Hate speech doesn’t warrant useless laws 

It might be a good idea to view the “hate speech” incidents in Jacksonville and reaction to them with some skepticism. 

City Council members are rushing to pass a law, which is what politicians do by reflex. 

Whether that law can override the First Amendment is questionable. 

Everyone, of course, condemns hate speech. The latest example of it was a strange one. Someone, somehow, projected a Nazi symbol on the CSX building downtown. 

Nazi is a shortened version of the party’s name, “national socialists.” Under the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler, they ran Germany from 1932 to 1945, deliberately killing millions of Jewish people and attempting world domination. 

The local media also are including instances of someone flying over the city towing a confederate flag, a symbol of the southern states during the Civil War. 

The Democrat Party favored both slavery and segregation and it is ideologically aligned with national socialism. Many Democrats also oppose the state of Israel. Local Republicans, including Council Members Rory Diamond and LeAnna Cumber, are leading the charge to pass an ordinance that would seek to prohibit such types of expression. 

It is likely, however, that such a law would have to be carefully crafted to avoid violating the First Amendment freedom of speech. 

Also, those pursuing the prohibition should take into account a number of hoaxes both nationally and locally that falsely sought to portray racism and “hate.” 

Also, displaying a Confederate flag is not necessarily an act of racism. There were many issues in the war between the states, and some people want to ensure that history is not forgotten or revised for political purposes. 

Universal condemnation of actual hate speech is warranted but rushing to legislate is another matter and requires more thought. 

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.


Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *