Ever since a bit of lighting equipment was set on fire at UC Berkeley, causing the cancellation of a planned rally by Breitbart editor and professional crypto-fascist troll Milo Yiannopoulos, we’ve seen endless handwringing and finger-wagging defending his right to free speech and chastising of the evil, violent protesters.
'a bit of lighting equipment'. She left out the vandalism and assaults, and other such lighthearted fun.
Short version: " 'Free speech' has to be controlled so bad people don't get to damage other people with speech." That crap.
A common refrain is this: A right to free speech is not a right to a platform. But this statement needs to be unpacked a bit more because it is often misunderstood.
Here's my response to this crap:To speak to so vast an audience is a privilege, not a right. To speak through a newspaper or magazine column, a TV talk show, an interview on national TV, a speech at a university, or a primetime debate program, is, by its very nature, a privilege not open to all.***The same applies to Yiannopoulos at Berkeley. What people are really arguing about is whether Yiannopoulos has a right to be paid to go on a speaking tour, complete with hotels, a bus (yes, really), and an entourage. That is a separate question from whether he has a right to hold his views; he could spread them, as so many do, from street corners and subway stations. He does not have a specific right to any particular rarefied rostrum, however.
Yes, he DOES have a right to be paid to speak. And stay in a hotel, travel on a bus, all that. So do you, you nasty little censorious-minded bitch. His doing that does not prevent you from speaking, or getting people to back YOU for a tour.
What bothers you is that people you don't like have the right to speak. And make money doing it. And get a as wide an audience as possible. Well, deal with it.