Free Speech Has Consequences

In my experience, bigots and other intolerant people will generally self-identify by their own words and clothing choices.

If you show up in public wearing a Nazi swastika or other Nazi or fascist symbol and it’s not for a WW2 re-enactment event, you have basically labeled yourself a neo-Nazi.

If you speak out in disgust about “the gays” or “the blacks” or any other term that you know would be offensive if they heard you use it, you have already self-identified as a bigot.

No one has to assume that about you — you proclaimed it yourself.

And if you combine religious doctrine statements with your bigotry, you have made it obvious that you are a religious extremist.

You can believe whatever you want, but speech is supposed to have consequences; it’s why we speak. We want to be heard so that others will act or react, start doing something we want or stop doing something we abhor. We speak as a form of action. Actions always have consequences.

Saying anything you want without consequences is not a right you or I have. In fact, you always pay for your “free speech” by the consequences unless you’re totally alone and unheard when you speak.

Freedom of speech is a matter of the government not imposing consequences on your speech. It is NOT a matter of people who are not government tolerating your intolerance.

We need to stop dancing around this idea of tolerance for the intolerant.

Decent people don’t avoid deliberately offensive statements out of some misguided devotion to Political Correctness.

We do so because it shows respect to the other members of the community and that show of respect is the glue that holds a society together. (It may only be a show, but it’s still necessary.)

If you believe that not being a deliberate jerk toward others makes you a cuck or infringes your free speech, you’re part of the problem.

Neo-Nazis and bigots who are spouting their hate-filled rhetoric should be shut down at the earliest possible moment because that speech incites harm to others.

Allowing it to go unchecked means those who harbor such thoughts will think it’s okay to be a bigot or a neo-Nazi. And the next thing after that is physical harm to the people they see as less valuable than themselves.

Also see these thoughts on the matter from the sometimes-wise Popehat:

About Tim Gatewood

60+, male, widowed/single. Writer with a day job. Notary Public. #catdaddy Science fiction and fantasy fan, avid reader, Founder of the Darrell Awards. Author of _Getting Started As A Notary Signing Agent_ (available from Please be kind to one another.
This entry was posted in Philosophy, Politics, Rants and Raves and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Free Speech Has Consequences

  1. Hi, Tim, so good to see you blogging. This was a timely reminder that just because someone has the right to exercise free speech, others are under no obligation to listen or support their hateful messages. We also exercise our freedom of speech by refusing to give our time to those who would spread prejudice and hate, and by refusing to click on sites that promulgate intolerance and bigotry. Thanks! Hope you are well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynda Poysor says:

    This was great to read. Your writing just keeps getting better. To what do you attribute your improvement?

    Liked by 1 person

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