Tuesday, June 15, 2010

When Liberals Say They Support Freedom of Speech, They Are Lying

It's a common view that liberals support freedom of speech (or expression) more so than conservatives. The problem is, liberals care more about discrimination and egalitarianism more than they do freedom of speech, so if someone's speech offends a protected group - racial minorities, women, gays - then they do not support freedom of speech and the offending speech must be suppressed. (I realize that there are people with some left-wing views who are free speech purists, but these people are often left-libertarians rather than liberals.)

Here's yet another example. I found this via a link on Feministing, which led to a site named Sociological Images (as an aside, I took an intro to sociology class four years ago and it would have more accurately been termed "intro to socialism). In New Mogadishu Minneapolis, Minnesota, an ISP named USI Wireless put up billboards saying "Fast, cheap and satisfaction guaranteed." A woman named Stacey Burns of Minneapolis (who has an online trail as a feminist activist and Obama campaigner, and is married to this guy) saw one of them, took a picture, posted it on her Facebook. The caption she put is:
"USI Wireless is a pimp. This is how they're selling their wireless service in Minneapolis. Give them a call at 952.253.3262 (Option 1) or email: info@usiwireless.com. When I called, they assured me that they did some test marketing and everybody loved it, but the 100,000 American girls sexually trafficked in the US with an initial recruitment age of 11-14 might not guffaw quite as loudly as the focus group did."
So there you have it. If you put up a billboard that makes a joking reference to cheap hookers, you're a pimp and inconsiderate towards child sexual abuse victims!

Thanks to Burns, the billboards eventually gained the attention of City Council member Gary Schiff (e-mail), a women's studies major (no, I'm not joking), who was unsurprisingly offended and "then talked to city staff, who told him they had been talking to USI's founders for three days but had gotten nowhere. Schiff also called USI, but said his calls were never returned."

Another councilwoman, Elizabeth Glidden (e-mail), joined in: "My message to them was, 'I hope you're taking these down right now." As a result of the governmental pressure, Clear Channel (the billboard owners) and USI caved and removed the billboards.

Predictably, a few scattered "progressive" websites are heralding this as a victory. After all, if they find something offensive, it must be shut down. American Renaissance discovered this a few months ago and Pam Geller is learning this right now.

Can you imagine the reaction if conservative politicians leaned on advertisers to not put up billboards they considered to be blasphemous? It would be a national story in the liberal media, with commentators rushing to condemn the conservatives for their assault on freedom of speech. The conservative politicians would then apologize and withdraw their criticisms.

But when two liberal city government leaders pressure a private company to take down an ad they find offensive, it only garners a few local news articles and posts on liberal websites. This is how liberals work - they slowly take away our freedom and the media ignores it. When whites start getting arrested for "hate speech," the liberal media will probably ignore it, too.

The next time a Republican is in power, libertarians should remember stories like this before allying with liberals against conservatism statism. Despite what they claim, liberals do not support freedom of speech. They are its enemy.

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