US Government Silences Political Speech
By Tom Rhodes, 9/23/2014
A U.S. Circuit Court has ruled that political speech is not protected. If those who don't approve of your speech threaten violence, the government has a right to silence you. The 9th U.S. Circuit court of Appeals now says preventing possible violence against you outweighs your right to free speech.
What the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled was that the government, in this case school officials of Live Oak High School, can prohibit students from wearing to school clothing featuring the American flag, because of threats made against those students, not because of any threats those students made.
Peacefully wearing a shirt with an American Flag to school because it might piss off criminal alien students can be punished by the government. That is sick. What the Court ruled is that the hecklers veto is legal, and not submitting to the threat of violence is illegal.
During the 2009 Cinco de Mayo celebration at Live Oak, school officials ordered the students to turn their shirts inside out or go home, apparently because Latino students at the school couldn't be blamed if they became incensed at the flag shirts and resorted to violence to express their outrage. A year later, during the 2010 Cinco de Mayo celebration, Mexican students confronted three American students wearing American flag shirts again. "Why are you wearing that? Do you not like Mexicans?" one asked. The Mexican students threatened violence. Rather than go after the criminal bullies threatening violence, the government officials took the easy and cowardly path of punishing the peaceful patriots? Instead of disciplinary action against the wrongdoers, they persecuted those who exercised free speech.
What this does is rewarded their thuggish behavior and incentivized further acts of violence. The court, by approving this horrendous decision, has now set a precedent. If you want to shut down people's speech, the best way to do it is to threaten or commit violent acts against the speaker. As Libertarians we are screwed. The NAP dooms us to lose.
That's right the Non-Aggression Principle, dooms us. The court has ruled that all any group needs to do to silence libertarian speech is to threaten to do us violence. To protect us and stop violence the Court has ruled that we can be silenced.
Nobody could argue that the students wearing American Flag clothing isn't political speech, especially on Cinco de Mayo, in a place with a large Latino population. The First Amendment doesn’t exist to protect politically popular and generally accepted speech, that speech needs no protection. The strongest protections of the First Amendment supposedly apply to political speech. Obviously the First Amendment is dead. If liberals were intellectually honest, they would join us in voicing disgust at this court ruling and petition the SCOTUS to overturn this horrible decision.
Next thing you know, the US will be like Canada and tell Christians they cannot share scripture if those passages might offend others to the point of provoking them to violence. Imagine in the USA the government making reading or preaching on Leviticus 18:22 illegal, because it may cause others to become violent. Substantively that situation only differs in content from what telling students they can’t where American Flag themed clothing.
We do have a choice, it’s a sick choice, but now a legal choice, we can credibly threaten statists promoting statism with violence, then use this court case as a precedent to silence leftist ideas. All we have to do is abandon the NAP.
Not going to Happen!!! As the Party of Principle, the Libertarian Party cannot and will not abandon the one thing we expect of Libertarians - acceptance of the Non-Aggression Principle. So soon expect the government to silence libertarian ideas using the excuse that such ideas publically expressed may upset a statist to the point they do violence, and preventing possible violence outweighs the right to free speech. It’s a sick end to the First Amendment and Liberty.