At what point will liberals stop defending hate speech and take an actual stand against abuse?
On Sunday night, a video surfaced from a 2015 interview between Milo Yiannopoulos and podcaster Joe Rogan, in which Milo defended pedophilia.
Almost immediately, the free speech absolutists went on the defense, calling what Milo said horrible, but that they, of course, defend his right to say it.
This now adds pedophilia to a list that includes Nazism, “peaceful ethnic cleansing,” targeted harassment of transgender individuals, and the potential doxing of immigrant students, to the list of things these absolutists will defend.
They claim that all speech is sacrosanct, and while they may not like the content, they will defend the persons right to say it. Ignoring the person on the other end being victimized.
They continue to speak out against the deplatforming of those like Milo at universities. They believe their stellar debate skills are all that are needed to shut Milo’s brand of rhetoric down.
Meanwhile, Milo continues to grow in fame and cause more harm.
This movement, mostly comprised of the “classical liberalism” popularized by the likes of Sam Harris, Dave Rubin, and others, has chosen to remain dogmatic about speech, above all else.
Yet, if you’re not willing to stop someone from advocating from pedophilia, what the hell do you stand for?
The answer is nothing. If your dogmatism won’t let you stop someone from actually harming the lives of children, you have zero moral high ground. Your movement is morally bankrupt.
These activist fighting to shut down events such as Milo’s are actually partaking in life-saving activism.
A trans woman at the University of Wisconsin left school after targeted harassment. Milo planned to out immigrant students in Berkeley.
The absolutists seem all to happy to home and watch as ICE deported students, just as long as Milo was not denied his “right” to free speech.
It was activism that saved those students. It could have been activism that saved the UoW student too.
Instead, their lives were valued below “free speech.”
Milo and his ilk must be deplatformed. Not because we don’t like what he has to say, but because what he has to say causes real, measurable damage.
Milo’s right to speech is not being harmed, only his right to a platform. He can go write a blog or yell into his computer’s camera. He isn’t being arrested.
He is simply being told his speech is not going to be tolerated in these public places. Speech has consequences and one of those consequences is losing platforms that no one owes you.
So stop defending speech that causes harm. Take an actual stand against it. The “marketplace of ideas” that classical liberals and libertarians claim exists is as big a myth as free market capitalism.
Speech like Milo’s thrives when it goes unchallenged. He preys on bigotry and fear, and no one’s superior debate skills are going to stop it when he is not open to debate and those swayed by him are not swayed by facts.
You are only helping their cause by refusing to mount a resistance against it.