Federal judge: Lawsuit against Andrew Anglin of 'Daily Stormer' can proceed, Nazi hate speech isn't protected


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Thanks! I agree, there’s nothing really exciting here. It’s basically the court saying “The speech may or may not be protected but there’s enough going on here that we need to have a full trial and hear all the facts so we’re not just going to throw the lawsuit out right away”.



And why is there this difference? Because the KKK kills Black people, while ISIS threatens White people.

It’s White Supremacist to the core. The “right” of White people to promote genocide and terrorism has never been available to people of colour.


I have to disagree with this, having personally seen and heard public calls for the destruction of the “blue eyed devils” made in Philadelphia by people of color. In the 1970s it was not at all uncommon; Muhammed Ali did it on TV.

White people were mostly unconcerned, because they had more guns, more cops, more money… they could permit freedom of speech and conscience because those in power had little to fear. It is fear that makes people want to shut others’ mouths.


What happened to the Black Panthers and MOVE? How much legal harassment did Muhammed Ali face throughout his career, and how much more would he have faced if not for his fame and wealth?


I was correcting the idea that people of color could not and can not make such statements; they clearly can and did. I wasn’t claiming there aren’t consequences to hate speech! Nor do I dispute that the consequences of offending the wealthier majority are usually far worse than those of offending an oppressed minority.

We’re on the same side, or frankly I wouldn’t have bothered to speak to you. :slight_smile: You have my respect.


People of color as a whole have never had systemic power over other people in this country; therein lies the difference.


@wanderfound said that black people didn’t enjoy the same “rights” as white people, not that they didn’t enjoy the same physical capacity as white people. There was never a question of what utterances people can emit from their mouths. The point is that hateful white people seem to enjoy “free speech” far more than any other group. America is willing to bend over backwards to ensure it is not blocking their free speech.

When Desiree Fairooz laughed during Jeff Session’s confirmation (or whatever it was) they arrested her and convicted her. It wasn’t because she expressed herself, of course, it was because she disrupted the hearing. Rakem Balogun was arrest for a Facebook post protesting police brutality because they identified him as a “black identity extremist.” They put him prison for 5 months while trying to come up with a reason to prosecute him and then didn’t prosecute him.

The thing in America is that when someone’s right to speak is taken away it’s never the speech, it’s always something else. But America silences people regularly.

I’m not saying two wrongs make a right and they should round up KKK members the way they round up black people with facebook accounts. I’m saying that free speech in America is bullshit. Not all citizens rights are treated the same.

#NeedsMoreLikes (formerly known as "All the Likes")

This country was ‘founded’ on the exploitation, subjugation and oppression of POC; once it was in place, the powers that be expended and continue to expend great effort to maintain the White male cisgendered Xtian supremacy that they established, all while hypocritically extolling the ideal of liberty for “all.”


:musical_note: But that is not the issue at hand,
We demand a simple right to question y’all,
People where the fuck is freedom at?
It’s all we ask but instead we get our asses
Assassinated fast if they catch you talking trash.
If the first shall be last,
It’s time to prepare,
Black clouds, sky falling
Put a hand in the air. :musical_note:


That’s a really good point, and shows up again and again in different contexts. 4th Amendment protection, right to counsel, assembly, it’s all skewed toward protecting the most powerful and the most popular.


The restrictions on speech in europe don’t seem to be stopping the rise of organized, deadly fascist groups there, though. So I don’t know if europe is really the poster child for successful policy in this case.

White supremacy in the US isn’t thriving because the courts won’t censor people enough. It’s thriving because America is literally built on white supremacy and is racist to the core. Was government-protected speech key in the advancement of slavery? Segregation? The War on Drugs? Gentrification/mass displacement? It was not. Because all of those regimes have been supported and reinforced by the political and economic establishment. Those speaking in favor of those things did not need their speech protected by the courts, because it was protected by money and power. There are always exceptions, but generally speaking, the courts have been the last resort of those opposing money and power.

