Communist Party USA: That’s right, we really don’t believe in free speech

File this under least surprising story of the day. Yesterday the Communist Party USA published a response to an “adolescent” who wrote in to ask whether or not freedom would still exist if Communists were in control of the United States government. The not surprising part? The person responding on behalf of CPUSA said the answer was no. Here’s the question that prompted this revelation:

Hello. I am an adolescent who is thinking about joining the CPUSA once I am at the legal voting age. My History teacher told me that in a Communist country, no one has individual rights. I asked her to give me specific examples of what rights I would not have and she said something along the lines of,” We wouldn’t have freedom of speech. Like for example, I wouldn’t be able to say an opinion that was different from how the majority felt.” My question is, since this a progressive party, If we had a Communist President and a Communist country with communist laws, would that mean people who are conservative in any way could not not be able to say or do anything that was politically incorrect? –Madeline

I don’t know many teens who refer to themselves as adolescents, but whatever. Here’s the reply from CPUSA:

Thanks for writing in, and for a terrific question.  It really got me thinking! In our perspective, dissent, protest, disagreement and debate are a vital part of the democratic process–as vital, in fact, as arriving at and implementing a collective strategy. We don’t see CPUSA as ruling a single-party state; instead, we hope to be one of many parties and organizations working together to build socialism.

That doesn’t sound so bad.

So, in a socialist USA, will people be allowed to say ‘politically incorrect’ things? The short answer is that it depends on what kind of things, and where.

Oh.

I doubt a government based on our vision of Bill of Rights socialism will be handing out fines to people who use the term ‘snowflake’, but I also don’t think it will issue permits for Nazi rallies, use publicly owned media to promote racist conspiracy theories, or let trolls make rape threats over social media.

Well, I’m glad the communist state police won’t be handing out speech tickets, but the end of freedom of assembly seems like a bit of a downer. No permits for Nazis could also mean no permit for any other group seen as incompatible with “a collective strategy.” Would a group of business executives be able to hold a pro-capitalism march? Your guess is as good as mine.

As for “publicly owned media” promoting conspiracy theories, I guess he’s talking about social media companies like Facebook. Those aren’t owned by the government, at least not currently, so it’s not clear how CPUSA would be in control of them in this hypothetical future. Have they been expropriated? It’s unclear.

I think the term ‘politically incorrect’ is a trap. It gets used to cover up what we’re really talking about, which are patterns of speech that promote white supremacy, male supremacy, and other forms of inequality. An awful lot of awful conversations wouldn’t happen if people had to say “I heard a great joke about how Black people are inferior!” rather than “I heard this hilarious joke, but it’s super politically incorrect.”

He’s talking more generally now but clearly, the goal is to stop “awful conversations.” At what point do awful conversations become illegal? Who is monitoring them? And what happens to those who have these bad conversations? Do those people get re-education from the government?

The idea of political correctness also implies a certain kind of censorship and constraint, as if not saying the n-word means I’ve given up some part of my freedom in response to social pressure.

That Ayn Rand, individual-vs-society line is how the right wing has trained people to think about freedom. For them, it’s not freedom unless it comes at the expense of someone else, the First Amendment was written to protect bigots and trolls, and the whole foundation of liberty is under attack when a university suggests that its students avoid racist stereotypes in their Halloween costumes.

The first amendment was “written to protect bigots and trolls” sort of sums it up, I think. Apparently, it guarantees freedom to no one besides hardcore Nazis and racists. I guess they missed the whole “free speech movement” in the 60s.

Unfortunately, some liberals buy into that idea as well.  They think that shutting down a Nazi rally, or preventing religious fundamentalists from verbally abusing patients outside abortion clinics, would compromise free speech rights for everyone.  It’s the ‘I don’t agree with what you say, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it’ thing.

It’s also nonsense.

You see, free speech for everyone isn’t really that important, certainly not for the 40%+ of Americans who consider themselves pro-life. They can just learn to keep quiet.

So there you go, adolescent Madeline. Under CPUSA, things wouldn’t be so different except that everyone to the right of Trotsky would need to get used to having no freedom of assembly or speech. And really, that won’t be so bad because limiting free speech to socially approved groups couldn’t possibly go wrong or lead to state control of everything you do or think. Trust the communists.

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When Calling 911 Makes the Emergency

Dear White People,

I’m scared of you.

