sjws burning free speech

SJWs take their core argument to its logical conclusion, burning a banner reading 'free speech' at Berkeley.
The issues over who has a right to free speech, and when, has become a heated - even violent - debate in North America. Left-wing activists, so-called Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), have taken to equating the defense of free speech with the promotion of hate speech. Their rationale goes like this:

'Since no one could have any sound reason to protest for the right to free speech in this day and age, then anyone doing so is in fact a right-wing fascist. As such, we hereby proclaim our right to use violence to silence anyone defending free speech.'

While it's an unfortunate fact that some ignorant people take advantage of the right to free speech to spread their hateful ideas, it's also a fact that the intelligent people who outnumber them are fighting for that right in order to keep spreading their message of love and unity through education.

When you support putting limits on free speech by deciding for others what is offensive, the results are never limited to the ones you want. They end up being a mixture of good and bad which, ironically, is the same as what happens when you preserve the right to free speech without limits.

Life is about balance. Whether you are observing how an ecosystem of living beings naturally reaches a state of balance, or if you are balancing a mathematical equation, you can see that some level of disorder ensues if anything upsets that balance. What the SJWs are trying to achieve is the application of restrictions to one side of the free speech equation - the hate speech side - without applying equal restrictions to the other side of the equation - the love speech side. If they should succeed, this will cause an imbalance in the equation, an imbalance that nature will seek to right itself.

The problem with setting out to limit expression is that what is 'hateful' to some is often reasonable, or at least rather subjective and thus difficult to define. In fact, authorities regularly wind up banning material that explores themes of love, unity, empathy and inclusiveness.

Searching the internet for lists of banned books, the most demonstrable form of restrictions to free speech, is quite an eye-opener. Here are a few examples of what you will find:
Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, Autobiography of Malcolm X, Catch-22, Fahrenheit 451, Flowers for Algernon, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Gone with the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, The Scarlet Letter, To Kill a Mockingbird... and the list goes on.
nazi book burning

'Ok lads, wave at the nice book monster' - A Nazi book burning soirée.
All these books, and others too, have either been banned or challenged at some time or other because some people decided they were offensive/dangerous, and because someone in authority entertained the idea of restricting freedom of expression. As you can see, applying limits to free speech will inevitably yield mixed results.

If we do so, we end up preventing people from getting the whole story, from being aware of all that's out there - the good and the bad - and from allowing them the chance to fully understand the choices they must make. We are, in essence, forbidding our own children the right to receive the very same education that we ourselves received.

Conversely, if we choose not to apply limits to free speech, we are allowing people the chance to learn for themselves about all aspects of humanity, of our world, and reality. We are allowing them the right to witness the full gamut - from the shocking ugliness of hatred to the overwhelming beauty of love - putting our faith in the understanding that the message of love is more powerful than the message of hate, and in our children's ability to gain that same understanding on their own.

How difficult is it to understand that if we prevent a child from reading To Kill a Mockingbird, we are preventing them from receiving a message that may end up being the very reason they choose never to become a white supremacist, or whatever other kind of bigot? By banning that and books with similarly important messages, we are actually increasing the chances of youth making the wrong choices because they don't fully understand what that their choices entail.

Yes, some of the language and descriptions of violence is shocking in some of those books. But isn't that the point? Isn't racism shocking? How do you expect anyone to understand what is so frightening about it if they have no knowledge of its effects? And what better way for a child to learn about those effects than by reading a book in the safety of their own home?

Neo-Nazis and the KKK have held occasional rallies over the decades in an attempt to spread their message of hate, and to try and bolster their numbers. Most have always dealt with them in the same way: by ignoring or ridiculing them, thus showing them just how insignificant they are. As a result, their numbers have dwindled, not increased. There has not been any need for violence because cowards will never act out as long as they know they are a tiny minority.

sjws protest free speech

A bad sign: intolerance for tolerance
Such deterrence has been successful because each new generation receives the necessary education to be able to identify these people for what they are, and for what they represent. But if we start restricting free speech, we will inevitably limit that level of education. The same goes for erasing historical monuments, by the way.

What do you suppose happens if those haters end up being the only advocates of the fundamental right to free speech? Might that not become a reason for under-educated, confused people to join their ranks? Do we want to be responsible for that, and for what that might lead to?

Defending the right to free speech is about way more than 'oppressors' protecting their 'right to oppress'. In fact, it is only because of that fundamental right that we are allowed to speak up and openly identify such oppressors. I have to wonder how many vocal SJWs realize that, by fighting to limit free speech, they are fighting to silence themselves?

Free speech is about the right to an education, the right to acquire knowledge - all knowledge - in order to achieve a greater understanding of the world in which we live. I don't believe it is anyone's right to apply restrictions to that, and that applying any such restrictions does more harm than good.

Again, it's about balance.