For the first time in my life, I have been accused (although with tongue planted firmly in cheek, by “Barack Obama”) of writing “hate speech. It got me to thinking about what “hate speech” actually is. It is defined by Wikipedia as speech which “disparages a person or group of people based on their social or ethnic group” The label may be applied to just about anything or anybody, and covers written and oral communications. Wikipedia says that it is also called “antilocution,” which should pretty much confirm that most of what is called “hate speech” is really nothing more than a few “politically correct” ideologues making it known that they don’t like what is being said, talking just to talk, just so that they can hear themselves speak.
The employment of the term, “antilocution” demonstrates the vacuum in which the “politically correct” exist. Let’s break the word down, shall we? It is really a contraction, but as the “politically correct” are already confused, let’s keep things simple. “Locution,” according to the dictionary, is defined as “speech.” If preceeded by the “anti” antecedent, which means “against,” then “antilocution” means, literally, “against speech” (Or maybe “shut up?”).
In many countries, says Wikipedia, hate speech is a criminal offense. In Belgium, for example, the Belgian Holocaust Law makes it a criminal offense to deny the historical fact of the Holocaust. In the United States, however, any citizen is at liberty to deny the Holocaust to his heart’s content. He’ll look like a dope, but nobody will stop him if that’s his opinion. Say whatever you like, dummy. In this country, there is no fine or jail term for saying something stupid. The fact that everybody knows how stupid you are is penalty enough for most of us. The same goes for most, if not all opinions, good and bad, that are held by Americans.
While not often in agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), I stand with them when they express the opinion that “the right of free speech is indivisible.” If the American Nazi Party or the Ku Klux Klan marches down Broadway in full regalia at noon on a sunny day, then we can see them. We can feel their hate. It’s right there in the open for all to witness. We know who the enemy is, for what he stands, and we can defeat him. Don’t think so? When was the last time you saw a parade of bozos wearing white robes and pointy hoods marching down the street? When was the last time you heard of the brown-shirts marching behind the swastika on any American street, Nancy Pelosi’s fevered ravings aside?
Here’s what happened: we allowed those groups to march, to say publicly what they had to say. We allowed them to tell us their goals, and paint their visions of what they wanted for America. Their agendas were found evil and unacceptable, and were summarily rejected by the great majority of Americans. People stopped listening because they’d heard enough nonsense, and walked away laughing at them. The American Nazi Party and the KKK have largely gone away since then. Do they even exist anymore? They probably do, but not many pay attention to them. That’s why “speech codes” on college campuses don’t work. When the ACLU opines that “Freedom Can’t Protect Itself,” it is only half right. We must all do our part, and exercising the Right of Free Speech is part of the process. It starts on campus.
During the “80s and the 90s, in the interests of diversity,”speech codes lamentably became a part of campus existence. Citing Justice Frank Murphy’s ruling in Chaplinsky v New Hampshire (1942), which defined “fighting words,” it was decided on many campuses that certain groups, for example gays or minorities, needed more representation, extra protection. “Fighting words,” as defined by Justice Murphy, are “those that neither contributed to the expression of ideas nor possessed any social value in the search for truth and that incited immediate, violent response.” Horse-feathers!
With all due respect to the esteemed Justice’s opinion, there are no “fighting words.” Anything that one says, or writes is open to interpretation. One could innocently observe that “The sky is blue,” and it’s possible that someone would charge at him with fists and feet flying because he didn’t like how it was said. Free speech is about listening to what even those with whom you most vehemently disagree have to say, even Nazis and Klansmen. Freedom is about being willing to fight and die for their right to express themselves, and your right to disagree with their point of view. If you punch a Klansman or a Nazi in the eye to emphasize your disagreement with his ideas, his words didn’t cause you to do it. Emotions, and our lack of self-control are what cause physical violence. You got angry and belted him. Now you’re satisfied. Maybe booked for assault as well, but that’s the chance you take in “politically correct” America these days.
What’s the alternative? Look at what is happening at this very moment in the Netherlands where Geert Wilders is on trial for “hate speech.” Mr. Wilders is an anti-Islamic lawmaker who famously compared the Koran to “Mein Kampf.” He also made the film “Fitna,” a short film which offended Muslim sensibilities because it juxtaposed Koranic verses with images of Islamic radicals. Mr. Wilders has said that he has nothing against Muslims, but that he has “a problem with Islam and the Islamization of our country because Islam is diametrically opposed to freedom.” He sees his case as one pitting his Freedom of Speech against the growth of Islam in Europe. When he went to trial, Mr. Wilders was greeted outside the court by Islamic protesters carrying signs with such slogans as “Freedom go to hell,” and “Islam will dominate the world.” They mean it!
Curious as to the cause of all the fuss, I watched “Fitna.” You should watch it too. It isn’t quite 17 minutes long, and its images are dark and disturbing. I watched again as the second airplane flew into the World Trade Center, and listened again as that poor, terrified woman who knew she was going to die told the 911 operator that “It’s so hot. I’m burning up.” There were again the plaintive cries of agony and despair, and once more the bloody, severed head of Daniel Pearl was held up like a trophy for all to see. I listened to a 3-year old Palestinian girl who was prompted by an adult to explain why she hated Jews, “Because they are pigs and apes,” she said. The Holocaust was repeatedly denied. Muslims were shown holding up signs which read, “God bless Hitler,” and “Be prepared for the real Holocaust.” Imams preached that “Islam would rule the world.” All of this and more. Geert Wilders has had the courage to confront Islamic radicals with all of it. They have threatened his life because he has. That threat, all by itself, should be testimonial enough to the truth of his accusations. Yet he’s the one being tried for “hate speech?”
Today, there is word that the judges have ruled against allowing witnesses for Mr. Wilders defense to testify, including Mohammed Bouyeri, the convicted murderer of film-maker Theo van Gogh. He has said that he would kill van Gogh again if given the chance. Mr. Wilders must feel as if he’s trapped in a nightmare from which he cannot awaken!
We all know what “hate speech” really is, and alerting society to a subtle, creeping threat such as the Islamization of the Netherlands, or for that matter, the European Continent, isn’t it. The threats to our freedom which Mr. Wilders has detailed are real and just a small part of what the Islamists have in store for us if they win. They believe that Islam is the only law which God accepts, and that Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and atheists deserve the death penalty. They are in the fight, ready for a long haul. We’re killing the messenger here. As Sun Tzu said, “Know your enemy.” Watch the film and to judge for yourself.