In a stunning development Big Tech, which monitors every word posted on their site, now gives "hate speech” waivers. So, it is now okay to advocate death for the President of the Russian Federation. I believe that giving the so-called "hate speech" a waiver invalidates the entire theme of "hate speech” as we know it. The modified definition would condemn "hate speech” but allows it if Big Tech says it is okay.
Let us not forget in 1977, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued for the Nazis to be able to march through Skokie, IL, a community with a large Jewish population. They argued that if the government can prevent Nazi protest and lawful speech because it is offensive and hateful, it can prevent any speech it dislikes.
Skokie's opposition to the Nazi demonstration was very similar to the efforts of Southern segregationists seeking to stop civil rights marches led by Martin Luther King during the 1960s. It was agreed that the march could be held in Downtown Chicago and the park near the Nazi Party Headquarters would be available by federal court decision. Now, this is not a government banning free speech but a private entity with a platform for expression.
My own experience, which inspired these columns, was with Facebook and Twitter, where I said things that people did not like. Understand that I was awarded Laureate Status by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an "Agent of Change," so the kinds of things I say are sometimes uncomfortable to some.
Facebook banned me because I said that Saint John Vianney in Downingtown has housed pedophile priests under the theory that I was a bully. The institution did and probably still does house pedophiles because they are diagnosed as having an alcohol or drug problem or are "going through diagnosis." I originally got involved in this when "Monsignor Meth" petitioned the federal court in Connecticut not to go to jail and instead return to Downingtown. I did not want that nimrod living a couple of blocks from me.
Think about this — the names of the Pedophile co-conspirators of Jeffery Epstein were never released. It gives me pause that some entity is going to great lengths to protect perpetrators of the most heinous crime that I can imagine. So, it is not just what is said, but it is withheld to present a version of the truth.
Twitter banned me for commenting on a Chinese Communist Party tweet asserting that the United States’ future was somehow dependent upon them. I replied with the famous Nikita Khrushchev quote, "We will bury you." The great thing about that suspension was I was given the option of taking down the quote and giving them my phone number. I did not give the communist oppressors my phone number, although it is publicly available.
This leads me to the second phase of Big Tech Censorship concerning publishing embarrassing facts and government officials' criticism — The Fake News. Because the United States of America is an open society, we allow people to come here and do what they do. Sometimes it is legal, and they want a better life, but it is to promote a foreign government or confuse the truth either here or remotely.
When the cultural revolution in China happened, one of the effective things was to repeat lies enough that it became the truth in the eyes of many, obliterating truth. I understand that truth is relative to the understanding of society and humanity, but the truth is truth. Again, I do believe Galileo was a heretic.
So how does it happen that you have to watch what you say, or people will try to ruin your livelihood? — A frenzy responder to pressure employers by bots controlled by a foreign power or a self-appointed elitist group with a different viewpoint.
I have been called "racist" several times on Facebook because I could not, in all good conscience, support certain candidates. I have dedicated most of my life to providing services to the underserved. In particular, I worked in the civil rights/labor movement in the south and later did housing counseling in the redlined and underserved neighborhoods. So instead of shying away, I have to admit I thought the best way to handle it is to put their profile picture up and say, "this guy called me a racist, and I don't like it."
I probably will not write about this again, but I want to make a solid point. People have to say what they believe, whether or not is others do want or don't want to hear it. Your expression as a human, thinking, living organic entity needs to be heard if you choose to make it heard. No bot, no elite, no foreign government, US politician, or some nimrod can take that away from us. As we are Americans, we have the right to free speech. No matter how others perceive the content.
Barry Cassidy is a freelance grant and economic development consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.