Almost all of you have a superpower that I’m in fear of. You have the power to call the police and be automatically believed. {snip}

{snip}

I obviously respect every citizen’s right—slash duty—to engage the police when there’s actual danger or when there’s a real crime taking place. But some white people are wearing crime glasses that make normal actions by black people like walking, sitting, or sleeping appear criminal. {snip} If you think someone being black somehow justifies expecting criminality from them then you are a part of the problem. Keep this in mind: The overwhelming majority of black people have never and will never commit a crime. {snip}

But white fear is only part of the story. {snip} I think in some cases people leap to call the police as an expression of dominance.

{snip}

Allow me to reclaim the term white power—I don’t mean it in any Klanish sort of way but in this sense: to use law enforcement in this way in an attempt to police black behavior is a form and direct expression of white power and privilege in America. The ability to call in armed guards to remind someone that white privilege means being able to call the cops and be automatically believed and even lie and get away with it is an exercise in that power.

{snip}

{snip} I have witnessed a white person in my neighborhood call the police on a black person over a slight disagreement where there was no threat involved. It was more of a desire to pull rank. {snip} You can see why I’m afraid.

{snip} If you think the police tend to show up and calmly assess the situation and foment peace and smile and leave, well, you may need to remember that’s not usually the black experience. {snip}

Black interactions with police can too easily lead to trauma or death. In many situations, calling the police on a black person can be like tossing a grenade at them.

If at any point you’re thinking, well if black people were just cool to the police then there’d be no problems then you are also part of the problem and mistaken. {snip}

That said, if a black person is not committing a crime and they have to stop and explain to a police officer who they are and why they’re there, I can understand why they might lose their cool. It’s frightening to have the police question you, even if you’ve done nothing wrong, especially when you’re black and you know doing nothing wrong isn’t necessarily the end of the story. Not only is it frightening, but it’s frustrating, enraging, insulting, and triggering—I can understand why someone would be indignant about having to prove their innocence or their right to be there. It’s enraging to have a law-abiding existence interrupted by police officers who are demanding that you defend your right to be in that space while performing a basic, legal human activity. And sometimes you just don’t have the energy to kowtow, even for the police. And black indignance is read by some officers as disrespect. {snip}

{snip} When black people are involved the police are an unpredictable, chaotic weapon that could end a life, like Eric Garner’s or Tamir Rice’s or Sean Bell’s. I could go on.

I live in Brooklyn. I don’t fear the Klan. I don’t worry about no Proud Boys. I fear the random white person who calls the police when I’m doing nothing. I also fear the police. {snip}

The post When Calling 911 Makes the Emergency appeared first on American Renaissance.

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Black People: Call 1-800-TOO-WITE, Report ‘Suspicious’ White Meddlers

I think black people should be allowed to call the police on white people who look like they might call the police on black people.

I mean, at this point, it seems only fair, right?

While being black and engaging in regular life activities is not, as best I can tell, a crime, it does seem to rattle certain white people, as evidenced by a string of recent incidents in which police have been dispatched to the scenes of black people getting coffee, shopping, exercising or napping.

{snip}

You get the idea. While virtually every white person in America is quick to say, “Hey, I’m not at all racist,” there seems to be something about black people engaging in mundane activities that strikes fear into the hearts of certain Caucasians. {snip}

I can’t explain any of that. But it’s clear that in all these cases, the black people would have been a lot better off if they—or perhaps even a black passer-by—would have spotted the suspicious looking white people and then called the authorities to let them know they were about to get a call from an unnecessarily panicked white person.

Imagine the resources that could be saved if there was a police hotline people of color could use to prevent officers from being dispatched to a scene where nothing bad is happening. Let’s call it 1-800-TOO-WITE.

“1-800-TOO-WITE operator, what’s your non-emergency?”

“Hi, I’m sitting in the lobby of my condo building on LaSalle Street waiting to meet a friend and there’s a suspicious-looking white person eyeballing me. I’m pretty sure he’s about to call you and say I’m loitering. Just wanted to let you know everything’s fine and he’s just racist.”

“OK, we’ll make a note of it. Thanks for calling. You helped us avoid a real embarrassing mess.”

{snip}

The post Black People: Call 1-800-TOO-WITE, Report ‘Suspicious’ White Meddlers appeared first on American Renaissance.

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Nanny-State Journalists

The editorial board of the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper is so angry at a social media video of a white high school kid saying obnoxious racist things that it wants the state to intervene:

In the case of the most recent video, the school system is claiming there is “little” it can do, given that the incident happened off campus and not during school hours.

Our question: Is that really the case? Is the school system claiming it has virtually no power over non-criminal behavior of its students off campus?

