Which side is she on?

While I agree 100% with this woman’s sign, her sentiments are becoming increasingly unacceptable, and by that I mean the bit on the right.

h/t: Barry

70 Comments

  1. Posted August 23, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I assume that you mean that it is becoming socially unacceptable to think that everyone is entitled to express their opinion, no matter how awful it may be, correct?

    • Posted August 30, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Amusing. I would hope so. You are not forced to listen to or act on anything anyone thinks or says, naturally, unless they are pointing a weapon at you…that’s what free speech IS. You are Free to give ideas as much or as little attention as you please, dear.

      • Posted August 30, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Please don’t use “dear” when responding to a woman; it’s demeaning and patronizing.

  2. ploubere
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    There are indeed many on the Left who disagree with allowing free speech for several of those groups. They call it “hate speech”, which isn’t really a thing.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      ? Hate speech laws are common here in Europe, but they are not a total “free speech” thing. Supposedly they balance the UN Declaration of Human Rights free speech parts with the protect minorities part by way of democratic made laws. (I say “supposedly” because I have not been able to check the veracity,but in any case that is my interpretation of the Swedish Government preface of that set of laws.) I.e. the sign above applies in nations with hate speech laws as well, if you take the small modifications into consideration.

  3. Kevin
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Misguided motivation. Everything in this woman’s brain is probably wired up to an identify not an idea.

    It also reeks of nationalism. And in her case, that can become disease which can blind her from generalizing her point of view rather than just pointing it to ideologies.

    • darrelle
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      I’m confused. Based on what I know of you by your comments over the past several years I would have thought that you would agree with the sentiments this woman is expressing with her sign. Is there something I’m missing?

      • Filippo
        Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Concur. This gal seems to be channeling Voltaire.

      • Kevin
        Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Her first two columns make sense and are consistent what little I know of free speech (mostly from Hitchens).

        It’s the ‘because I believe in’ portion. America does not own free speech, nor should it. It’s something we should all strive for. Likewise, because one believes in an unfurled rag is provincial.

        Overall, she has the right message, it’s unfortunately simplistic in this context. I bet if she wrote a paragraph on her thoughts she would be spot on.

        • Craw
          Posted August 23, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          You need to brush up on sufficient vs necessary conditions.

        • Posted August 23, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          Actually, the US is one of very few countries that does not ban hate speech, so her sign is pretty much spot on.

          • Xuuths
            Posted August 23, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            In particular, the USA is perhaps the only country (or one of the only) that gives free speech as part of their Constitution.

            • Posted August 24, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

              Except it doesn’t. All the constitution says is that the government may not take away your free speech rights. As the Left is fond of saying, they do not have to respect your free speech rights as long as their preventative measures are legal.

          • Kevin
            Posted August 23, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            But her sign is not hate speech (nor do I think you were suggesting that). I don’t know anyone in the UK, most of Europe, and Canada and Australia or NZ that I have followed who has refrained from speaking their mind anymore than I’ve seen in America. In fact, despite the constitutional protection, America is, at present functionally worse than most countries in the world. A combination of alt-left+Trump’s totalitarian attitude toward press is perplexing.

            America of the past may not be the America of the future.

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted August 23, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

              Unfortunately, while Australia is very good on free speech, I don’t think it is as good as the US.
              Recently our PM tried to water down legislation that says

              “it an offence to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate somebody on the basis of race or ethnicity.”

              He did this because there were a few vexations cases brought against people for having an opinion. Tying them up in expensive legal battles.
              And because, obviously, there is potential for frivolous trivial accusations possible.

              The next section of the allows for certain exemptions, but the speech has to be in good faith and or represent fair comment on issues of public interest based on a genuine belief.

              But it is still more restrictive than the US, as I understand it.

            • Taz
              Posted August 23, 2017 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

              America is, at present functionally worse than most countries in the world.

              At free speech? I don’t think so.

            • Posted August 23, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

              Her sign is not hate speech but many of the symbols on it are used by hate groups.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted August 24, 2017 at 4:37 am | Permalink

                Which nicely points out the problems with the blanket banning of certain symbols. (I’m thinking specifically of Germany’s anti-Nazi-symbology laws, but I’m sure there are other examples.)

              • Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

                Interesting that these hate groups love various forms of crosses. Cultural appropriation or cultural possession?

        • Posted August 23, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Overall, she has the right message, it’s unfortunately simplistic in this context. I bet if she wrote a paragraph on her thoughts she would be spot on.

          Maybe she could run it by a lawyer to make sure it isn’t too ambiguous for you.

          • Craw
            Posted August 23, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            I’m thinking that when they remake ET, instead of a shot of him bicycling against the moon, substituting a paragraph describing his desires would be more effective. Or in Citizen Kane, a paragraph instead of that unfortunately simplistic burning sled.

