Enshrined in the US Constitution, unlimited Freedom of Speech seems as untouchable and nonsensical as its right to bear weapons. Well, too bad, because they both need to be curtailed and amended urgently.
These principles stem from a time and document that legalized slavery.
It’s good to be principled – with good principles. Once they are obsolete, they must be updated. When found unsound, they must be replaced by standards that make more sense or are more moral. It’s not good to just be a time-server or weathercock. And to be stubborn can be good too. But not when we’re wrong or someone else is more right than us.
People wonder from where comes all the racism and anti-Semitism that’s now gotten more popular in the US. I will tell you from where.
While Black Obama was president and Jews-friendly Trump succeeded him, racism and anti-Semitism soiled the Internet. No one protested.
(As I predicted, a dangerous blaming of Trump’s court Jews has begun. Trump erroneously covers up the murder by the Saudi crown prince “to help Israel.” US troops will not leave the Middle East “to protect Israel.”)
But speech may kill, articulated bigotry be murderous. “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me” is a lie and must stop.
Take an example from smaller democracies, younger and older.
The Dutch teach their children that democracy is the will of the majority while taking minorities into account. They also teach that freedom of speech and press must be limited and give no license to insult or incite.
In Israel, anyone who professes racism cannot stand for election.
It’s late but never too late to halt verbal venom.
Outlawing hate speech is more urgent than having hate crime legislation.
Racism and Jews-hatred are increasing everywhere, in dictatorships and democracies alike. The US could set a helpful example fighting this.