The American Civil Liberties Union is being slammed defending the right of Milo Yiannopoulos to free speech.
Posting on Twitter, the ACLU account signal boosted the tweets of one of its lawyers, Lee Rowland, who said it was important to protect speech—even speech we personally disagree with—to prevent the First Amendment from devolving into a popularity contest.
Both the official ACLU Twitter account and Rowland were mobbed by outraged social justice warriors who told them they were wrong to defend his basic rights.
Their arguments were replete with hyperbole denouncing him as some kind of homosexual Nazi whose words will usher in a very gay and very fabulous Fourth Reich. The hysteria couldn’t, of course, be farther from the truth.
The same organization has been battling against Donald Trump’s executive order that prevented Green Card holders from several countries in the Middle East from entering the United States.
The progressive left celebrated the ACLU then, but its recent move to defend Yiannopoulos has caused some to declare them the bad guys.
“Enjoy being on the wrong side of history in the most embarrassing way possible,” wrote Amy Dentata, who proceeded to attack the ACLU’s defenders. “Hate speech isn’t protected speech, inciting violence isn’t protected speech. You fucking rube.”
“You’re making an absolute ass of yourselves with this, and you know it,” wrote Parker Molloy, who made the inconceivable argument that Yiannopoulos’ right to speech prevented others from speaking.
Molloy linked to a piece by Feminist Frequency associate Katherine Cross, who says that speech should be restricted.
In responding to Rowland, leftwing blogger Charles “Little Green Footballs” Johnson and his supporters say that the government has no duty to protect anyone’s free speech.
Many others, including Canadian anthropologist and Michael Oman-Reagan, who called for the “queering” of space travel and made the news by attacking the Oxford Dictionary’s “sexist definitions,” cited the widely debunked “fire in a crowded theater” argument, equating Yiannopoulos’ speech to violence.
Ira Madison, the MTV writer who attacked Jeff Sessions’ Asian granddaughter, told the ACLU that he was blocking them. Others followed suit by expressing their disappointment and announcing their decisions to stop donating to the ACLU.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive its content. Speech codes adopted by government-financed state colleges and universities amount to government censorship, in violation of the Constitution. And the ACLU believes that all campuses should adhere to First Amendment principles because academic freedom is a bedrock of education in a free society.
The right to free speech is indivisible. Restricting the speech of any group will jeopardize everyone’s rights, because the same laws used to silence one group can be used against anyone else.
Conversely, the same laws that protect Yiannopoulos are used to defend the voices of social justice activists.