If you tend to follow comments on political stories and posts you’ll be familiar with the concern expressed by some that freedom of speech is under attack
They complain bitterly that they do not feel they can express their views without being attacked by people with opposing views.
Free Speech (or Expression) is protected from government prosecution or persecution. In some jurisdictions, like here in Canada, there are reasonable limitations on this freedom…in that expression inciting hatred and violence against an identifiable group or person is not protected.
That’s not what I want to talk about here.
There seems to be a mindset among some (mostly alt-right folk) that they should be allowed to say whatever they want without consequence…even the consequence of having someone question your assertions, and sometimes call you unpleasant names, like xenophobe, or racist.
There are no such protections under law.
In other words, if you express an opinion that’s unpopular, expect there to be some fallout.
Now I’m sure that many on the Left are reading this and nodding your heads, but now I’m going to reverse that coin.
Many post-secondary institutions have banned talks by right wing personalities for a variety of reasons.
When these talks to go forward they are often disrupted by left wing groups with air horns and even pulling fire alarms.
Seriously…pulling a fire alarm in a crowded auditorium….anyone doing this is an idiot and should be thrown in prison!
But I digress….
The argument for to justify these protests is that the speakers are spreading messages of intolerance and hate.
I don’t disagree with that. However I would put to you that in not allowing these people to speak you are in fact lending them strength. Those who came to listen will see the protests and perhaps think that there must be some validity to the speaker’s points if those opposed don’t want them being said. So they run to Youtube and watch anyway.
I would let them speak. Learn their talking points, then take them and debunk them. Do it loudly, and mockingly. Show the masses that they are not to be taken seriously by turning their own message against them.
Otherwise you risk the undecided seeing you as nothing more than a zealot whose belief in your own ideology is so weak that you can’t bear to hear an opposing opinion.
We have to keep in mind that Freedom of Speech is a double edged sword.