Get Ready to Be Muzzled: The Coming War on So-Called Hate Speech

by | May 19, 2022 | Headline News | 22 comments

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead at the Rutherford Institute. 

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.”—Benjamin Franklin

Beware of those who want to monitor, muzzle, catalog, and censor speech.

Especially be on your guard when the reasons given for limiting your freedoms end up expanding the government’s powers.

In the wake of a mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, carried out by an 18-year-old gunman in military gear allegedly motivated by fears that the white race is in danger of being replaced, there have been renewed calls for social media monitoring, censorship of flagged content that could be construed as dangerous or hateful, and limitations on free speech activities, particularly online.

As expected, those who want safety at all costs will clamor for more gun control measures (if not an outright ban on weapons for non-military, non-police personnel), widespread mental health screening of the general population and greater scrutiny of military veterans, more threat assessments and behavioral sensing warnings, more surveillance cameras with facial recognition capabilities, more “See Something, Say Something” programs aimed at turning Americans into snitches and spies, more metal detectors and whole-body imaging devices at soft targets, more roaming squads of militarized police empowered to do random bag searches, more fusion centers to centralize and disseminate information to law enforcement agencies, and more surveillance of what Americans say and do, where they go, what they buy and how they spend their time.

All of these measures play into the government’s hands.

As we have learned the hard way, the phantom promise of safety in exchange for restricted or regulated liberty is a false, misguided doctrine that serves only to give the government greater authority to crack down, lockdown, and institute even more totalitarian policies for the so-called sake of national security without many objections from the citizenry.

Add the Department of Homeland Security’s “Disinformation Governance Board” to that mix, empower it to monitor online activity and police so-called “disinformation,” and you have the makings of a restructuring of reality straight out of Orwell’s 1984, where the Ministry of Truth polices speech and ensures that facts conform to whatever version of reality the government propagandists embrace.

After all, it’s a slippery slope from censoring so-called illegitimate ideas to silencing the truth.

Eventually, as George Orwell predicted, telling the truth will become a revolutionary act.

If the government can control speech, it can control thought and, in turn, it can control the minds of the citizenry.

It’s been a long time since free speech was actually free.

On paper—at least according to the U.S. Constitution—we are technically free to speak.

In reality, however, we are only as free to speak as a government official—or corporate entities such as Facebook, Google or YouTube—may allow.

That’s not a whole lot of freedom, especially if you’re inclined to voice opinions that may be construed as conspiratorial or dangerous.

This steady, pervasive censorship creep clothed in tyrannical self-righteousness and inflicted on us by technological behemoths (both corporate and governmental) is technofascism, and it does not tolerate dissent.

These internet censors are not acting in our best interests to protect us from dangerous, disinformation campaigns. They’re laying the groundwork now to preempt any “dangerous” ideas that might challenge the power elite’s stranglehold over our lives.

The internet, hailed as a super-information highway, is increasingly becoming the police state’s secret weapon. This “policing of the mind” is exactly the danger author Jim Keith warned about when he predicted that “information and communication sources are gradually being linked together into a single computerized network, providing an opportunity for unheralded control of what will be broadcast, what will be said, and ultimately what will be thought.”

What we are witnessing is the modern-day equivalent of book burning which involves doing away with dangerous ideas—legitimate or not—and the people who espouse them.

Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts, and expressions that challenge their authority.

Having been reduced to a cowering citizenry—mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all—we have nowhere left to go and nothing left to say that cannot be misconstrued and used to muzzle us.

Yet what a lot of people fail to understand, however, is that it’s not just what you say or do that is being monitored, but how you think that is being tracked and targeted.

We’ve already seen this play out on the state and federal level with hate crime legislation that cracks down on so-called “hateful” thoughts and expression, encourages self-censoring and reduces free debate on various subject matters.

With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy, and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance, and so-called “government speech.”

Little by little, Americans have been conditioned to accept routine incursions on their freedoms.

This is how oppression becomes systemic, what is referred to as creeping normality, or death by a thousand cuts.

It’s a concept invoked by Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist Jared Diamond to describe how major changes if implemented slowly in small stages over time, can be accepted as normal without the shock and resistance that might greet a sudden upheaval.

Diamond’s concerns related to Easter Island’s now-vanished civilization and the societal decline and environmental degradation that contributed to it, but it’s a powerful analogy for the steady erosion of our freedoms and decline of our country right under our noses.

As Diamond explains, “In just a few centuries, the people of Easter Island wiped out their forest, drove their plants and animals to extinction, and saw their complex society spiral into chaos and cannibalism… Why didn’t they look around, realize what they were doing, and stop before it was too late? What were they thinking when they cut down the last palm tree?”

