The Left’s Exploitation of Charlottesville Tragedy Continues
CNN and Black Lives Matter go off the rails.
The hate-Trump liberal media continues to exploit the Charlottesville tragedy to serve its ideological agenda. They are maliciously distorting President Trump’s comments in response to the tragedy in order to paint him and his supporters as racists. Although President Trump has condemned neo-Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists as racists whose views do not represent American values, he did not do enough as far as the hate-Trump media is concerned. Moreover, the president had no business mentioning that some counter-protesters were also violent, according to these determiners of the official “truth.”
CNN’s Don Lemon declared that President Trump’s comments were “disgusting,” “un-American,” and “racist.” Michael Moore, appearing as a guest on Lemon’s show, branded all Trump supporters as racists.
“It is hard to imagine if that domestic terrorist action had been committed by somebody who was, instead of a white supremacist terrorist, a Muslim terrorist,” CNN’s Jake Tapper said, “it is impossible to imagine President Trump saying that both sides are responsible for the violence, saying that the people that came out against these extremists are equally to blame.”
Even when it did not seem possible, CNN sank to a new low on Thursday. Its senior national security correspondent Jim Sciutto tried to tie what happened in Charlottesville to the horrific Islamic terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain on Thursday, in which a driver of a van plowed into pedestrians and killed at least 13 people. ISIS has claimed responsibility for this latest jihadist massacre.
“In light of the uproar of the last couple days, five days apart you have a white supremacist in Charlottesville use a vehicle to kill, and here you have attackers at least following the modus operandi of terrorists using vehicles apparently to kill as well, and those shared tactics should be alarming,” Sciutto said. CNN host Wolf Blitzer added, “There will be questions about copycats. There will be questions if what happened in Barcelona was at all a copycat version of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. Even though there may be different characters, different political ambitions, they used the same killing device: a vehicle going at high speed into a group, a large group of pedestrians.”
Scuitto and Blitzer would have us believe that the Islamist terrorists responsible for the Barcelona massacre turned on the TV last weekend and had a Eureka moment when they learned about the neo-Nazi who allegedly used his vehicle to kill Heather Heyer in Charlottesville. Perhaps Sciutto and Blitzer have just woken up from a long sleep. Islamist terrorists have used vehicles as killing machines on multiple occasions stretching back more than a year preceding the Charlottesville attack. Nice, Berlin, Stockholm and London are amongst the cities in Europe where Islamists have mowed down innocent pedestrians in the name of Allah. Islamist terrorists, who former President Barack Obama lumped together with other “violent extremists,” set the example for the neo-Nazi in Charlottesville, not the other way around.
The left is also using the Charlottesville tragedy for the purpose of trying to criminalize speech they do not agree with.
Defacing, toppling, and destroying statues of Confederate generals in public places is not enough for the left. Now Black Lives Matter and other leftist groups, which claim moral superiority, are so offended by what they consider to be any vestige of white supremacy that they are seeking to destroy the First Amendment’s core protections of free speech and association.
The Black Lives Matter Chicago Twitter account @BLMChi tweeted: “After WWII, Germany outlawed the Nazis, their symbols, salutes & their flags. All confederate flags & statue, & groups should be illegal.”
“Hate speech, which is what we’re seeing coming out of white nationalists groups, is not protected under the First Amendment rights,“ Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, claimed during an MSNBC interview last Monday. “I think what is important at this moment is white nationalists are actually fighting to take away people’s rights. Black Lives Matter and groups like Black Lives Matter are fighting for equality.”
Apparently, Ms. Cullors forgot about the Black Lives Matter activists who hatefully chanted “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” as they marched in Minnesota two years ago in an anti-police protest. Did she also forget about the Black Lives Matter protesters in New York chanting “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now!” in response to the death of Eric Garner? Does she excuse the Black Lives Matter protester who said the “Only good white man is a dead white man?” How does she square the segregated black only events sponsored by Black Lives Matter groups with her claim that Black Lives Matter is fighting for “equality?”
The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that “the public expression of ideas may not be prohibited merely because the ideas are themselves offensive to some of their hearers.” Hate speech – whether coming out of white nationalist or black nationalist groups – is protected under the First Amendment unless it constitutes incitement to imminent violence. Only hate speech that is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action” would not be protected, according to the Supreme Court. Even “advocacy of illegal action at some indefinite future time” would be protected under the First Amendment.
The Supreme Court has also barred the so-called “heckler’s veto,” which would allow those offended by certain speech to effectively censor it by claiming such speech would have the capacity to incite the poor snowflakes to commit retaliatory violence. However, despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, the heckler’s veto is alive and well. Leftist groups such as Antifa cause enough havoc that local law enforcement authorities claim they cannot protect conservative speakers and the people who want to hear them from attacks by the “offended.” Berkeley, where the student Free Speech Movement was born in the 1960’s, has become ground zero for the heckler’s veto.
Even the ACLU felt it necessary to defend the constitutional right of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists to hold their protest rally in Charlottesville. “The First Amendment is a critical part of our democracy, and it protects vile, hateful, and ignorant speech. For this reason, the ACLU of Virginia defended the white supremacists’ right to march,” the organization said, even though at the same time it made clear its antipathy to the views of the white supremacists. In this instance, at least, the ACLU acted out of concern for the principle of free speech on which it was founded.
The whole purpose of the First Amendment’s free speech clause is to protect the right to say or write unpleasant, controversial ideas. Innocuous speech does not need such protection. White supremacists and neo-Nazis are indeed despicable people who should crawl back to where they came from. But they have as much of a right to spout their views, distasteful as they may be, as CNN or Black Lives Matter. That is what sets the United States apart from the rest of the world, including Western Europe and Canada where freedom of thought and speech do not stand above all other freedoms as they do in this country.