The mayor of Portland, Oregon; Ted Wheeler, has recently come out and asked that allegedly alt-right rallies be banned from the city. This includes the “Trump Free Speech Rally” on June 4th, 2017 and the “March Against Sharia”, a nationwide demonstration characterized as anti-Muslim. Wheeler’s comments come after two men were stabbed to death after trying to intervene on what reports say is a bigoted, anti-Muslim tirade by a man directed at two women.
Now, let’s back up here a minute and look at this objectively. First, there are numerous reports that state that the incident that sparked all of this was an “anti-Muslim attack”. However, that’s not what it was. It was actually an “anti-Muslim rant”. Now, this is an important distinction because while such rhetoric is obviously despicable and vile speech, it’s still technically OK to go on an anti-Muslim rant according to the First Amendment. It is still protected speech. What is further interesting is that the New York Times includes a quote from a Mr. Khan that says about the two slain men that “They really stood up for the values of the Constitution.” I really hate to say it because this is going to land me in a lot of hot water but, technically; no, they didn’t. They actually acted exactly counter to the Constitution in trying to suppress free speech. I know, I know, everyone is going to hate me for saying this, but it’s actually a fact. Technically, it was the crazy nut job that was actually defending the Constitution…technically.
OK, so, now that you are all worked up and hate what I am saying, let’s move on to this business of banning demonstrations. And I don’t care or have to know about what either of these rallies is really about. But, can we all just agree that being against Sharia law does not make one anti-Muslim? I mean, because Sharia law sucks and is anti-free speech, anti-religious freedom and pretty much anti-Constitution? You can not be a fan and not be anti-Muslim for Christ’s sake. (See how I did that?) Thus, the mayor is effectively trying to defend freedom of religion by suppressing free speech and defending a philosophy (Sharia law) that is, itself, anti-religious freedom.
Look, free speech is a cornerstone of our republic. It is the very first Amendment to the Constitution for crying out loud. It cannot be infringed in the manner that Mr. Wheeler is trying to infringe upon it. For very important reasons. For instance, when Martin Luther King marched, protested and spoke, the powers at be at the time could have labeled it as “hate speech” against whites. Where would we be today had we allowed that to happen? And who is to make judgements about what is hate speech and what is not hate speech? See my article on Racism and Free Speech and you will have a deeper understanding that speech that you find vile, hateful and disgusting still needs to be protected. It needs to be protected because otherwise it leads to totalitarianism.
But, with that being said, I am willing to give Mr. Wheeler’s ideas a try. You see, because I consider free speech, true free speech, so important and so untouchable that I view Mr. Wheeler’s comments on the subject as hate speech against free speech. Obviously then, using Mr. Wheeler’s logic what needs to happen is that Mr. Wheeler and any another other duly elected official that has sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States needs to be immediately removed from office and banned from ever holding office again if they engage in hate speech against free speech. It’s only logical.
And if you don’t feel that is logical, then you understand the insanity of what Mr. Wheeler is pitching here. Look, at the end of the day, Ted Wheeler has the right to his views and he has the right to express those views; which is to say, he has the right to be incredibly stupid. It is unfortunate that Portlandians have such a dangerous and moronic leader of their fine city. Being objective about the matter, Mr. Wheeler is anti-Constitution, anti-American and anti-intelligent. He should be drummed out of office immediately by anyone that claims to want to live in a free society, not because he is engaging in hate speech against free speech, but because it should be obvious by now that he is incompetent at protecting our freedoms (his job as an elected official) and apparently incapable of understanding his own lunacy.