Note that “a person yelling ‘a Nazi salute in protest to masking requirements’ is not a Nazi, as the NSBA is trying to imply. He is calling the school board Nazis. Meanwhile, the fascist clowns of the NSBA would almost certainly object most strenuously to any honest exposition of the motivating ideology behind an actual form of terrorism, that is, Islamic jihad terrorism.
by Dave Huber, College Fix, September 30, 2021 (thanks to Henry):
The National School Boards Association has asked President Biden to look into slapping a “domestic terrorist” label on “angry” parents and community members who speak their minds at board meetings.
“America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat,” the group says in its letter to the president. “[As] acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
The NSBA wants the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, and the Conspiracy Against Rights statute all invoked to help prevent alleged threats, Education Week reports.
The Departments of Education, Homeland Security, and Justice are requested to participate in a review, along with the FBI.
On Sept. 22, the NSBA, along with AASA, the School Superintendents Association, issued a joint statement condemning “online and in-person threats, abuse and harassment.” AASA President Daniel Domenech said that while his group respected the right of free speech, “We cannot—and will not—tolerate aggression, intimidation, threats and violence toward superintendents, board members and educators.”
But some of the instances cited by the NSBA in its letter appear to be free speech, to say nothing of “terrorism.” For example, the group cites a person yelling “a Nazi salute in protest to masking requirements,” while another’s actions “prompted [a] board to call a recess because of opposition to critical race theory.”…
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-10-03 07:35:152021-10-07 20:17:35National School Boards Association Asks President Biden to Label Its Critics ‘Domestic Terrorists’
The two Congresswomen are above criticism, because any and all negative words directed to them will be categorized in the establishment media as “racist,” and condemned as leading to death threats. In this way, the Left is moving to stigmatize and silence all opposition to its agenda.
by Ryan Grenoble, HuffPost US, September 14, 2021 (thanks to Henry):
In a racist tweet Monday that was promptly ratioed into the shame museum, the Arlington County Republican Committee in Virginia suggested that two Democratic congresswomen of color should retire and go work as lobbyists for the Taliban.
The remark, directed at Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), came in response to a BBC report on the Taliban’s dire financial situation ― resulting in an apparent desire to hire a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
The Arlington GOP responded by tweeting: “Well, if @AOC or @Ilhan retire from Congress, there’s a revolving door opportunity for them.”
The tweet drew immediate criticism, prompting the Arlington GOP to defend itself by pointing to an opinion piece in The Washington Post about Omar not being sufficiently supportive of Israel. That article was written by Marc Thiessen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
“This tweet isn’t about race ― it’s about the Squad’s constant support for anti-American sentiment abroad,” the Arlington GOP tweeted…
Ocasio-Cortez told Vanity Fair last summer she receives all manner of threats, often seeing a swell after far-right lies and attacks are amplified by conservative media.
“I used to wake up in the morning and literally get a stack of pictures that were forwarded by Capitol police or FBI,” she told the magazine. “Like, ‘These are the people who want to kill you today.’ ”
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-09-17 04:41:342021-10-07 20:18:21Arlington, Virginia GOP slammed as ‘racist’ for calling out anti-Americanism of AOC and Ilhan Omar
Fadel Alkilani, a student at Washington University in St. Louis, is an enterprising young man who clearly has a bright future ahead. On Saturday, as people all over the world mourned the deaths of 2,977 people in jihad attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., Alkilani busied himself with pulling up 2,977 flags that had been placed on campus in honor of the victims and throwing them away. Among Leftists today, that’s the kind of behavior that leads to rapid career advancement– clearly, Fadel Alkilani is an up-and-coming young man.
The flags were part of the Young America’s Foundation’s “9/11: Never Forget Project”: “YAF activists at high schools and colleges across the country are keeping alive the memory of those lost to radical Islamist terrorists in the world-changing events of September 11, 2001. The iconic displays made up of 2,977 American flags—one for each innocent life taken—bring schools, communities, and individuals together to pay tribute and continue our promise to ‘never forget.’”
YAF members at Washington University duly placed the 2,977 flags, only to have Alkilani, wearing a mask and his hair in a bun, come pluck the flags up and fill trash bags with them. In a video YAF posted on Twitter, Nathaniel Hope of Washington University’s hearty band of College Republicans confronts Alikani, who justified his action by claiming (falsely) that the flag display was a “violation of school rules.” He maintained that he, on the other hand, had not violated any university rules, telling Hope: “I did not violate any university or legal policy. Now go away.”
WOW: A student senator at @WUSTL was caught on video throwing away 2,977 American flags from conservative students' 9/11: Never Forget Project memorial.
Later, Alkilani posted online a “Formal Statement on the Flag Relocation Incident,” in which he sanctimoniously employed that tried-and-true strategy of Leftists everywhere: He claimed victimhood. Instead of apologizing for his callous, thuggish, and fascist act, Alkilani wrote: “Currently, there is a massive harassment campaign propagated primarily by Washington University College Republicans, as well as the national Young American’s Foundation [YAF] regarding an incident that occurred at approximately 6 am on Saturday, September 11, 2021. There is a large amount of misinformation circulating, and I seek to explain both what occurred and why it happened.”
The “misinformation” that he proceeds to clear up is the claim that he was “‘stealing’ the flags. This is due to a WashU College Republicans member, taking a video of me collecting flags in plastic bags. However, I had no intention of removing the flags from the Mudd Field area, and my full protest did not have the chance to be actualized. My planned protest was to place the bags of flags on Mudd field, along with various statistics [including those below] explaining the human cost of 9/11 in the past 20 years. On the sides of the bags, some writing may be visible, but the full statement was not outlined at the time of the video. I did not deface, destroy, damage, nor steal any flags, nor did I interfere with any registered event time. I assert that I did not violate any University Code of Conduct policy, though the conduct process is undergoing. Additionally, I was verbally and physically harassed by numerous WashU students and WUPD officers, whom I plan to report through official channels.”
