The Hate Speech Police Are Coming Out in Full Force in New York After the Hamas Attack
Few people would argue that acts of terrorism, violence, and hatred are acceptable in society, but should governments take away our rights because these things occur? Most people would say: of course not. Yet, in reality, they would gladly give power to the state to ramp up antiterrorism activities, spy on us, and increase funding to law enforcement for the purpose of targeting people for speech. It is necessary, after all, that we provide the proper tools for governments to be able to combat such unique threats. The creation of the surveillance state, largely aided by the Patriot Act after the September 11, 2001 attacks, was not opposed by much of the population, and most Americans agreed that we needed to sacrifice our rights to protect the country from al-Qaeda and whatever other boogeymen exist in this world.
No better example of the “make sure people feel safe” approach is New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s new policies in the wake of the Hamas attack on October 7 (which was followed by the horrific killings of Gazans by the Israeli military). Apparently, it took a trip to Israel and to see Jewish students at Cornell University receive threats for the Governor Hochul’s appeal to humanity to kick in, but she also suggested, much like President Joe Biden, that unconditional support for the Israeli government is a top priority and that New Yorkers’ support of genocide against the Palestinians will never fade. Of course, an increase in antisemitic incidents against both people of Jewish and Arabic descent is not something that we enjoy, and there are not too many people who would believe otherwise, but do we sacrifice our rights for a sense of security?
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New York’s new tactic is to draw a clear line between tolerable speech and hate speech, targeting the latter. Not only is the governor spending $75 million of New Yorkers hard-earned money to bolster law enforcement activities ($50 million to aid local law enforcement to solve hate crimes and $25 million to increase security in “at-risk” communities and at cultural centers and houses of worship) and taking on a crusade to purge college campuses of “antisemitism and antidiscrimination policies;” but she freed up $2.5 million to the State Police for the purpose of aiding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force (particularly, the Counter-Terrorism Center within the New York State Intelligence Center would operate in New York City, Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester). On the surface, this seems admirable. Of course, we want to stop terrorism and crimes motivated by hate. The problem is that the FBI has been targeting people unconstitutionally (see here, here, here, here, and here) for years, but it has become more apparent in the wake of the 2016 and 2020 elections.
Not only will the New York State government be participating in unconstitutional endeavors in conjunction with the FBI, but the Hochul regime will be ramping up surveillance against all New Yorkers, regardless of how prone they are to committing crimes. Last year, she utilized the Buffalo mass shooting incident to grab more power for the state in creating the Office of Counterterrorism (under the state’s portion of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services), which will have the State Police’s New York State Intelligence Center monitor everyone’s social media posts. As a defining moment in her governorship, where she made up these magical powers out of thin air through executive orders (without legislative aid), she stated, “My own state is going to lead in the surveillance of social media hate speech that's out there and find out if it's ultimately going to be weaponized.” Now, because of the Hamas attacks, she is strengthening the power of surveillance that she did not have before to monitor for hate speech against Jews and Muslims.
Again, hatred toward groups of people is something to condemn, however, New Yorkers, and Americans in general, have the rights to free speech and not be monitored online. When the state’s Intelligence Center scours the web for every and any perceived threat, it takes away New Yorkers’ privacy. Federal and state governments are only supposed to examine crimes that have occurred or inevitably will occur, and searching through everyone’s posts without specific warrants (describing the exact person, place, and reason for the search) is clearly unconstitutional. Expansive and general searches by law enforcement are not acceptable in the United States, period.
The First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (and echoed by the New York State Constitution under Article I Sections 8 & 12) were created to prevent just that, and yet, here we are with the Hochul regime finding clever ways around violating our protected rights. The people cheer it on or do nothing in response and continue to let the governor do as she pleases. This is not just a state matter, as people elsewhere in the country are becoming victim to the same type of tyranny. Most unconstitutional powers and acts start in New York (or California) and find their way into federal and state doctrines. We already know that the federal government is monitoring all Americans, so for New Yorkers, there is an added layer of surveillance and unconstitutional practices.
Americans are conditioned into thinking that hate speech is not protected by the Constitution, but the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) summed it up well when it said that it defends the speech of Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members “Because we believe that the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and press would be meaningless if the government could pick and choose the persons to whom they apply.” This used to be the view of liberals and progressives in the United States, but ever since Donald Trump, these groups have strayed away from their principles of protecting rights, and speech in particular.
Now, the Left wants to censor anything that goes against scientific consensus, offends someone, challenges election results (unless Democrats are the ones questioning the outcomes), or is perceived as anti-democratic or hateful content. This gradual move toward increased censorship only makes it more likely that the government will not only continue forcing social media companies to manipulate their algorithms to exclude certain content, but it will eventually enforce punishment (to include jail time) for those who engage in “unprotected” speech (Governor Hochul is already policing college campuses to ensure that they are free of hate speech). The Democratic Party, aided by the FBI, is leading the way in censorship in the present, and it will gladly target people flying the Gadsden flag or supporting the Second Amendment, but the Republican Party is all too eager to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to hate speech against Jews or targeting people of Palestinian descent, for example.
Governor Hochul and other prominent progressive voices claim that they are attempting to protect people and make them feel safe and that hate has no place in this world (or in New York), but yet, these people have no problem hating on conservatives and Trump supporters, even advocating locking January 6th protesters up for years or throwing the book at Donald Trump to imprison their political opponent at any cost. Do you remember when the ruling class attempted to scapegoat the unvaccinated during the COVID-19 pandemic and created an environment that blamed them for society’s ills? Why is that societal and collective hatred acceptable but other types are not?
Why does progressivism arbitrarily classify people into categories and create “protected classes” so that discrimination against certain ones is not permitted, but when the Nashville shooter, for example, has a manifesto declaring that he/she/it/ze/zir shot up a school because of hatred toward white people and perceived privilege in society, these supposed warriors against hate were completely silent on the matter. The corporate media parrots the intentions of shooters when they are white non-transgender males who have conservative leanings, but I did not see or hear too many outlets talking about the manifesto of this transgender perpetrator (or when the shooters were minorities). Could it be because this goes against the mainstream narrative that transgender people are victims in society (we would not want to alter that image)? There is a double standard where you are allowed to hate on white people, but as soon as you hate on a “protected” group, you are evil and need to be punished. Is this progressive viewpoint even a serious belief system?
Classifying speech into categories and arbitrarily deciding which ones are protected and which ones border on criminal are dangerous to a free society, and Americans should stand up to preserve the First Amendment before it is too late. If you can be charged with a crime because of what you say, are you really free? Governor Hochul and her band of authoritarians would like to check your social media posts to make sure that you do not say anything unauthorized and send the police to your door if your speech is too hateful. She would like to intimidate people into not saying anything that could be construed as unprotected speech. We have to stop those hate crimes before they occur, right? Precrime is the progressive way, and validating people’s feelings is more important than protecting free speech, after all. This regressive society that we are creating will only lead to our downfall, and if we do not allow people to speak their minds freely without government sanctions (or fear of them), the totalitarianism rising out of this will be unspeakable.
Thank you for reading, and please check out my book, The Global Bully, and website.
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