But not even a ruling joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor can persuade determined, far-left censors, and just as sure as night follows day, Laura Beth Nielsen, a research professor for the American Bar Foundation, took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to make the case for viewpoint discrimination. I’ve seen enough pieces like this to recognize the type. They always begin with misleading statements of the law, declarations that free-speech protections aren’t absolute, and then move to the core pitch — in this case, that the state should regulate hate speech because it’s emotionally and physically harmful:
"In fact, empirical data suggest that frequent verbal harassment can lead to various negative consequences. Racist hate speech has been linked to cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and requires complex coping strategies. Exposure to racial slurs also diminishes academic performance. Women subjected to sexualized speech may develop a phenomenon of “self-objectification,” which is associated with eating disorders."Really? One wonders what data she is citing, and how they managed to link "racist hate speech" to these syndromes which have other causes and therefore need to have the confounding causes neutralized in the analysis. Could not all of these issues be related to lifestyle choices that are in fact the actual cause?
Enough! Mr. French hints at the true issue at hand in his closing argument:
To paraphrase Alan Charles Kors, co-founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, no class of Americans is too weak to live with freedom. Rather than indulging weakness and fear, activists left and right would do well to cultivate emotional strength and moral courage. The marketplace of ideas demands no less.The radicals don't want people to grow up. Instead, they want to infantilize everyone so that their juvenile arguments actually make sense. In a world of blind people, the one eyed man is king. In truth, as adults we learn that we can not control others. Calling someone the a name does not make them so. Contrary to the ancient belief, words are not some form a magic. You can call me a frog all day long, and I will still not croak, hop, or be able to send out my tongue to catch flies. We learn as adults that what others think of us is not critical; rather it is what we think of ourselves that matters. We cannot, remember, control others. We can only control our own reactions.
The notion that we can only control ourselves has implications for other areas of life. For example, if you believe that my gun, in my holster, threatens you, then you need to check your motives. My gun in my holster is only a threat if you have evil intentions towards me. Yet this sort of argument is often used by people trying to limit where I can carry my gun. Well, they say, we can't have guns in the store with children. Think of the threat of a gun to the children? Such people never think that maybe my gun is there to protect their children. They need to check their motives, because on this, mine are pure.
John Lotts research is meticulous and points to the notion that the more guns in an area, the less crime. I say "theory" because it can never be proven completely. Still, John Lott has only reported what he has found after careful statistical analysis on a county by county basis. Yet he has been demonized by the very people who are claiming that speech is violence. Is there perhaps a double standard at work, as so often with left wing jihads?
My father had a saying that "Children should be seen and not heard." Why? Because children, having limited ability to reason, and no experience of life, advance callow arguments that often collapse in the face of reality. The Supreme Court here was correct in rejecting these claims. Rather people need to toughen up if they are going to face the world as it is, rather that as they think it should be. Growing up means learning to face reality.