        • Posted August 23, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          But what other symbol/logo is available to communicate the concept of free speech?

          • Ben Curtis
            Posted August 23, 2017 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

            I read the flag as a symbol for the constitution, not an expression of nationalism, but I guess that it could be interpreted ambiguous, depending on the context a viewer brought to it.

            • Posted August 23, 2017 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

              Even if the flag is meant as a symbol for the US constitution, it’s still, as Kevin said, too provincial.

              You don’t support free speech *because* it’s in the constitution, you support it because it’s the right thing to do. Because if you want to be able to peacefully express yourself then you need to support the right of others to do the same.

              The point could’ve been made better, imo.

              • Craw
                Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

                If by “better” you mean less forcefully, less convincingly, less pithily, less clearly, with less emotional resonance for her audience, then yes. If her intent was wanking she could have done better. If her intent was *persuasion* it’s very effective.

              • Posted August 24, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

                Similarly, I’d say if by “persuasion” you mean “pandering”. Right and wrong is not a question of geography, even if jingoistic “patriots” think it is.

          • Kevin
            Posted August 24, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

            How about this one:

            It conveys that science usurps all. I can think of fewer images more offensive to those who want the universe to be governed by a supernatural entity.

            • Posted August 24, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

              Of course hardly anybody could UNDERSTAND that shirt; they’d need Sean to explain it–or a long caption!

        • Diane G.
          Posted August 25, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          It appears that her US flag is being interpreted in two different ways by observers here. Some–are they mostly non US-ians?–seem to think it’s a form of chauvinsim. Or bragging.

          The way I see it, it’s a reminder to US-ians that they’re not living up to their purported ideals (yet again). It’s more of a rebuke than a boast.

    • Posted August 23, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      As an Australian/German, I thought her use of the American flag as a symbol for a set of ideals was extremely powerful. If I could use an Australian flag like that, I would probably still be living in Australia.

      • Posted August 23, 2017 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        Not just because the US is world-famous for being founded on such ideals, but because many in the US seem to be abandoning them and need to be reminded.

  4. Cate Plys
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I would just like to tell ThinkI’mReal, you go girl. But I don’t tweet.

    • Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      I clicked the tw**t and reviewed the comments (I don’t twit either but you view some tw**ts). Predictably, Angry Mel was angry and came down on the side, that some speech need not be defended. [sigh]

  5. Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the sign also but I think it’s too complicated for most people to take in at a rally. Ok for Tw**tter though.

  6. Collin
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Her right or my right?

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Indeed!

  7. Merilee
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    And✔️✔️

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    So …

    Boys can flash fasces
    At girls who wear glasses

    Sorry.

  9. Craw
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    She wins the internet today.

  10. Posted August 23, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    If I were to make a sign for one of these demonstrations it would say

    “You have the right to make a fool of yourself. PLEASE speak!”

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 4:23 am | Permalink

      Lol. Indeed. What’s that they say–when your enemy is self-destructing, don’t get in the way?

      • darrelle
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        I’ve always like that one. Versions of it have been kicking around for more than 200 years, at least. Several versions are attributed to Napoleon. The earliest I know of . . .

        “An 1836 multi-volume history book titled “French Revolution” contains a version of the quotation that is similar to the one given in 1852. This history book dates the quotation to a battle in 1805. These words may have been transformed into the modern maxim [FR]:

        “In that case,” said Napoleon, “let us wait twenty minutes; when the enemy is making a false movement we must take good care not to interrupt him.””

        • Diane G.
          Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, darrelle!

          I’d no idea it had such a long pedigree, but of course it makes perfect sense once you reflect on how stunningly obvious such an observation is to anyone with half a brain. 😀

          (Of course, I’d been so damned sure that was just what the Republicans were doing during the last election…sob!)

          • darrelle
            Posted August 25, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

            I think in a way that is exactly what they did. But it wasn’t us that benefited, it was Trump and his associates.

  11. Posted August 23, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the sentiments of the sign, though I don’t recognize all of the symbols on it. The American flag thing is probably a necessary bit of extra clarification to the crowd.

    • Craw
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      No, it’s an argument. This poster is elegant because it doesn’t just have symbols, it has them making an argument.

  12. Posted August 23, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Would somebody please explain what he means by “the bit on the right”.

    • Taz
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      The part that says she supports the free speech of groups she disagrees with.

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 24, 2017 at 4:19 am | Permalink

      “{T}he bit on the right” is the whole point of the poster! Forgive me is this sounds rude, but how is that not obvious?

      • Posted August 24, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Unnecessarily rude. OK. I would not call that a “bit” but rather a “half”, perhaps. So, I was looking for a “bit”. I get it. Or maybe so obvious I was looking for something more.

