Liberals’ next move: to criminalize anti-liberal speech

The below exchange has been posted in the entry, “Deliberately to embarrass a person is a felony, if the person belongs to a favored group.” But the exchange launches a new topic, so I am posting it in its own entry as well.

Scott B. writes:

In retrospect, it would seem that the totalitarian prosecution of the Ravi case was an end to which “hate crime” legislation was pointing from the outset.

It is the culmination of a two-pronged attack. On the one hand, there is the relentless propaganda campaign to delegitimize cultural critiques of the leftists’ anti-Western ideology and anti-Western protected groups, a campaign which, thanks to the First Amendment, is unable to criminalize conservative expressions. This by contrast to much of Europe, where criticisms of minority ethnic groups are now frequently classified as incitement to racial hatred.

How to overcome the obstacle of the First Amendment, which protects the right to express negative opinions of a leftist victim group? By way of the second prong: writing into law that an opinion of which the left disapproves may be seen as an exacerbating factor in the commission of a crime, even when the “crime” to which it is attached is negligible to non-existent.

LA replies:

There’s really no limit to what they can now do. Even before hate crime legislation, left-liberals spread the idea that anti-liberal opinions created an “hostile academic environment,” or an “intimidating work environment.” Well, all the liberals had to do was declare in law (1) that to “intimidate” a person is a crime, and (2) that if such intimidation is motivated by hostility to a designated victim group, the intimidation is a hate crime, meriting a more severe punishment.

Now Ravi’s behavior was not just verbal. In fact, he wasn’t criticizing homosexuality or the homosexualist agenda at all. He secretly videotaped a personal encounter and told other people about it, with the aim of embarrassing Clementi; Clementi discovered the second attempt and was—as the prosecutor asserted and the jury agreed—“intimidated” by it. So speech in itself, the expression of opinions in itself, would appear to be still protected. However, given the rapidity and audacity of the left’s current advance, I no longer see any certain bar to their desire to define purely verbal behavior, namely verbal criticism of a protected group or its agenda (protected up to this point by federal and state free speech guarantees) as an intimidating act. And once they do that, America will be indistinguishable from Europe as far as anti-hate speech laws are concerned, except that America will be worse. America won’t just fine people for hate speech; it will imprison them.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 20, 2012 10:06 AM | Send

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