“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The first amendment has bee the topic of a great deal of conversation lately. This in the wake of Alex Jones being removed from many social media cites and the Unite the Right rally.
It seems that all of a sudden free speech is under attack. Maybe people do not remember comments leading up to the election and today about the media being the enemy of the American people.
I’m both infuriated and confused by what is going on. Infuriated because people are wrapping themselves up in the protection of the first amendment when it suits them and confused because some of the arguments to be “right” (correct) are sad and lame.
Alex Jones got the boot from several social media platforms. Private businesses who found that his content was violating their terms and agreements. All of a sudden this is an infringement on his free speech. But according to Alex Jones he is not part of the media but instead he is an entertainer, distancing him from being part of the media, the press. Additionally, Alex Jones is still allowed to continue saying what he wants, the only thing that happened is his platform was taken away. This does not infringe upon his freedom of speech, just his delivery method. In many ways there are parallels between this story and the bakery’s right to refuse service.
Next up in the free speech debate is Jason Kessler who on NPR said it was not the police or government who were trying to prohibit his speech but other groups. Free speech means you can say it but other people do not have to listen or can actively tell you to shut the hell up. Free speech is not part of a package deal where people are forced to listen. The counter protesters at Black Lives Matter rallies are doing what Kessler is complaining about.