        • Diane G.
          Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          I apologize. And I now see your point as well. Guess I was so sure of JAC’s point that I ignored the possibly vague wording.

          (& please excuse my use of the wrong brackets–grrr.)

  13. nicky
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    She missed the Crescent.
    Does that mean she agrees with political Islam or that she thinks it should not have the right to free speech? 😆

  14. ladyatheist
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    We have always protected unpopular speech. That’s the point of the First Amendment. Protecting their speech isn’t the same as encouraging them.

    • Posted August 24, 2017 at 3:12 am | Permalink

      As someone from Europe, at what point do Nazis become unacceptable?

      Keep in mind, nazis in Germany were elected by manipulating the democratic system and implementing a slow coup.

      • Diane G.
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 4:29 am | Permalink

        At the point at which they can exercise any sorts of concrete actions that further their goals. Discrimination is a crime. Physical violence is a crime. Denying the civil rights of any faction of society is a crime. Etc.

        • Posted August 24, 2017 at 4:41 am | Permalink

          “At the point at which they can exercise any sorts of concrete actions that further their goals”

          We know their goals. By the time they can “exercise any sorts of concrete actions that further their goals” they are in power and it’s too late.

          “Denying the civil rights of any faction of society is a crime.”

          No it’s not, not in any blanket way. At least it shouldn’t be. Would it be right for paedophiles to go on a march to say it’s OK to sleep with children? Or for extremist Muslims to march with placards asking to behead unbelievers?

          There are no good nazis. Europe left it too late. Don’t make the same mistake. Nazis (and extremist muslims, zionists, communists etc) are not tolerant people. They can’t stand our tolerance. They won’t return the favour if they are in power.

          The paradox of tolerance is that sometimes we have to be intolerant of those that want no tolerance in order to preserve the tolerance we do have.

          It’s a balancing act but sometimes tolerance requires fighting for.

          “It can’t happen here” is precisely what was said by and about Germany pre-Hitler.

          It can happen in the US. Constitutions can be overridden/ignored/torn up. A constitution won’t protect you. Germany had the Weimar constitution and that didn’t protect it.

          • Posted August 24, 2017 at 4:49 am | Permalink

            Are ypu advocating violence against Nazis? Since they are still allowed to march and demonstrate, presumably you think we should attack them when they do. Is that the case? If so, I find it ironic that you say “tolerance requires fighting for”.

            If you just think their sentiments should be censored, then you’re setting up our government to decide which speech should be banned. Do we stop at Nazis as the one exception to free speech?

            I would like an explanation of what you are saying we’re supposed to do about Nazis.

            • Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

              “Are ypu advocating violence against Nazis?”

              I’m advocating self defence. By self defence I mean defence of an optimum tolerance.

              In my opinion if a group such as nazis don’t want tolerance (they abhor it) then they shouldn’t be shown it.

              They have already killed one person. Is there a particular number of people they need to kill before it would be acceptable to fight them?

              And I’m not asking that to be facetious. Germany has been through it and they do ban nazi memorabilia and speech. They understand that had they fought back sooner the entire course of 20th Century history may have changed.

              “I find it ironic that you say “tolerance requires fighting for”

              It does. It always does. There is no such thing as 100% tolerance. It isn’t possible. There are always those (sadly) who want no tolerance at all. A balance has to be struck.

              “If you just think their sentiments should be censored, then you’re setting up our government to decide which speech should be banned”

              I’m worried that the US is walking into this with its eyes closed. Their views have to be seen as unacceptable otherwise they will take anything else as a signal that they’re approved of. Take the leader of the Ku Klux Klan’s response to the fact Trump didn’t quite condemn them as much as the rest of us would have liked.

              • Posted August 24, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

                By this phrase I take it you do advocate unilateral violence:

                They have already killed one person. Is there a particular number of people they need to kill before it would be acceptable to fight them?

                That’s advocacy of violence. I don’t want that on my website so I am telling you to go comment at other places where violence is either tolerated or encouraged. I won’t have that here.

      • Craw
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        Keeps in mind nazis in Weimar were banned and attacked in the streets too. How well did that work?

  15. murali
    Posted August 23, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    ‘… her sentiments are becoming increasingly unacceptable,..’

    Unacceptable? Why? I thought that was the whole point. If the Nazis and the KKK want to go on a another rally, let them. I don’t they should have to face a physical threat at all.

    • Craw
      Posted August 23, 2017 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      He means “unaccepted”. More and more people are finding support for free speech unacceptable.

      • murali
        Posted August 24, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

        Thanks! That makes more sense.

  16. Phil
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I think the ACLU got it right. Free speech should be protected. But if you come bearing arms and spoiling for a fight, I don’t think that’s acceptable.


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