His answer: “I suspect that the disaster happened not with a bang but with a whimper.”

Much like America’s own colonists, Easter Island’s early colonists discovered a new world—“a pristine paradise”—teeming with life. Yet almost 2000 years after its first settlers arrived, Easter Island was reduced to a barren graveyard by a populace so focused on their immediate needs that they failed to preserve paradise for future generations.

The same could be said of America today: it, too, is being reduced to a barren graveyard by a populace so focused on their immediate needs that they are failing to preserve freedom for future generations.

In Easter Island’s case, as Diamond speculates:

“The forest…vanished slowly, over decades. Perhaps war interrupted the moving teams; perhaps by the time the carvers had finished their work, the last rope snapped. In the meantime, any islander who tried to warn about the dangers of progressive deforestation would have been overridden by vested interests of carvers, bureaucrats, and chiefs, whose jobs depended on continued deforestation… The changes in forest cover from year to year would have been hard to detect… Only older people, recollecting their childhoods decades earlier, could have recognized a difference. Gradually trees became fewer, smaller, and less important. By the time the last fruit-bearing adult palm tree was cut, palms had long since ceased to be of economic significance. That left only smaller and smaller palm saplings to clear each year, along with other bushes and treelets. No one would have noticed the felling of the last small palm.

Sound painfully familiar yet?

We’ve already torn down the rich forest of liberties established by our founders. It has vanished slowly, over the decades. Those who warned against the dangers posed by too many laws, invasive surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids and the like have been silenced and ignored. They stopped teaching about freedom in the schools. Few Americans know their history. And even fewer seem to care that their fellow Americans are being jailed, muzzled, shot, tasered, and treated as if they have no rights at all.

The erosion of our freedoms happened so incrementally, no one seemed to notice. Only the older generations, remembering what true freedom was like, recognized the difference. Gradually, the freedoms enjoyed by the citizenry became fewer, smaller, and less important. By the time the last freedom falls, no one will know the difference.

This is how tyranny rises and freedom falls: with a thousand cuts, each one justified or ignored or shrugged over as inconsequential enough by itself to bother, but they add up.

Each cut, each attempt to undermine our freedoms, each loss of some critical right—to think freely, to assemble, to speak without fear of being shamed or censored, to raise our children as we see fit, to worship or not worship as our conscience dictates, to eat what we want and love who we want, to live as we want—they add up to an immeasurable failure on the part of each and every one of us to stop the descent down that slippery slope.

We are on that downward slope now.

The contagion of fear that has been spread with the help of government agencies, corporations, and the power elite is poisoning the well, whitewashing our history, turning citizen against citizen, and stripping us of our rights.

America is approaching another reckoning right now, one that will pit our commitment to freedom principles against a level of fear-mongering that is being used to wreak havoc on everything in its path.

Yet as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, while we squabble over which side is winning this losing battle, a tsunami approaches.

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    Comments

    22 Comments

    1. Flying Monkeys

      ‘Hate Speech’ is FREE SPEECH. PERIOD.
      There is no provision in the BOR 1A that says anything about ‘Hate Speech’. If you get called a f_cking idiot, then you have choices: Ignore the bafoon, politely return the compliment or pound them into monkey shit.

      The BOR 2A protects all the others.

      • Mr. Darwin

        Pretty sure pounding someone for calling you a fucking idiot isn’t covered by 1A. Oh, and I’m sure your use of “monkey” was a coincidence, right? 🙄

        • Flying Monkeys

          You’re not worth the time, monkey sh….

      • Darth Skippy

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_noncontradiction

        Libertarians are allowing themselves to be Delphied by Molech worshipers and savages with lip plates. It looks like the Bible movies, where the crowd breaks all the Noachide laws outside the Ark.

        2 Cor 6:14-18

    2. Anonymous

      They’re gonna win and we’re gonna lose.

      Because they know how to fight and we know how to pretend.

      That’s just the way it is,

    3. Spider25

      Have no fear for the dollars days are numbered. When it becomes worth less than zero this whole house of cards will come crashing down! All fiat currencies revert back to there intrinsic value of zero. In the mean time do not comply!

      • Mr. Darwin

        I think your brilliant observation was deposited in the wrong comment section, dipshit.

    4. cranerigger

      Thanks for presenting another awesome commentary on the incremental loss of our human rights. “Technofascism” indeed. Thought police & prior-to-crime enforcement, like that depicted in the movie MINORITY REPORT, are coming our way.

      In this nation of IDEOCRACY, nobody should be surprised.

    5. Capt Barty

      The puppets argue these restrictions are to prevent “radicalization”; the irony is they will serve to radicalize people who believe in freedom, and ordinarily just want to be left alone.

