The opinions expressed by writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Cumberland Country Republican Committee.
Essay: Free Speech, Hate Speech, & Censorship: Winning the 2020 Elections
~ This essay was the basis of a public speech given on August 15, 2019 in Cumberland, Maine, co-hosted by the Gray and Cumberland Republican Town Committees. Brown is the Chairman of the Gray Republican Committee. You can view that speech here.
Sep 7, 2019
Table of Contents
The Status of Freedom in 2019
What a fine group of men and women are gathered here tonight! You are all stellar examples of masculinity and femininity and are wonderful representatives of the human race.
I’ve just broken some politically correct taboos by using those words, and in some venues I would be censored or castigated. How many of you have been censored? I have, when Twitter locked my account for tweeting:
Note that when I say “leftist” I do not mean “liberal.” Liberals are generally good-hearted people who love freedom. Leftists do not love freedom for all people.
I violated Twitter’s “hateful conduct” policy, so I removed the post, and my account was unlocked. In addition, I, and huge numbers of conservatives, including President Trump, are being “shadow banned” by Twitter, which means that Twitter prevents your tweets from being seen by your followers.
How many of you self-censor, with relatives, friends, or at your workplace? I know that I have. Self-censorship is endemic around the world. In Germany, only eighteen percent of survey respondents agreed that it was “possible to express oneself freely in public.”1
So, let’s look at the status of freedom in 2019.
At colleges, institutions, and town governments across the country, large numbers of commonsense words are being heavily discouraged or banned, including:
Non-binary, preferred pronouns are becoming mandatory in schools and teachers are being told to stop addressing students as “boys and girls.”3 In the city code of Berkeley, California, manholes are becoming “maintenance holes.” Man-made will become “human-made.” She, her, he, and him will be replaced by “they” and “them.”4 The list of offensive words is growing longer every day.
Politically correct speech is “Newspeak” by another name. In George Orwell’s novel, 1984, Syme, a specialist in Newspeak, meets the protagonist Winston and explains the rise of Newspeak. Here are three excerpts of his remarks:
Thirty years from now, in 2050, Orwell’s prediction via Syme’s words has a very strong chance of coming true, because language, thought, speech, and religious beliefs and practices are giving ground to totalitarian forces around the world and are being heavily eroded in America, the last, best hope for freedom.
More and more social opinions are verboten and history is being rewritten. Statues of significant, historical men are being torn down and white, Christian men, both old and young, are the new villains in the Left’s efforts to divide and conquer the human race.6
Eight-year-old, cute-as-a-button Miss Ava Martinez received death threats on the family phone line because of her “Mini AOC” video parodies of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her parents have deleted her social media accounts to protect her from the hateful left.7
Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson recently declared:
Reza Aslan, the Islamist supremacist, former CNN contributor, and cannibal who ate human brain tissue in India, tweeted on August 4, 2019:
Twitter has not removed his tweet for violating their hate speech policies.
Restrictions on free speech, religious beliefs, and opinions have morphed into full-blown restrictions on civil rights, based on identity politics. Today, leftists and radical Democrats continue to be fully committed to the denial of civil rights to groups of individuals whom they despise. Instead of building “Colored-Only” lunch counters, Leftists today are removing the lunch counters altogether.
Conservatives are being censored and kicked off Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Amazon, WordPress, and other web hosting platforms. They’re being rejected by hotels, banks, credit card companies, payment processors, restaurants, services like Eventbrite, and even Uber and Lyft. 12 13
The Left’s attacks on free speech and its attendant civil rights are global, rapid, comprehensive, and powerful.
Peter Falkenberg Brown is a native of Portland. He's the Chairman of the Gray Republican Committee and is the Info/Web Committee Chair for the CCRC.