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-09-15 03:59:272021-10-07 20:18:30Muslim Student at Washington University Removes 2,977 American Flags Commemorating 9/11 Victims
The UN and Big Tech are running a secret “No Fly List” for the internet.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki warned that her administration was “flagging problematic posts for Facebook” and urged, “you shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others.”
Psaki was not just advocating a theoretical approach, but discussing the shared infrastructure built by Big Tech monopolies, the United Nations and assorted governments for doing just that.
In his PJ Media article, Tyler O’Neil dug into the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) which is funded by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and currently chaired by Twitter. Its advisory committee members include the United Nations, the European Union, and the British, French, and Canadian governments as well as the National Security Council in the U.S.
GIFCT had been set up by the industry in response to pressure from governments to remove Jihadist propaganda, but its Hash Sharing Consortium, a secret database of terrorism content to be immediately removed when its 13 dot com companies come across it, is secret, and so there’s no way for anyone to know if they’ve been targeted and no appeal from the secret list.
The creation of a secret “No Fly List” for the internet by the biggest monopolies which control over 80% of social media content and much of the self-created video content on the internet would be troubling enough, but by 2019, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon had joined the Christchurch Call which advocates not just banning terrorist material, but fighting its root causes by strengthening “inclusiveness” and fighting “violent extremism”.
To that end, the Dynamic Matrix of Extremisms and Terrorism (DMET) was deployed which goes through 4 different levels beginning with “partisanship” and ending with terrorism. DMET defines the initial levels of violent extremism as using “dehumanizing language” which can be described as nearly any criticism of a group.
Big Tech has built its own matrix. And we’re all in it.
As O’Neil documented the resulting “matrix” is a dangerous and bizarre list which classifies Sinn Fein and the Scottish National Party, alongside NARAL and “Anti-Vaxxers” as partisans on the first level of DMET. It’s unclear what a top anti-abortion group, the ruling leftist party of Scotland, the political face for the IRA, and opponents of vaccination have in common, but out of such confusingly disparate material, Big Tech has built its censorship matrix.
At the second level, alongside Neo-Nazi groups like Combat 18, the Bundy Family (a family, not an organization) and the Animal Liberation Front, which actually is a terrorist organization, is Jihad Watch.
The respected counterterrorism blog by historian and researcher Robert Spencer and his associates (I have been among them) has been an invaluable resource for chronicling Islamic terrorism and colonialism and represents the opposite of violent extremism.
As Robert Spencer wrote on Jihad Watch, “This is pure libel. We have never advocated or approved of any violence or any illegal activity of any kind.”
The DMET is just a more sophisticated pseudoscientific database of the kind that the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose materials have contributed to it, has deployed over the years.
One such database listed my blog, Sultan Knish, as a hate group, alongside a brand of gun oil, and a bar sign in Pennsylvania. These databases may have a Kafkaesque absurdity, but the consequences to lives, livelihoods, and careers are all too real with my blog showing up on the Color of Change list pressuring Big Tech monopolies to cut off funding and access to my site, as well as Jihad Watch, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and many other conservative groups.
Big Tech companies have begun building their own databases in coordination with governments. And these secret databases determine who has access to the public square of the internet, who can earn a living, and who ends up being deplatformed and unpersoned.
“If we are ‘extremist,’ so is the U.S. Constitution, for we are trying to defend the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law,” Robert Spencer wrote. But DMET, GFICT, and other interfaces between governments and tech monopolies aren’t using the Constitution. They’re censoring based on United Nations law.
When Facebook’s Oversight Board issued its verdict on censoring President Trump, it did not list a single item of United States law, including the First Amendment, but cited the Rabat Plan of Action, and articles of the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
GFICT’s DMET matrix cites the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court to declare that preventing “dehumanization” is an “imperative under international law”. Like Facebook’s decision to censor the former president, there’s no mention of the Constitution, but international law is repeatedly cited. Most disturbingly, a GFICT attempt to define terrorism collates a variety of definitions including attacks “against social cohesion” which the UN itself has noted is used to censor speech and political opponents as well as efforts to suppress Mohammed cartoons.
Tier 4 of the Content Taxonomy for what gets censored by Big Tech includes only one example targeting a group: “fear of Muslims is rational” thereby essentially banning most counterrorism, advocacy against unlimited immigration as well the Trump political campaign.
While Americans slept, Big Tech adopted UN standards to eliminate the Constitution.
Big Tech monopolies are no longer just enforcing local laws, moderating content in America or in the European Union based on the different standards in each country, instead all speech on the major platforms is being policed in line with the United Nations and its “international law”.
No black helicopters or blue helmets were needed. United Nations law came to the United States through the Big Tech monopolies that we turned over our speech and economy too.
Facebook now censors a former president in line with UN regulations. And censors all of us too.
GFICT is another example of UN regulations controlling our speech. We’re all drones living in the UN’s “Matrix” now as companies more powerful than governments impose international law.
Big Tech’s censorship matrix targets Robert Spencer and critics of Islam because censorship of dissenting religious views has been a longtime project of Islamic groups within the UN.
“They have all the power, and they mean to shut down dissent, and that means our days here are numbered,” Robert Spencer wrote. How long will it be until Did Muhammad Exist?Did An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins, the newly revised and expanded version of Spencer’s classic work, is censored the way that Amazon, which dominates the ebook market, suppressed Ryan T. Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.
Libertarians and some establishment conservatives keep protesting that private companies have the right to censor whom they please. But the UN is the opposite of a private company.
When massive monopolies act in concert with governments and multinational alliances, like the EU and the UN, to eliminate free speech in line with UN international law, that’s not private action. If we don’t have the courage to confront the ‘matrix’ of big governments and Big Tech, of Google and the UN, or Amazon and the EU, we will lose our rights, our identity, and our nation.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-08-07 06:06:162021-10-07 20:21:17Big Tech is Censoring Americans Using United Nations Law
So since I watch terrorists, I’ve been watching myself. My latest in FrontPage:
As the director of Jihad Watch, I have an ongoing interest in the activities of violent extremists, and have been tracking those activities daily for eighteen years now. But now, in their benevolence, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube have made it easier than ever with their Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT): all I have to do is look in the mirror.
