By Austin Anderholt | USA
Recently, white nationalists and the alt right have taken an unprecedented stand in politics in the 21st century. Their speech is vulgar, racist, and just plain incorrect. The clear majority of Americans disagree with everything that these racists believe in, and many people on the left have called for a solution: Why don’t we just make hate speech illegal? In England, they’re already creating a police force to hunt online internet trolls, and in Canada, hate speech is now illegal, so why shouldn’t America catch up? This article will discuss why I believe that even the most racist, sexist, backward opinions should have the full right to be heard, and not deemed “illegal hate speech.”
Many Americans believe that the government has the power to make the practice of “hate speech” a crime, and therefore punishable by law. However, hate speech is entirely protected under the Constitution. The first amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is defined as “the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint.” This covers all opinions, not just unpopular ones that leftists deem “bigoted” or “racist.” For that matter, the first amendment even protects opinions that are legitimately bigoted and racist.
Forcing people to hide their opposing opinions may sound great when the non “hate speech” opinions are your own, but what if we turned the tables? Imagine living in a world where white nationalists rule the government. What if they deemed your personal opinion “Hate Speech” against their agenda? What if they jailed you for your thoughts? You simply cannot jail someone purely because they share an opinion that you disagree with! At the end of the day, everyone’s beliefs are just subjective opinions! No one is de facto right or wrong. Opinions are subjective. They change. They are not sheer truths. 2,000 years ago, almost everyone agreed that slavery was justified and that the Earth was at the center of the solar system. Only a small minority of people were against slavery, and almost no one theorized that the Earth revolved around the sun. Should these radical, yet true ideas have been made “illegal”?
In a rational debate, individuals discuss and argue about whose opinion is more factually correct. If one party makes a much better argument than another, most people will side on an issue with them. If an idea has weak arguments in its case, few people will side with them. Sure, some people believe that the earth is flat. Some people believe that certain races are superior to others. But almost everyone agrees that these ideas are false. Why? The more popular ideas have had much more plentiful, well-established facts in their arguments. White nationalists use very little facts, and therefore very few people believe them. The better argument will always win.
In conclusion, we must support free speech for everyone, regardless of their beliefs. Every voice deserves to be heard. It’s the constitutional, factual way to ensure the most freedom to the individual. The government’s sole purpose is to protect your God-given rights, not your feelings.