That may be the district’s current policy, but we’re not so sure it should be.

The person allegedly shown in the video reportedly plays on a Chiles athletic team. Are we really saying that he is supposed to waltz into practice – perhaps with African American teammates – as if nothing happened?

This isn’t how it works in the real world. If a staff member of this newspaper was videoed doing these things, he would immediately face termination, whether “on the clock,” “on the premises” or not.

Should a student be treated differently? Perhaps. But it’s worth discussion.

No, it’s not.

For one, there’s a significant legal difference between a private business and a public school.

For another, public schools around the country are struggling over what degree of discipline (including expulsion) to apply to students who misbehave in school itself (see here, for example). Why on earth would the editorial board want to add to the schools’ burden by making them responsible for disciplining kids outside of the school’s custody, off school grounds?

Third, it would probably be unconstitutional. According to the ACLU:

In the landmark Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), the ACLU successfully challenged a school district’s decision to suspend three students for wearing armbands in protest of the Vietnam War. The court declared that students and teachers do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

The First Amendment ensures that students cannot be punished for exercising free speech rights, even if school administrators don’t approve of what they are saying.

And that’s on school grounds. How much greater is the liberty for students to say obnoxious things when they are off school grounds?

Fourth, if the schools were somehow to be empowered to discipline students for activity outside of school, where would it stop? What guidelines would the schools use? This would be ripe for abuse by administrators. We can all agree that some redneck clod riding around talking about shooting black people with a BB gun and using racist slurs crosses an important line. But where should the other lines be drawn? One kid’s free exercise of religious speech is another kid’s idea of bigotry. If a kid attends the Westboro Baptist Church on the weekend, and participates in its protests, and that fact comes to the attention of his school principal, should that be a cause for discipline? What is he is a black Muslim and follower of the anti-white, anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan, and participates in public advocacy for Farrakhan’s cause? Should that kid be punished for that?

Is this really what the Tallahassee Democrat wants to see debated?

It is really depressing when journalists, the kind of people who ought to be defending the First Amendment and the protection it gives even to repulsive speech, instead urge the state (in this case, the public school system) to consider punishing students who exercise that speech in ways of which the journalists strongly — and in this case, correctly — disapprove.

The reader who sent this editorial to me comments:

The high school in question is in an affluent area, and their students are known around town for having high rates of drug and alcohol use. Evidence of this is certainly available on students’ social media, but there isn’t any push for punishing them or their parents for this illegal activity that takes place off school grounds and outside school hours. If public schools are going to punish students for unacceptable behavior, who gets to define what it is?

And what does “rooted out” mean? Suspension? Expulsion? There are plenty of disruptions that occur on school buses and during the school day that don’t result in severe enough penalties to prevent them from happening over and over again. But this admittedly reprehensible conduct completely outside the school environment means the schools have “work to do”? Don’t they have enough dealing with the problems in school during the school day? In just the last few weeks I’ve heard of a suicide attempt and incidents of theft at “nice” public middle schools, and a fistfight breaking out between girls in the middle of class in another well-regarded public high school.

Finally, as anyone who has ever raised a teenager knows, they will do things their parents raised them specifically not to do. For all the paper knows, this child’s parents abhor his behavior — but the newspaper’s superior morality is sufficient to condemn them without, as they admit, knowing what goes on their home. The only thing my 13-year-old and I agreed on this whole week was what horrible ideas these are!

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Racist Audacity: Cops Called On 3 Black People For Checking Out Of An Airbnb

A group of three African-American friends recently found themselves surrounded by seven cop cars in California. What the heck happened, you ask? Well, they walked out and locked up a house where they had stayed during an Airbnb vacation.

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3 black Airbnb guests questioned by police plan lawsuit

Three black people plan to sue a Southern California police department over what they say was an excessive response to a racially motivated 911 call, but police say their officers’ response was polite, brief and nothing out of the ordinary. The Rialto Police Department said Monday it had received notice of legal action by the three, who were leaving an Airbnb rental with their luggage when a neighbor called police on April 30 to report a burglary in progress.

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The Latest: Black Airbnb guests questioned by police to sue

A lawsuit is planned by three black people briefly detained by police in Southern California after a 911 caller wrongly reported they might be burglars. The Rialto Police Department said Monday that it has received notice of legal action by the three, who were leaving an Airbnb rental with their luggage when a neighbor called police on April 30. But one of the renters, Kells Fyffe-Marshall, wrote on social media that they were “surrounded” by seven police cars and told to put up their hands.

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