The GIFCT means to wipe out the groups it targets. Tyler O’Neil explains at PJ Media that GIFCT “shares terrorism data among Big Tech companies, enabling them to flag and remove terrorist content,” and is stepping up these operations: “On Monday, GIFCT announced that it significantly expanded the types of extremist content in its database, aiming to crack down on material from white supremacists and far-right militias.”
It’s about time, right? Those white supremacists and far-right militias have been rioting with impunity in Portland, and Seattle, and – oh, wait, that was the noble ideological heirs of the heroes of World War II. But we don’t have to guess who they have in mind: the GIFCT offers a helpful list of the dangerous groups from which it is going to save us.
At the highest level, Level 3, are the groups GIFCT classifies as actual bloodthirsty, grade-A certified dangerous terrorists: Boogaloo Boys, Ku Klux Klan, the National Socialist Network, Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, even the Irish Republican Army. But that’s not all that the intrepid warriors of the GIFCT are going after. Once you’ve reached Level 3, the problem has advanced way too far, anyway. The GIFCT aims to nip terrorism in the bud by also targeting Level 2, “Violent Extremism,” which includes groups that are just below terrorist group status, but moving up the charts with a bullet: Blood & Honour, Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and…Jihad Watch.
Perhaps even more surprising than the inclusion of Jihad Watch on this list is the fact that Antifa is also listed at Level 2. The likelihood of the social media giants moving in on Antifa is about as likely as Nancy Pelosi being Trump’s running mate in 2024, but it does help put things in perspective. Antifa has been openly calling for and applauding violence in cities all over the country, and as far as the counter-terror “experts” at the GIFCT are concerned, they’re on par with an organization that is dedicated to tracking jihad terror activity and elucidating its motivating ideology. Unlike Antifa, neither I nor Jihad Watch has ever called for or approved of any violence or illegal activity of any kind. But another way we differ from Antifa is that establishment media stooges aren’t falling all over themselves likening us to the men (you may remember what those were) who stormed the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944. The likelihood that Jihad Watch will be targeted for being on the GIFCT’s list, and Antifa given another pass, is about 100%.
On the morning I found out that I was a violent extremist, I discovered that violent extremists sometimes enjoy a bit of yogurt for breakfast, try to fit in a good long walk, and spend a lot of the day typing. It was a bit more sedentary, and definitely filled with less death-defying adventure, than I expected for an official “violent extremist.” With all the time I sit here facing this infernal machine, the GIFCT may think I’m at work on my “manifesto,” for they say they’re going to make sure that “Manifestos from terrorist and violent extremist attackers” are removed from the Internet, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be intensely scrutinized, for “a wide range of experts on expanding the reach and impact of our hash-sharing database’s taxonomy in order to respond to terrorist content online across the ideological spectrum.”
Hey, great. Let me start you folks off on the right foot. Here’s my Manifesto, GIFCT, straight from one of your designated “violent extremists.” Get your experts on this, and make sure they study it carefully. Ready? Here it is:
You. People. Are. Nuts.
That’s it. You like it? It took me months to get the precise formulation of my “violent extremist” ideas. And just because I have so much respect for your violent extremist-hunting prowess, GIFCT wonks, here’s a bonus. Here’s what I want for America and the world: the freedom of speech. The freedom of conscience. The equality of rights of all people before the law.
Yeah, I know that messes with you Communists’ sugar-plum visions of racial strife, civil war, and the dissolution of America as a unitary nation-state. And that may be the clue to all of this madness. Violent extremists and their enablers want to make sure they have a free hand, and one strategy to get it was delineated in the Marxists’ tested-and-true playbook: accuse your enemy of that which you’re guilty of doing. Could it be that my organization been designated a violent extremist group because some people have a bit of violent extremism planned and want to make sure that anyone who might speak out against them is silenced and cleared away?
Stranger things have happened. Meanwhile, if I disappear from the net, and from the streets, someday soon, you’ll know that the good folks at the GIFCT have done their job. One less violent extremist will be menacing the rest of us. And we will all be able to breathe a sigh of relief over that. Won’t we?
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-08-05 03:52:492021-10-07 20:21:23The Social Media Giants Find A Violent Extremist: Me
Frank Miller himself is not defending “Holy Terror,” so I’m certainly not going to defend it on his behalf, and I don’t endorse torture or killing of innocent people, as his hero seems to in the illustration. But that is not what the controversy is about here. It’s over the claim that “Holy Terror” is “anti-Muslim.” I myself am frequently accused of being anti-Muslim, but the claim is false, baseless, and defamatory. It is no more anti-Muslim to oppose jihad violence than it was anti-German to oppose Nazism. It is worth nothing that “Holy Terror” is described below as “a graphic novel in which an original character known as The Fixer sets out to battle Al-Qaeda.” Meanwhile, “many believed the story depicted the religion of Islam, rather than the specific terrorist group of Al-Qaeda, as the book’s villain,” but no evidence is offered to substantiate that claim. Nor does Miller state this in his disavowal of his work. Maybe it’s true. I don’t know; I’ve never read “Holy Terror.” However, it is also true that it is routine for Islamic supremacist groups in the West to claim that opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women is opposition to Islam itself. They also routinely conflate criticism of Islam with hatred of Muslims, and numerous people fall for this, although they have no trouble whatsoever seeing the distinction between criticism of Christianity and hatred of Christians. If Frank Miller had written a comic book about fighting against Christian “right-wing extremists,” and some people accused him of attacking Christianity itself, would this convention had dropped him? Of course not. It would be celebrating him as a hero.
Legendary comic book industry veteran Frank Miller, whose bibliography includes Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Daredevil, and 300, has been removed from the guest list for the upcoming Though Bubble UK Comic Convention after a number of attendees threatened to boycott the event based on their belief that the creator “is responsible for propagation of abhorrent anti-Muslim hate”.
