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REBUTTAL: Actually, HuffPo, Free Speech is ALWAYS Worth Defending...
On the off chance any HuffPo columnists are reading this, prepare your ass. It's about to get chapped from all my kicks. Of course it's unlikely the oily-snouted shrews at le Huffington Post read the ideas of those with whom they disagree. Still, we here at LwC do frequent outlets posting leftist tripe. Which brings us to this monstrosity:
Now that's a title. In terms of quality, it's stellar. Inspires the clicks for sure. But the sentiment? I'd rank it as fecal. Lets give the author a chance to explain himself.
For brevity, I've only included certain highlights from the column. But you can - and should - read the whole thing here. Preferably while on the toilet. You know, for symbolic purposes.
There is no such thing as a neutral free speech, an objective ideal we can reach, from which everyone benefits. Instead, the abstract idea of free speech is filtered when it passes from the pages of its inception into the world, being shaped by class, race and other factors. In the end, only the most privileged benefit from free speech.
Let's stop here. Free speech is inherently neutral. It can't take sides itself, which is part of what makes it great. "Free speech" is the absence of censorship which crushes diverse thoughts and opinions. Freedom of speech has value because people benefit from diversity of thought; we learn from each other, we craft ideas together, we engage in discourse. We join hands and start a love train.
The only people who free speech "hurts" or fails to "benefit" are those threatened by ideas. Usually those which are not their own. Be gone, ye oppressive thoughts!
The author then cites an instance where a Muslim student, Masuma Khan, called Canada Day an example of "white fragility/colonialism." Kahn was placed under investigation for her objection. Which is an issue sure, but Canada isn't a bastion of free speech. Hardly an apt comparison. Holding up Canada as "See, free speech is bad" is like holding up Amy Schumer and saying "See, blondes are more fun." Kahn's case is wrongfully equated to that of Lindsay Shepherd, who was disciplined for neutrally presenting Jordan Peterson's ideas in a college lecture.
According to our HuffPo dumbass, the problem is not that both Kahn and Shepherd were placed under investigation. The problem was Kahn allegedly did not receive the same support from free speech advocates, as Lindsay did. Kahn was even criticized for her racist comments:
"Free speech advocates" ... aren't putting themselves on the line for anyone they disagree with, nor should they be expected to, as free speech advocacy is never neutral.
This is essentially a non-statement. It tells us nothing other than someone's britches are in a twist. But here comes the heart of his criticism:
The issue is not with those who inconsistently defend free speech, but rather with the myth that free speech is possible under capitalism. Shepherd ... was advancing an already dominant, but dehumanizing, idea, which naturally attracted the ravenous flock she now leads. Khan, meanwhile, was challenging the foundation of the system that has propped up those in power, a position that has naturally been less popular.
No, no. "Freedom of speech" does not mean "freedom from any form of criticism ever." If you safely voiced your opinion, freedom of speech has done its job. Yay for you!
But free speech is not a shield from critique. It's not a free pass you can wave at your teacher when she yells at you as you're skipping to the little girls' or boys' room. Free speech is a system which enables free exchange of thought. Like being able to misgender the local she-beast without being scalped. Here's looking at you, Canucks.
We've already established why free speech is worth fighting for. But this soft-spined milquetoast wants to throw in the headtowel all because one little, hijabed girl was criticized over her racism. That's the example on which he bases his entire argument.
People who hate free speech actually hate competition (hence this guy's bitterness toward capitalism). Usually because detractors suck at most things. In this case, thinking. When somebody has weak thoughts or ideas, they want said ideas to be free from any form of judgement. How does one protect themselves from criticism? No free speech for you!
Here's the sweet irony, so take a shot of insulin. Were it not for free speech, this chap at HuffPo wouldn't be hate-typing his column on his evil, capitalist-product MacBook. He would instead be forced to toss his thoughts into a trashcan. Well, a bigger trash pan than HuffPo. Someone call Waste Management. Send us a fleet of trucks.
Watch below as more sewage monsters use free speech to condemn free speech. Because coherent thoughts are hard.