Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Leftists can racially abuse anyone they like
A Left-leaning paper defending a Leftist eminence is very quick to make the case for free speech -- even admitting that "hate speech" is free speech. Not a usual Leftist position
Assume for the sake of argument that Alec Baldwin did indeed hurl racial epithets at a New York Post photographer. You still have to wonder why he is under investigation by the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force. He committed no crime. If the allegations under investigation are true, Baldwin is merely guilty of boorishly exercising his constitutional rights. Hate speech is constitutionally protected, as the Supreme Court recently confirmed in Snyder v Phelps.
Still, an investigation of protected speech is not a harmless PR exercise. Even if it has no appreciable chilling effect, it helps promote disrespect for speech rights and the nonsensical belief that hate speech isn't free speech -- that the First Amendment should only protect speech we like, or, at least, don't seriously dislike. Freedom of speech means the freedom to say what the law doesn't want people to hear, however hateful the speech may seem.