Miller was first announced as a guest for the North Yorkshire, England-based comic convention on June 2nd, with his name being emphasized to the same degree as fellow special guests Joëlle Jones (Wonder Girl) and Christian Ward (New Mutants) on a promotional poster for the event released that same day.
Though Miller’s initial invitation announcement seemed to come and go without any incident, on July 27th, award-winning cartoonist and small press publisher ShortBox founder Zainab Akhtar revealed that they would “no longer be attending Thought Bubble festival this November” in protest of Miller’s attendance.
In a statement announcing her protest of the convention, Akhtar asserted, “As a proud Muslim woman, I cannot in good conscience attend a festival that deems it appropriate to invite and platform Frank Miller, a person who is responsible for the propagation of abhorrent anti-Muslim hate, particularly via his work.”
“Anti-Muslim bigotry is repugnant and condemnable yet has become so deeply rooted, so widely accepted in society that it is not even given a cursory consideration, as evidenced once again in this situation,” Akhtar continued. “I cannot comprehend how time and time again, festivals and communities within comics espouse values regarding inclusivity, diversity, ‘comics being for everyone’, zero tolerance on hate, but all that lip-service evaporates when they are asked to enact those same values.”
In a follow-up tweet, Akhtar stated that though she had “first contacted Thought Bubble about this privately, 8 weeks ago” and had been “assured action would be taken”, Miller’s continued invitation made her feel as if “it’s been communicated to me that I am the acceptable loss: repercussions to my career/income over repercussions to theirs.”
Though Akhtar does not cite any specific instances of anti-Muslim bigotry from Miller, it is assumed that she is referring to his creation of Holy Terror, a graphic novel in which an original character known as The Fixer sets out to battle Al-Qaeda.
Originally developed for DC as a Batman story, Holy Terror would release to widespread criticism, as many believed the story depicted the religion of Islam, rather than the specific terrorist group of Al-Qaeda, as the book’s villain.
However, while Miller stood by his work upon its publication in 2006, he has since changed his opinion of the self-admitted “propaganda” story.
“When I look at Holy Terror, which I really don’t do all that often, I can really feel the anger ripple out of the pages. There are places where it is bloodthirsty beyond belief,” Miller told The Guardian’s Sam Thielman in 2018. “I don’t want to go back and start erasing books I did,” he replies. “I don’t want to wipe out chapters of my own biography. But I’m not capable of that book again.”
As Akhtar’s tweet soon sparked calls to boycott the entire convention amongst her supporters, Though Bubble ultimately announced on July 28th that “Frank Miller will not be attending Thought Bubble.”
“Over the last fourteen years Thought Bubble has grown into an amazing community of comic creators and fans who we love, trust and respect. We have let you down, and in our commitment to maintaining Thought Bubble as a safe space for all, we have fallen short,” read the convention organizer’s statement. “We exist to share the art form and its worlds with people. If any individual, group or community feels uncomfortable or excluded from our show then we’ve failed.”
“We know that many of you are disappointed in us, and have been expecting a comment on this before now,” they continued. “We are sorry for our silence while we’ve been trying to fix this. Frank Miller will not be attending Thought Bubble.”
Continuing their statement, the organizers further affirmed that they were “deeply sorry, particularly to those who we should be standing up for the most,” and hoped “that you can give us the opportunity to make this better and we thank you for holding us accountable.”
“We know there is still more to discuss and we will be replying to those who have been in touch, we hope you can bear with us while we do this,” the statement concluded. “We won’t let you down again.”…
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-08-01 05:13:162021-10-07 20:21:35‘Batman’ cartoonist Frank Miller dropped from comic convention over accusation of ‘anti-Muslim hate’
The establishment media agrees that Biden’s handlers’ freeing of Taliban jihadi Abdul Latif Nasser from Guantanamo, where he had been held for nineteen years, was the first step toward taking care of more unfinished business from the Obama administration and finally closing the notorious prison camp. But is that really the plan? Or might Guantanamo be filled up with a new group of terrorists?
The signs aren’t hard to find. CNN reported Wednesday that “the Justice Department repeatedly has documented the emergence of what could be called small, right-wing extremist groups.” One of the examples offered in the report is that of Robert Morss, a Pennsylvania resident who was arrested in connection with the January 6 Reichstag Fire. According to CNN, when Morss was arrested, police “found in his car a notebook with a page titled, ‘Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia.’ Beneath it Morss allegedly scribbled bullet point reminders, fleshing out the idea of forming a violent cell – ‘bring assault rifle’ and ‘set up your kit’ — and notes on ‘formation.’”
Then there were Ian Rogers and Jarrod Copeland, who were “so devoted to former President Donald Trump and so angry about the 2020 election result, that they allegedly plotted to blow up the Democratic headquarters building in Sacramento. One commented over an encrypted messaging thread, where the two discussed planning, that he realized they would be perceived as domestic terrorists, and the second man had previously joined an anti-government militia group.”
Whether these three men actually did anything criminal, or planned to do so, is a matter for the courts to decide. But ominously, a prosecutor wrote about the Rogers/Copeland case that “all of the political and social conditions that motivated them to plan what they themselves described as a terrorist attack remain.”
What are those conditions? Raw Story gave a clue to the answer to that in a risibly hysterical piece Monday that began:
A very particular, cultish and dangerous brand of domestic terrorism has been honed, and we should call it what it is: Trumpist terrorism.
We’ve rarely if ever experienced domestic terrorism organized not only in the service of an ideology — white supremacy — but in the name of one person, a cult figure for whom people will kill and die, devoted to his cause and taking perceived orders from him.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-07-24 04:55:262021-10-07 20:21:59Are Biden’s Handlers Making Room for Right-Wing ‘Terrorists’ at Guantanamo?
It shows how the demonization of foes of jihad violence and Sharia oppression was a dry run for the Left’s attempt now to silence and criminalize all opposition to its agenda.
