Freedom of Hate Speech
Every time I hear people bang on about ‘Freedom of Speech’ I feel nauseous. Freedom of Speech never seems to me to have anything to do with freedom at all. When you hear people bleating on about it, it’s never freedom to say something good. It’s generally the freedom to say vile things and go unchecked.
In a world being asked to be more politically correct, to be more compassionate, to be inclusive, to open its arms to the planet’s dissposessed, this overused tenet of democracy called ‘Freedom of Speech’ has become a dangerous platform used to serve the interests of bigots who’ve got the shits because they are losing the upper hand. They’ll even shoot you for it. Because their freedom is about you not having yours. Theirs is the freedom to hate.
We are at war. This time it’s not about Queen or country, or even religion, it’s about belief. This war is played out in chat groups and Twitter accounts across the world, where online tribalism allows faceless bigots an audience. A tribe. An army. Where, from the anonymous comfort of their computer screens, hate mongering extremists radicalise other angry white (usually male) people towards violence. But we have a tribe too. It’s a tribe of inclusion, and love, and non-violence, and equality. We need to mobilise our tribe with the same ferocity as they have mobilised theirs.
We need to shut them down. The bigots are imploding. They no longer can use their privilege to be unashamedly racist. The privilege to be disgustingly sexist. The privilege to be entitled and white. But they’re not going to go quietly. The stinking toxic privilege-bus full of hateful violent white supremacists needs to be driven over a cliff. Metaphorically of course. I don’t condone violence. I certainly don’t condone violence in the name of freedom. I do however condone locking them out of their social media accounts.
Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have to become accountable for the kind of material disseminated. I get banned for a picture of a breastfeeding mother due to ‘morality’ yet some of these turkeys get thousands of shares. Their psychotic view of freedom is a risk to everyone else’s freedom. The Grafton born terrorist who killed 49 people last week was a published voice of hate and violence way before he orchestrated the deaths of innocent people. He proved himself an extremist deadlier than any other seen in our country or in New Zealand, so why did they have no record of him? He’d been active online for a long time.
Why haven’t the agencies that are so quick to lock up suspected Muslim terrorists locking up all the online ultra-right supremacists that live amongst us? They’re not hard to find. They have massive followings. I could name five right now. We could start with Senator Anning! It’s no coincidence that some of the followers of Senator Anning are neo-Nazis. You can find them in the back of videos or photos doing the classic one armed Heil Hitler salute! We can’t truly apologise for the Australian born monster we’ve unleashed when we have an elected politician making a statement on government letterhead which defends the actions of a terrorist mass murderer by laying the blame on immigration and on the Muslim community itself. It’s not enough to come out and distance yourself from Anning. He needs to be removed.
If a 17 year old can throw an egg, then why can’t the whole country? Otherwise we endorse fascism. We are seeing a rise in fascist thinking. Fascist thinking that wraps itself in our flag and says, ‘This isn’t hate. This is Freedom of Speech.’ Australia is a better country for becoming multicultural. You can’t have your kebab and eat it too. To be a patriot today is to embrace multiculturalism because those faces – Indian, Pakistani, Indonesian, Italian, Greek – well they ARE Australian faces too, just as much as the puffy white English ones are.
I no longer believe in Freedom of Speech. I do believe however in the freedom to practise your religion without being murdered. The freedom to live without fear of persecution. The freedom to be safe. The Freedom to Love. So let’s mobilise with the same moral ferocity against violence as right-wing extremists assemble to enact it.