Counterprotesters hold signs before conservative organizers begin a planned “Free Speech” rally on Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston. Police Commissioner William Evans said Friday that 500 officers, some in uniform, others undercover, would be deployed to keep the two groups apart. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
So, with the Boston Free Speech Rally over, and the liberal counter-protesters apparently dispersing, I suppose we should look at the media reports and see if we missed anything to report on.
— WCBS Newsradio 880 (@wcbs880) August 19, 2017
Wait… what? “Free speech” is controversial now?
"If you can stay away from this area…do it," Boston authorities say of alt-right group's "Free Speech Rally" https://t.co/G0Nrra0pk3
— CNN (@CNN) August 19, 2017
…Huh? “Alt-right”? That was never part of any description of the rally.
Well, actually, you know what gives. See, many of the people who protested were there because “free speech” is now seen as code for “hate speech”… when it’s really not. Free speech is, after all, what allows these groups to go out and protest rallies, too.
But, when right-leaning groups gather to talk about free speech, they must be defending Nazis. Even when the organizers of the free speech rally repeatedly told media outlets that the alt-right – white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis, etc. – weren’t welcome at the event, as well as those who protested in Charlottesville.
The groups that organized the Boston event were not alt-right, despite media outlets attempting to paint them as such.
This is why combating the problem of political violence is so tough right now. No one is being honest about who is actually being violent. People calling for free speech are not violent. People wanting anarchy and throwing Molotov cocktails are violent. People who mow down protesters with cars are violent. But, political affiliation does not make you automatically violent or non-violent.
Jim Jamitis hit on the subject earlier today with the mindless op-ed piece at the Washington Post about how the Left gave up political violence and the Right is just super extreme with its violence. It is absolutely devoid of reason and ignorant of the actual facts of the situation.
“Free speech” is not some code word for “hate speech,” and conservative groups holding a free speech rally are not automatically considered alt-right, nor are they automatically controversial for doing so.
This media smear of a First Amendment right and the people who endorse it is exactly why we can’t have any honest talks about this subject. Until you can be honest about who you disagree with (and let’s face it – the media leans to the liberal side and therefore generally disagrees with conservative groups), then you can’t start to actually work on and fix the problems we’re facing today.