“Free speech, the cornerstone of our freedom, hangs by a thread. This book is an essential read to understand how we reached this point, and the key role ‘Islamophobia’ played in normalizing the assault on our most basic right to free expression. May it serve as a wake up call for us to exercise this right, and prevent Trojan Horse blasphemy laws of all types from superseding our freedoms before it is too late.” — Noor bin Ladin, writer and advocate dedicated to defending freedom and those threatened by the adherents of oppressive ideologies
“Robert Spencer provides a chilling account of the ongoing campaign against free speech. He reveals a sinister timeline of decades of deliberately dismantling the most important right we have. It requires much courage to disseminate that truth. As restrictions continue to gain ground in the free world, this book should inspire all to protect freedom of speech and to stand up to the policy of criminalizing words in order to silence us. And make it unequivocally clear that we will never be silenced.” — Geert Wilders
“The most important war that people face today is the global war to limit, and ultimately destroy, the freedom of speech, the indispensable foundation of any free society,” begins best-selling author Robert Spencer, noting the successful “cancellation” of the elected president of the United States by big tech social media companies.
How did we get to this point where presidents, college professors, business leaders, and of course regular citizens face silencing (and worse) at the hands of political zealots?
In Islamophobia and The Threat to Free Speech, Spencer argues that America, and the larger Western world was primed and prepared to surrender its free speech in a campaign that goes back more than three decades,
The unprecedented and disquieting acceptance by so many on the Left of the need to force their foes into silence and deny them access to the primary means of communication today did not spring up out of nowhere in 2020. In fact, the groundwork for it had been laid for it, and the pattern set, years before, in the treatment of opponents of jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women and others. Long before “cancel culture” became a common phrase, the Left and the establishment media canceled foes of jihad terror, defaming, demonizing, marginalizing, and deplatforming them without any rational consideration of the points they made.
Spencer takes the history of the war on free speech back to the 1989 death fatwa pronounced upon author Salman Rushdie by the Ayatollah Khomeini, and then takes us through how a once robust western tradition was steadily undermined by international pressure, jihadist violence, and U.S government and corporate influence. He traces the rise of the “new brownshirts” on college campuses who have used techniques of slander, disruption and threats to turn bastions of free expression into indoctrination centers.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-07-07 06:44:072021-10-07 20:23:34Islamophobia and the Threat to Free Speech
“Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” one message reads. “We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support.”
The message also provides a button to “Get Support,” which leads to another Facebook page about extremism.
Redstate editor Kira Davis, who said was sent a screenshot of the message from a friend, wrote: “Hey has anyone had this message pop up on their FB? My friend (who is not an ideologue but hosts lots of competing chatter) got this message twice. He’s very disturbed.”
And others reported getting a warning that they may have been “exposed to harmful extremist content recently.” The message then states that “violent groups try to manipulate your anger and disappointment,” similarly offering a “Get Support” option.
“Facebook randomly sent me this notice about extremism when I clicked over to the app. Pretty weird. … The Get Support button just goes to a short article asking people not to be hateful,” another user on Twitter wrote.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to The Epoch Times on July 1 that the company is currently running the warnings as a test to some users.
“This test is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide resources and support to people on Facebook who may have engaged with or were exposed to extremist content, or may know someone who is at risk. We are partnering with NGOs and academic experts in this space and hope to have more to share in the future,” the spokesperson said, without elaborating.
Hey has anyone had this message pop up on their FB? My friend (who is not an ideologue but hosts lots of competing chatter) got this message twice. He’s very disturbed. pic.twitter.com/LjCMjCvZtS
The messages come after lawmakers have repeatedly targeted and pressured CEOs of big tech firms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft, essentially accusing them of allowing “extremism,” misinformation, and cyberbullying on their platforms. Such social media companies have faced criticism from Republicans who have accused them of censoring conservative voices and limiting the reach—or outright blocking—content that portrays Democrat political figures in a negative light.
Conservatives, including former President Donald Trump, have argued for the revocation of Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which serves as a liability shield for online publishers. However, the movement to rein in Big Tech was dealt a blow earlier this week when a federal judge tossed a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit against Facebook that had accused the firm of engaging in anti-competitive practices.
These warning messages, however, are sure to trigger even more negative feedback against Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, over fears that the company is attempting to stifle free speech. On Twitter, as screenshots of the warning messages were being shared en masse on July 1, many users expressed concern over the direction Facebook is taking.
Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adsense permanently banned us. Facebook, Twitter, Google search et al have shadow-banned, suspended and deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Help us fight. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Help us fight the great fight.
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http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Pamela Gellerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngPamela Geller2021-07-03 06:31:312021-10-07 20:23:46OPPRESSION: Facebook Now Sending Messages to Some Users Asking About ‘Extremist’ Friends
Over 200 employees of Simon & Schuster have gone full fascist, signing a petition calling on the publishing giant to stop providing a platform for everyone except fellow leftist fascists. The haters of the freedom of speech made three demands:
Cancel the two-book deal with Mike Pence and do not sign any more book deals with former members of the Trump administration.
End Simon & Schuster’s distribution deal with Post Hill Press [which publishes conservative books].
Commit to ongoing reevaluations of all clients, authors, distribution deals, and all other financial commitments that promote white supremacist content and/or harm the aforementioned marginalized communities.
The fascists claimed that “when S&S chose to sign Mike Pence, we broke the public’s trust in our editorial process, and blatantly contradicted previous public claims in support of Black and other lives made vulnerable by structural oppression. Simon & Schuster has chosen complicity in perpetuating white supremacy by publishing Mike Pence and continuing to distribute books for Post Hill Press, including predator Matt Gaetz’s FIREBRAND. By choosing to publish Mike Pence, Simon & Schuster is generating wealth for a central figure of a presidency that unequivocally advocated for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Blackness, xenophobia, misogyny, ableism, islamophobia, antisemitism, and violence. This is not a difference of opinions; this is legitimizing bigotry.”
