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Robert Arvay

Opinion

‘Hate speech’ hysteria is getting out of control

Robert Arvay

January 8, 2019 (American Thinker) – Most of us are firmly opposed to hate speech. What is hate speech? A problem arises when our definitions vary. Another problem arises when we seek the right way to oppose it.

Unfortunately, there are powerful forces on the political left that have no doubt concerning either of these. For them, hate speech is whatever they dislike, and the right way to oppose it is to do anything they can – literally anything.

By "anything," we might include overt force, but the leftist censors have more subtle and more sinister methods. The major social media have enormous, and growing, power over what may or may not be said on their websites. Because we all abhor hate speech, this abhorrence has given them an opening to insert their own definitions. If Facebook or YouTube bans you for promoting what the site calls hate speech, there is little defense. You have been labeled a hater, and from that moment forward, your credibility has been diminished in the eyes of many.

This loss of credibility is not just personal. It's business. The tortured phrase from The Godfather is appropriate. When you apply for a job, or to enroll in a university, or even to keep your financial credit, you will be searched on the internet to determine whether you are a suitable prospect. Obviously, if you are a known terrorist, have fugitive warrants, or have made death threats, you will likely be deemed unsuitable. Less obviously, your political views, however innocuous they may be, can disqualify you without your ever knowing why. Worse yet, those who practice this form of viewpoint discrimination are getting better at it. They have dusted off the tactics of the past and updated them. They won't always say, Some of my best friends are conservatives, so I'm not prejudiced. They're more careful than that.

Solutions have been suggested. Why don't we conservatives start our own social media companies? We have. This is one of them. As useful as it is, there are massive obstacles that prevent it from becoming anywhere near as big as the biggest players. Infrastructure is one. Can you start your own electric utility company?

Not all is lost. Advancing technology has dissipated the powers of the news oligopoly that nearly silenced conservative viewpoints. That technology is what allows American Thinker, Fox News, talk radio, and similar venues to be heard.

But our freedoms remain tenuous and under aggressive challenge. Ingenious methods exist to force you to self-censor. Every conservative college student in a liberal university knows to keep quiet in a Marxist professor's class, lest he fail the course, or worse, be expelled on accusations of bigotry. Every employee of Google understands the vital necessity of guarding his words around the company's leftist employees in order to prevent being fired. 

Encouraged by their success, leftists are increasing their efforts. They are openly accusing credit card companies of complicity in murder if they allow you to pay your NRA membership dues through them. Teachers can be fired for refusal to affirm girls who self-identify as boys. Anything you have ever written, however many years ago, can be dredged up and used when needed, to discredit, intimidate, or even extort you for however slight an offense.

It's business.

The website Patreon, a source of funding for activists of various political persuasions, has recently seen several of its participants delete their accounts because of concerns about censorship.

Tucker Carlson recently interviewed Dave Rubin online to expose the matter.

Quoting from an article at Hot Air, "Jaqueline Hart, Patreon's head of trust and safety, said her team watches for and will investigate complaints about any content posted on Patreon and on other sites like YouTube and Facebook that violates what it defines as hate speech. That includes 'serious attacks, or even negative generalizations, of people based on their race [and] sexual orientation[.]'"

The video at that site and another video, here, contain illuminating discussions by Dr. Jordan Person and Dave Rubin about the problems they and others encountered and how they are attempting to overcome the formidable barriers being erected to stifle free speech.

It's business. It has gotten very personal as well.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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