      • SlackMavo

        You are correct sir.

    6. Anonymous

      We need a non ambiguous definition of “hate speech”, one so specific that there is no question about what it is.

      Then we need to apply it equally to all, including people like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar when they preach hatred of Israel and the Jews, which they seem to be dedicated to for some reason.

      FWIW, I don’t expect to see that happen.

      • Flying Monkeys

        ” We need a non ambiguous definition of “hate speech”, one so specific that there is no question about what it is.

        Then we need to apply it equally to all,…”

        Seriously?

        Once it (in this case, the 1st Amendment) is changed to ‘specifically’ prohibit ‘Hate Speech’, then someone (and here’s where the ball drops) has to DEFINE it legally. Will it be up to the local yokal gov? The state slugs? The feral feds? Or, could it be you?

        Do you really want to go down the long-ass rabbit hole to find your sanity?
        You do this to one, you do it to all – nullifying the whole BOR.

        No. Not a smart move.

        • Anonymous

          So you want it to mean whatever some prosecutor, one with a political agenda, or a religious one, wants it to mean?

          That’s pretty much the way it is now, are you happy with it?

          • Flying Monkeys

            Rebuttle:
            What is the highest law(s) in our land (USA)?
            Constitution? Yes, and no.
            The Constitution is the original highest law of our land. But, there is another even higher.
            The actual highest law(s) in our land is:
            The Amendments to the Constitution, aka, The Bill Of Rights (BOR).

            The First Amendment (1A) states:
            Amendment I

            Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

            Knowing that there shall be NO LAW prohibiting or abridging the freedom of speech, what does one do about HATE SPEECH?
            Simply, nothing. The (1A) makes no mention or distinction about this abstract term. Any attempt (Supreme Court or lower), regardless of the source(s) or ruling does not change or nullify the original (1A).

            Now, to your question :
            So you want it to mean whatever some prosecutor, one with a political agenda, or a religious one, wants it to mean?

            That’s pretty much the way it is now, are you happy with it?

            Apparently, you failed to read (and understand) what was said.
            (Q 1): No, it reads just as it says. No extra emphasis on any word(s), regardless of the person or agenda. If you take it as you stated above, then you need to study more.
            (Q 2): Disagree. It is not ‘the way it is now’. You just assume or want it to be that way. I have no problem with it (1A) as it stands. It is still original and unchanged.

            The problem(s) begin when someone attempts to change it, make it something it is not supposed to be by adding (or removing) specific content (to appease or control).
            If you cannot express openly, in whatever way you deem necessary, then you are not free and your right(s) are abridged or nullified.

    7. Bill

      New laws, old laws, hate speech laws, doesn’t make any difference. Laws are enforced selectively. We have a two-tier system of justice in this country and everyone knows it.
      The State can impose its un-Constitutional will on the people via obsequious big tech. without too many court challenges. One of the main purposes of new “hate speech” laws will be to inhibit alternate news and social media sites from operating, that legally and freely and Constitutionally operate outside of present authoritarian control. It is driving the State absolutely insane it cannot completely control every and all narratives and information.
      We have a 1st Amendment in our Constitution, it is the Supreme Law of the Land, it trumps all else – everything. We have an unqualified and absolute right to speak our minds – period. We don’t need a reason, we don’t need permission, we don’t need approval. The best way to keep all your rights is to exercise them all regularly. And support alternate sites, especially gab.com, unz.com, and lewrockwell.com, all really good.

    8. JRS

      War? What war?

      It’s not war if only one side shows up.

      Even the Tops shooter’s dreams of Boogaloo have died…

    9. Genius

      I hate you, you hate me, were as angry as can be…

    10. Jocko

      I can only support the ban on hate speech if I am the one that determines what is hate speech and what is not!
      FJB

    11. JRS

      The main purpose of this disinformation board is to counter the real truth about Ukraine being spread throughout the internet.

      The Washington Post has a photo of Nina Jankowicz, the head of the disinfo board, working in Zelensky’s campaign office in 2019 in Ukraine. Conflicts of interest everywhere in DC…the grifter’s paradise.

    12. Darth Skippy

      My Sister’s Machine – I Hate You
      youtube.com/watch?v=X9_RLElrHrM&ab_channel=Brunceling

      Ugly Kid Joe – Everything About You (Official Music Video)
      youtube.com/watch?v=byEGjLU2egA&ab_channel=UglyKidJoeVEVO

      Data the android gets emotion chip HD
      youtube.com/watch?v=EefWJ8Z9tgE&ab_channel=Krebber

      How can someone lay a higher claim to your wealth or the essential means of production in a free country.

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