Of course. No dissent from the left is a legitimate “difference of opinions,” because leftists see the world in a way that religious fanatics throughout history would find familiar: they alone have the vision of what is good and just, and since all those outside the fold are ignorant and evil, they have no rights that the arbiters of what constitutes acceptable opinion are bound to respect.
So far, however, Simon & Schuster’s chief executive Jonathan Karp has shown himself to be among the unredeemed. Karp reminded the fascists in his employ that the job of a publishing house was to allow for “a diversity of voices and perspectives.” Diversity! Karp’s choice of words must have driven the petitioners up the wall, because like all leftists, they are no doubt extremely proud of their commitment to “diversity” in all forms except, of course, a genuine diversity of thought. Black and brown and queer and trans voices and all the rest are welcome among them, as long as they all think the same way and say the same thing. But here was Karp gently making it clear that the petitioners weren’t really in favor of diversity in any meaningful way. “We come to work each day to publish, not cancel,” he said, “which is the most extreme decision a publisher can make.”
For that he will likely be canceled himself before too long.
The American left long ago embraced authoritarianism and fascism, and is increasingly intolerant of any point of view other than its own. Note that the petitioners included in its laundry list of denunciations the spurious propaganda neologism “Islamophobia.” “Islamophobia” is an illegitimate conflation of two distinct phenomena: crimes against innocent Muslims, which are never justified, and honest analysis of the motivating ideology of jihad terror, which is always necessary. It is inconceivable that anyone would want to publish a book calling for attacks on innocent Muslims or any innocent people, but there are many books discussing the motivating ideology of jihad terrorism.
Islamic advocacy groups and their leftist allies have been insisting for years that such books, too, constituted “Islamophobia.” Such analyses are what these fascists at Simon & Schuster want to stamp out. If the left succeeds in consolidating power, it will be impossible to publish, and likely illegal to enunciate publicly, any opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women and others, for there is no example of any such opposition not being considered “Islamophobic.”
The fascist employees also demanded that Simon & Schuster cut ties with my publisher, Post Hill Press (my last six books have been or are in the process of being published under Post Hill’s imprint, Bombardier Books), with which Simon & Schuster has a distribution arrangement. The petition libelously asserts that Post Hill “openly supports and normalizes violence against minors, Black women, and all Black people by individuals and the state.” This is, of course, not remotely true. It is how left-fascists lie in order to demonize and destroy their opponents. Although Karp has rejected this petition, expect to see much more of this sort of thing. We have not yet reached the high tide of left-fascism in America today.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-05-05 07:20:162021-10-07 20:28:22FASCISM: Simon & Schuster Employees Demand Publisher Drop Books They Disagree With
A month of holy war and death for Allah. It is a month for fighting the enemies of Allah and God’s messenger, the Jews and their American facilitators.” — Qaedat al-Jihad
Quiet prayer during Ramadan, needless to say, isn’t the issue, but alerting people about the heightened threat of jihad during Ramadan is a big issue. And beyond Ramadan, the global jihad against infidels is a critical issue, far too often avoided. That includes the stealth invasion of the West, which includes the “Islamophobia” subterfuge, which is intended to beat down critics of Islam.
Turkish officials reacted angrily, accusing Wilders of being “racist.” What race is Islam again? Wilders’ critics keep on proving him correct, from their reaction to his criticisms, to the widespread reaction by Muslims to the Muhammad cartoon that was shown in the classroom by French teacher Samuel Paty (who was beheaded for it). Such a mentality (which is pervasive) isn’t compatible to the values of the Netherlands, and not only the Netherlands, but the entire Western world, in which freedom of thought and speech have been protected, at least up to now.
A slight pause on American academia’s out-of-control-freight-train rush to submit to Sharia. But the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is still flogging this case in court, hoping to use it to destroy the freedom of speech and criminalize criticism of Islam.
Maricopa County Community College District will pay professor Nicholas Damask $155,000 in exchange for his agreement not to sue district personnel, who last year violated his expressive rights in an attempt to quell criticism of his quiz questions on social media. The district also pledged to strengthen its commitment to academic freedom.
Damask, who teaches political science at Scottsdale Community College, came under fire on social media last May after a student complained that quiz questions in Damask’s world politics course were offensive to the student’s religious beliefs. Damask said the college suggested it would require him to meet with an Islamic religious leader to review the content of his course because a student complained that three of Damask’s quiz questions about Islamic terrorism were “in distaste of Islam.”
In response, the college directed Damask to issue an apology — pre-written for him by a communications staff member — and implied that he would be investigated. The college ultimately backed down after an urgent letter from FIRE.
Now, the district is finally paying for SCC’s unconstitutional knee-jerk reaction to online criticism….
A lawsuit brought by the Council on American-Islamic Relations remains pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. (A district court judge dismissedthe lawsuit in August for failure to state a claim, and CAIR appealed.)…
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-04-18 07:04:072021-10-07 20:30:11Arizona community college must pay $155,000 to professor it forced to apologize for criticizing Islam
Jerry Morgan gave the details of this case in an exclusive Jihad Watch article HERE. Get more background on this case HERE, where Robert Spencer stated:
What disparaging remarks did Morgan make? Did he say that Muslims were “the most vile of created beings”? No, that’s what the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an, calls non-Muslims (98:6). Did he call Muslims “apes and pigs”? No, that’s what the Qur’an calls Jews (2:63-65, 5:59-60, 7:166). Did he say Muslims were “unclean”? No, that’s what the Qur’an says of non-Muslims (9:28).
So what egregious statements did Morgan actually make?
As it turned out, he has been forced to resign for “praising President Donald Trump for ‘stopping Muslims’ and ‘talking big against Muslims,’” and “said Islam was not a peaceful religion and made comments linking the faith with violence and ‘Muslim terrorists.’”
To our dhimmi overlords, however, all that matters is that anything offensive to Islam/Muslims, even if it is true, must be shut down in accordance with Sharia blasphemy laws, which are well on the way to becoming mainstream in American society, despite the First Amendment. Jerry Morgan is one of the few who have had the courage to fight back, and we wish him well.
