This Drexel University professor has been removed from his post due to an onslaught of threats, including many death threats, that have been issued against him. Furthermore and appallingly, the university has launched an investigation into the “appropriateness” of Ciccriarello-Maher’s comments.
The Intercept, a liberal magazine associated with the Democratic Party, has a new article out bashing this professor. This article is starting to remind me of why I can’t stand liberals, especially liberal Democrats. They’re horrible. I’m not a liberal. I’m a radical. I’m a Leftist. I’m Hard Left! We don’t like liberals!
It says that this professor opposes free speech, and indeed he does.
George Ciccariello-Maher, a Drexel University associate professor of politics and global studies, is no fan of free speech.
He uses his Twitter account to rail against the American Civil Liberties Union and defenders of speech rights even for the most noxious of speakers. He has called for other individuals to be fired from their jobs for offensive speech. And he has blocked critics on Twitter — such as this reporter — who say his approach goes too far. (The blocking, in fact, is mutual.)
Ciccariello-Maher is explicit. “We don’t have to stand up for the free speech of eugenicists, racists, and bigots to speak and certainly not the privilege to have access to a platform on campus to spout their kind of hatred,” he said about his campaign to stop Charles Murray from speaking at a nearby campus, during a conversation on free speech on the It’s Going Down Podcast in May.
Fair enough. But this argument is flowing around a completely false view of the Constitution. Sadly the free speech nuts and radical libertarians have no understanding of what the First Amendment even says.
Now first of all, I am a free speech nut myself, and I am also a Ultra-radical Social Libertarian. Get the cops out of our lives! Cops butt out! Go catch the rapists and murderers and leave the rest of us alone!
I am also an almost complete free speech absolutist, although I am not opposed to blocking some speech, especially some forms of pornography.
The thing is, all of these arguments claiming that Antifa or SJW’s don’t believe in the First Amendment are flat out wrong. Antifa and the SJW’s do not have to abide by the First Amendment! You know why? The First Amendment doesn’t apply to them!
The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech only in the sense that the government may not infringe on freedom of speech. That is the government cannot shut down speech it does not like or imprison people for saying things that the government doesn’t like. The First Amendment doesn’t even apply to all the rest of us! We are free to try to shut down any speech we don’t like anytime we want to! We are not in violation of the First Amendment or even anti-First Amendment because the First doesn’t even apply to us in the first place! Now, if we start arguing that the state itself should ban certain expressions of speech or imprison those saying things we do not like, yes, we are now anti-First Amendment.
Really the Antifa are simply expressing their own freedom of speech. They see the people they are attacking as fascists, and their attitude is “no platform for fascists” – in other words, they are going to try to shut down fascist speech anywhere it rears its head. Yes, the Rightists may attempt to speak as the state gives them the right to do, but the Antifa or anyone else can use their freedom of speech to try to shout down the Rightists and use their freedom of assembly to try to shut down the Rightists’ speech in the first place and keep it from happening.