This country’s primary foundation was built on freedom. The Founding Fathers deemed freedom so essential to the republic they built that they created the 1st Amendment to ensure that all citizens would forever be able to speak their minds freely—even if it was against those who governed them. In fact, freedom of speech was one of the primary motivating factors of the Pilgrims to leave England and start a new, free life here. Despite dark times in this country’s past that certainly did not abide by this virtue, I’d say we’ve done a pretty darn good job at maintaining Americans’ God given rights.
Want to call the President an idiot? Go ahead. Feel like running down the street in a Speedo? More power to you, bro. You’re allowed to protest, gather, and proclaim your opinions without the fear of your government punishing you or limiting your right to free speech. With freedom comes the good, the bad, and the sometimes very ugly—no matter what. The 1st amendment doesn’t come with exceptions and it has not waivered when the message is unpopular or controversial. Compared to how people are living and being treated in places like Syria for merely existing, we Americans have it made.
Unfortunately, this country has experienced a trend in recent years of government officials and politicians pushing to limit our 1st amendment right (among other rights) An extremely concerning and potentially dangerous piece of legislation was recently introduced by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) called the Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014 (S.2219 and H.R 3878) According to Markey, the bill would
examine the prevalence of hate crime and hate speech on the Internet, television, and radio to better address such crimes. [It] would create an updated comprehensive report examining the role of the Internet and other telecommunications in encouraging hate crimes based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation and create recommendations to address such crimes.
Markey is either confusing “hate speech” with “free speech” intentionally, or he’s so inept he’s not educated himself properly on the Bill of Rights. What exactly does Markey interpret as “hate speech” and why do he and his fellow Dems believe they are the deciders? Is it Phil Robertson expressing his religious beliefs on homosexuality (yet also stating that he loves all of humanity? Man, that is SO hateful!) Is it someone denouncing Islam because of the seemingly endless acts of violence its members commit against innocent people constantly? Or, maybe the vile comments of Alec Baldwin and the Commander in Chief’s position on gay marriage prior to his evolving? And let us not forget the fiery rhetoric of Louis Farrakan, Al Sharpton, or Reverend Wright with regard to race and their vision of social justice?
Why on God’s green earth would increased monitoring and regulation by an already inept government be effective in reducing the presence of hate speech and hate crimes on the Internet, television or radio? We’ve already seen examples of real law enforcement’s failure in preventing tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombings last year. Despite the Tsarnaev’s mosque having direct ties to terrorism and numerous red flags, the FBI was still unable to prevent the brothers from carrying out their heinous acts.
I believe it speaks volumes on the direction of this nation when a career politician who’s mostly known as a warm body occupying a suit dares to throw this type of legislation on the table. We’ve seen the blatant and mostly unchallenged abuse of power this federal government has displayed recently and the mere suggestion of increased monitoring and regulation is downright frightening.
It is not up to Markey and his liberal big brother cronies to determine what constitutes hate speech versus free speech. These suggestions are coming from a political party that calls a defiant Nevada rancher a “domestic terrorist” and thinks Phil Robertson is a homophobic bigot yet refuses to denounce a religion which brutally murders women, children, Christians, homosexuals, Jews, to name just a few. The left is so quick to introduce legislature like the Hate Crime Reporting Act, hailing hate crimes as a dangerous epidemic, yet true tragedies like the 2009 Fort Hood massacre are labeled as “workplace violence” or ignored all together, like the Benghazi attack. If those don’t qualify as hate crimes, I don’t know what does.
As it often does with the left, the truth behind this piece of legislature is cleverly hidden underneath good intentions. The unsettling truth behind Markey’s “good intentions” is clear–regulate and limit speech of those with differing opinions. Our Founding Fathers created the Constitution to protect this country from politicians like Markey and Jeffries.