An attorney alleges the Tennessee Supreme Court’s board of professional responsibility unlawfully fired him for posting Tweets that an opposing party said displayed anti-Muslim bias, arguing his social media posts were constitutionally protected political speech similar to that of former president Donald Trump.
The board of professional responsibility regulates licensed Tennessee attorneys. Jerry Morgan handled appeals to the state supreme court regarding attorney discipline, according to his complaint filed Monday at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Attorney Brian Manookian, who was undergoing disciplinary proceedings, filed a motion to disqualify Morgan, claiming he was an anti-Muslim bigot. Manookian cited multiple Tweets Morgan had posted that, among other things, praised then-candidate Trump for “talking about the #1 issue of our time—stopping Muslims” and disparaged Muslims and Democrats.
Manookian claimed Morgan had an anti-Islam bias that could prejudice him, because his wife was Muslim and his children were being raised in a Muslim household.
Morgan says his posts were “indisputably political in nature,” concerning matters that were controversial but part of the national debate. “Many were views publicly expressed by Trump” and agreed to by the Tennessee voters who “overwhelmingly” voted for him in 2016, Morgan says. There were no accusations against him of biased conduct in the Manookian case or any other, Morgan claims.
Morgan was fired in December. He sued the board and chief disciplinary counsel Sandra Garrett, alleging he was unconstitutionally punished for Tweets that were made in his private capacity and were about matters of public importance.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-04-10 06:00:222021-10-07 20:30:26Tennessee lawyer files free speech lawsuit after being fired for ‘anti-Islam’ and pro-Trump tweets
The social media platform has no problem boasting about interfering in elections for the Left—but a big problem with people objecting that it was done.
They’re going to silence us all, eventually, if they can. On Saturday, the sanctimonious and hypocritical censors of Twitter came for Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft, radio host Wayne Allyn Root, and freedom activist Pamela Geller. Their crime? It appears to have been the heinous act of skepticism toward the official line, specifically, their refusal to accept at face value the official line about the 2020 election.
“I am in shock. It appears to be a permanent ban. Although I don’t know. Twitter never warned me. . . . And never sent any communication saying I’ve been suspended or banned. I simply tried to tweet yesterday afternoon and could not. But unlike a previous suspension . . . My followers suddenly said 0.”
What Twitter wrote to Geller made clear what was going on:
Your account, PamelaGeller has been suspended for violating the Twitter rules.
Violating our rules about election integrity. You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress voter turnout or mislead people about when, or how to vote.
Note that if you attempt to evade a permanent suspension by creating new accounts, we will suspend your new accounts. If you wish to appeal this suspension, please contact our support team.
This is absurd from start to finish. Neither Pamela Geller nor Root nor Hoft did anything to “suppress voter turnout or mislead people about when, or how to vote.” Twitter apparently hasn’t even bothered to update its ban notice since before November 3. Nor did they do anything along the lines of “manipulating or interfering in elections.”
Still, there is no doubt that if Geller did take Twitter up on its magnanimous grant to her of a chance to appeal, the appeal would be denied. Twitter’s nameless, faceless wonks are judge, jury, and executioner, and no one can question their sagacity or righteousness of their decisions.
What Geller, Root, and Hoft did, of course, was simply report and highlight the many irregularities and unanswered questions surrounding the 2020 presidential election. Twitter, along with the other social media giants and the establishment media outlets, are labeling all questioning of the election as “lies” and are busy banning any suggestion that there was anything amiss about the election at all, without even bothering to explain all the issues. This is the way a guilty person who is trying to cover up his misdeeds acts, not the way a victor behaves when he knows he has won fair and square and is happy to set the record straight.
Meanwhile, these new bans came just two days after Time published an article titled, “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election.” In it, Time’s Molly Ball boasted of
a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it.
Not rigging the election, but fortifying it. Right. And how exactly does one “fortify” an election? From the looks of Ball’s article, by rigging it.
Ball presents abundant indications of manipulation and chicanery in a fulsome self-congratulatory tone that works assiduously to turn reality on its head. A photo of Detroit campaign workers covering the windows so that no one could see what they were doing as they counted the votes—not exactly a hallmark of a free and fair election—is spun with the caption: “Trump supporters seek to disrupt the vote count at Detroit’s TCF Center on Nov. 4.”
Ian Bassin, cofounder of Protect Democracy, is quoted boasting that “the system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing.” It has to be executed by someone else, and it looks as if Bassin and others like him were only too happy to serve as executioners.
Contrary to Bassin’s statement, our “democracy” (which, as you may know or should know, is—or was—actually a republic), is set up to be “self-executing,” that is, the process should not be more complicated than each candidate making his case before the voters, and the voters freely voting. Ball details how corporate interests silenced opposing views and manipulated laws to ensure their desired result, all while writing darkly about Trump and his “henchmen” attempting to steal the election and destroy our “democracy.”
Time and Molly Ball may not have intended it, but now the cat is out of the bag. So the next step of the political and media elites is to silence those who keep pointing out the abundant signs of voter fraud, claim that they’re “lying,” and that they have to be muzzled for the public good.
Hence the banning of Wayne Allyn Root, Jim Hoft, and Pamela Geller. But as of this writing, Molly Ball and Time still have their Twitter accounts. See, there is “manipulating or interfering in elections” and there is “manipulating or interfering in elections.” Twitter is fine with boasting about doing it for the Left. Twitter is not fine with people who oppose it pointing out that it was done.
It’s all reminiscent of an older charge that has been leveled against Pamela Geller: that of being an “Islamophobe.” When she would quote bloodthirsty Islamic jihadis justifying their actions by quoting the Koran, she—not the jihadis—was called an “Islamophobe.” Her words—not those of the Koran—were dismissed as “hate speech.”
