I mean, what is free peaches? No, dammit, I mean… Freedom of speech! What is freedom of speech? Well, according to the first amendment, i.e., the article that so many people who obsess over free speech like to think they’re quoting:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Wait? You mean, it doesn’t say anything about non-government communities banning people for practicing hate speech and violent rhetoric against minorities in the United States of America?
But really, I’ve known this the whole time. I’m also pretty sure most other people know this. The first amendment is only detailing what the government can and can’t do, because the government has ultimate power in this country (or at least, they like to think they do).
Threatening the media and citizens of the US, trying to erase scientific fact and pushing your religion through government are all actions that should, obviously, get you thrown at the front doors of the White House.
But we’re not dealing with a regular government anymore.
Part of the reason people keep flinging around the “free speech” argument, is because that’s how fascism works. Fascism hijacks ideas and words and works endlessly, tirelessly to re-brand and redefine them. So that when it’s all said and done, and we’re years later in the future, nobody really knows what things actually mean anymore, and their vice-grip, choke-hold around the country is just that much stronger.
You can see this actively taking place in many communities, every single day. From the alt right’s flagrant usage of “triggered” (to the point where it no longer has any meaning in regards to people with PTSD) and “SJW,” something that people with empathy once came up with in order to brand their awareness surrounding the marginalized of the country, now turned into a catch-all for anyone that white supremacists deem an enemy.
Apparently, though, a lot of people who have been saying, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” haven’t actually learned anything from history.
But that’s not all!
Yes, I do believe that people should be able to speak their minds at-will. To say whatever they feel like saying. But you shouldn’t be able to say hurtful, disgusting, hateful things without consequence or restriction. A community of regular people should be able to decide if they want your company and your words. That is their freedom as much as it is your freedom to be an insufferable prick.
And it is absolutely no secret that hate speech actively limits the speech of those that it affects, through fear.
Most of us know though, that people who shout about free speech all day don’t actually mean free speech. They just mean speech, unrestricted and without consequence. They mean, no emotion, no empathy, no compassion and no regard for their fellow human beings because somewhere in their dark, empty souls, hurting other people feels good.