises of Hitler.

These groups aren’t really engaging in free speech though, that’s not the primary objective anyway. The real goal is to unite and organize various groups who openly advocate ethnic cleansing or a terrorist campaign under “leaderless resistance“. These aren’t debates or even forums for the expression of controversial ideas. They’re a front to organize for ethnic cleansing.

The websites of the groups openly proclaim their goals and even as they organize to gain the political power to make the United States a white “ethnostate”, many Americans refuse to believe it. It’s a story as old as time itself. Instead, liberals all over the country are patting themselves on the back for being tolerant and supporting free speech. Supporting the organizational efforts of those wanting to ethnically cleanse the United States doesn’t make you principled. It makes you an accomplice.

Throughout history, there were always groups of scared little boys who saw skin color or language or religion as a good enough reason to use violence. They were always small in number at first. They then tricked the less intelligent of those around them by pretending to defend them against some imagined threat, then they used the academic language of the time to silence dissent by framing it as unpatriotic, then they took power, and people did nothing. See, without the “good German” there never could have been a Hitler. Without the logistical efforts that were allowed to happen, there never could have been a Rwandan genocide.

Throughout history, it has always been the person who didn’t want to stand in solidarity with the minority who allowed the greatest crimes. You may safely stare in the mirror at your white skin and say “it’s just speech”. That’s a big bet to make with someone else’s life. Let’s be honest, the Richard Spencers of the world aren’t coming for people who look like you, are they? You’re not principled. You’re apathetic, or worse, you’re cowardly. For some reason, I doubt you would be so calm if NAMBLA decided to hold meetings next to the playground your kid visits, especially if the group was proclaiming they plan on kidnapping children from playgrounds. It’s just speech, right? Or if ISIS held meetings near you talking about beheading people who look like you? You’re not a free speech advocate. You’re not principled. You’re a person who has chosen to not get involved. That’s fine, but don’t post online about how you support the freedom of speech when you aren’t the one at risk if you’re wrong about their intentions. It doesn’t make you moral, it makes you a fool.

If history has shown us one thing, it’s that when a small group of people say “we’re going to ethnically cleanse this country if we get power”, you need believe them. Mass graves are full of those who mistook efforts to organize for genocide as mere speech.

Op-ed by Justin King / Republished by permission / The Fifth Column / Report a typo

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