It has all been a shell game from start to finish, and the game isn’t over. The Left has arrogated to itself the right to judge what can and cannot be said in the public square. The Hoft, Root, and Geller Twitter accounts are not the first casualties of their fascist suppression of dissent, and they won’t be the last. Freedom of speech? Pah! That is so 20th century. Don’t you want to join Molly Ball and Time in the brave new world, in which one saves democracy by destroying it? You may not ultimately have any choice, comrade.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2021-02-15 08:00:492021-10-07 20:33:39Twitter Bans Three More Dissenters
If there was a video documenting every second of my life, you can bet it would contain some pretty stupid comments I’ve made over the years. I would also probably be reminded of some opinions I no longer believe. If you’re being honest with yourself, yours likely would be equally cringe.
The things we have said in the past may not have been outrageously offensive, but we have all made comments, or held opinions, we later regret. We are, after all, inherently flawed creatures.
But imagine if one instance of poor judgment or one “fringe” opinion stuck with you forever. This is the problem our society is now facing with the prevalence of cancel culture.
In 2016, then-high school freshman Mimi Groves posted a video to Snapchat in which she used a racial slur. The video later circulated around her school, though it wasn’t met with controversy at the time.
Fellow classmate Jimmy Galligan hadn’t seen the footage until last year when the two were seniors—four years after it first made the rounds at Heritage High School. By this time, Groves had moved on to focus on her role as varsity cheer captain with big dreams of attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a school known for its nationally ranked cheer squad.
For Groves, summer 2020 had been a time of celebration as she found out she had been accepted to the university’s cheer team. But her joy was short-lived when the death of George Floyd rightly outraged the nation, sparking a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Like many teens, Groves used her social media platforms to urge people to protest, donate, and sign petitions in support of ending police brutality. It was then that her unfortunate video came back to haunt her.
“You have the audacity to post this, after saying the N-word,” one commenter, unknown to the teen, posted on her Instagram.
That’s when her phone began ringing nonstop.
Galligan had held onto the video made four years earlier and had chosen to celebrate Groves’ admission to UT by blasting the footage to every major social media platform.
As the video began going viral, public outrage ensued, calling for the university to rescind her acceptance.
Capitulating to the mob, UT removed her from their cheer team, a decision that resulted in Groves withdrawing from the school because of what she perceived as pressure from the school’s admissions office.
Make no mistake, making racial slurs of any kind is demeaning and inappropriate behavior. But is one comment made four years prior enough to ruin the future of a teen who hadn’t even entered adulthood yet?
The court of public opinion said yes, without giving Groves any chance at redemption.
Why People ‘Cancel’
Groves’ story is just one of many.
Cancel culture has become more widespread over the last several years than anyone could have imagined. When I penned this article on the topic two years ago, I had no idea the problem would escalate to the level it has reached today.
But cancel culture isn’t reserved only for those who have made distasteful comments in the past.
Today, those espousing any opinion that goes against “woke” rhetoric are ridiculed online, fired from their jobs, and some are banned from using popular social media platforms altogether.
One University of North Carolina Wilmington professor, Mike Adams, even took his own life after tweets construed as offensive pushed him into early retirement after years of service to the institution.
“Part of a call-out culture is you get credit based on what someone else said if you ‘call it out,'” he said in a 2018 interview.
This virtue signaling, which is really just a means of proving to society how “good” and “moral” your views are, is only half of the equation, however. Cancel culture is also about personal destruction, which is obvious in Groves’ situation, since Galligan didn’t use this ammunition against her until the time was ripe for maximum harm.
“It(cancel culture) has reached a level of personal vindictiveness, where people go out of their way to find ways the things other people say could be construed as insensitive,” Haidt said.
Slurs and inappropriate comments aside, cancel culture has made people scared to share their opinions lest they be condemned for thinking “incorrectly” about any given issue.
The Costs Cancel Culture
We now live in an era where people are constantly looking over their shoulders, or computer screens, worried that whatever opinion they post might make them victims of cancel culture.
There is no opportunity to change one’s mind, nor is there room to defend opinions you genuinely believe. And this is a huge problem for any civil society.
Haidt spoke of the importance of protecting open dialogue so that we may live in a society filled with varying opinions from which to choose.
“One of the most important [aspects] is that people are not afraid to share their opinions – they’re not afraid that they’re going to be shamed socially for disagreeing with the dominant opinion,” Haidt said.
The odds are high that your opinions about certain issues will change over time. However, some may not, and you shouldn’t live in fear that your beliefs will be met with social condemnation and isolation.
We are no longer given the room to share our opinions today because we are no longer able to disagree with each other respectfully.
You’re not always going to agree with everything other people say — not your professors, your classmates, or your parents. In fact, you might even find that your own views change as you learn new things and grow as a person and adult.
But having the freedom to consider all opinions and decide what you genuinely believe is vital to the human experience and civil discourse.
There is a market of choice in all things, from what clothes you wear, products you buy, and what ideas you subscribe to.
When you go shopping, you might not like the first outfit you try. You might not even like the second or third. But trying on different looks, or opinions, allows you to think for yourself and figure out what it is you want, or believe.
To be truly open-minded, you must be able to consider all opinions, instead of condemning any thought contrary to your own. The free exchange of ideas pushes individuals to share unique ideas and allows for opinions to evolve.
Dissent is what makes democracy strong. Our Constitution has outlasted so many others because the Founders disagreed and debated with each other until they crafted a document that fostered “a more perfect union” than had ever been seen before. We would be wise not to forget the example they set.
Put simply, shaming others doesn’t work. It’s purely punitive, and self-aggrandizing. It also rarely changes a person’s mind and often further radicalizes their beliefs, widening the divide already growing in our country.
To foster a world where ideas can be freely expressed, Pacific Legal Foundation will be hosting an event this Friday featuring Haidt that will examine the many ways free speech serves as a central tenet of innovation, community, and civil society, and how we can preserve and protect this fundamental value that makes our society so extraordinary.
Without the ability to speak freely and consider all opinions, civil discourse cannot occur. In its absence, society as we know it will cease to exist and the divides between us will continue to grow.