More general thoughts:
If we understand that the US is fundamentally white supremacist, why would we think the government could be trusted to legislate restrictions on speech? New powers to regulate speech granted for the purposes of disempowering white nationalists will inevitably be repurposed to repress anti-racists. Knowing what we do about America, why should we expect anything else?

Some might say “think about today, we’ll deal with the unintended consequences tomorrow”. But it will take a tremendous mobilization of people to change the precedents set now. And if we can make that kind of mobilization - if we really have the power to bend the government to our will in this way…why not just mobilize now and deal with the fascists ourselves? Why this fixation on empowering the government to handle this for us? They cannot and will not protect us from fascism, only we can do that.


Except that those European factions literally grew or radicalized wildly in response to free, unmoderated, instant communication provided through American free speech absolutism promoting the concept of providing a public space for all speech. AfD is literally organized on Facebook, and the radicalization of League uses all those free speech from things like FAIR which are allowed to make up whatever they want and present it as academic in the United States - literally manufacturing a refugee crisis in Europe. It’s the same argument as gun rights advocates ignoring that guns travel from states with little control to states with lots of control.


Control of hate speech has some effect, but it is not a panacea. Other forces can overwhelm it if allowed to grow unchecked.

We don’t.

Revolution first, then fix things.


Interesting point. For one thing that’s a slightly different subject than government regulation of speech. For another, the nature of the internet is that - ideology aside - it’s structurally resistant to censorship (as you kind of alluded to with your gun control parallel). So to meaningfully reign in the “free speech absolutism” you see online, we’d need to radically change the structure of the internet (China is currently attempting this, it’s not going well).

It is definitely true that American fascists are helping European fascists, and vice-versa. But I don’t think it’s accurate to say that US speech standards are to blame for the rise of european neo-fascism. A lot of other factors played much more important roles. The case could be made that the internet and globalization were significant factors, and some would say that those are forces of the American state. But while they emerged from the US, I don’t think they have any governmental jurisdiction today.


There’s also the point that the US State Department has been promoting the far right globally for seventy years.

Contras, Mujahideen, Syngman Rhee, Batista, Syria’s “moderate rebels”…


So, what was your point about Germany being a bad/good example? I doubt I want to know, but I’ll have to ask anyway.


I think that’s an important point. Anyone who thinks a few hate speech laws are going to magically cure what ails America is fooling themselves.

I 100% agree with this. I bring up the coming-out-into-the-light of some white supremacist groups not because I think that caused the situation in America, but because a common argument against hate speech laws is that we need to have these things out in the open so we can debate and counter them. The hypothesis that we can counter racist speech with anti-racist speech was put to the test and America voted in a president that was playing footsie with David “Actually David Duke” Duke. And while that was also because of an Archaic voting system, that hardly matters, he still got over 40% of the vote. If discussion allowed us to highlight the real horrors of racism to people who support or who are indifferent to racism then he would have gotten 2-3%.

I find this argument unconvincing. Police have been arresting and suppressing protesters for all time and getting away with it just fine. They’ll keep doing so with or without any new authority.

I think overall your point about how we should think about the change we really want to make, and if we can mobilize people then we should try to get changes more important the hate speech laws is a good one. But if we had actual mind control rays then we should just aim them at the people we disagree with instead of the ones we agree with. I don’t think hate speech laws would fix much. I just find the standard arguments about the importance of free speech are extremely unconvincing.

To me, free speech is a canary in the coal mine. While it basically isn’t having much of an effect on anything, when a leader goes after it, you’ve got to do something about that leader and fast. But American free expression, as used in Citizens United, has become actually corrosive.


Yeah, that’s nonsense, I agree. Fascism by its nature is anti-intellectual, so there’s no value to including it in “civil” debate. There’s an adjacent argument which says that hate speech laws better allow fascists to position themselves as anti-establishment - a glamorous role in a global political climate of anti-government sentiment. I think that may be a good point but I have mixed feelings.

Surely repression of radicals is not at its absolute limit, though, or you and I would be dead! The repressive capacity of the state is bounded by the power it can easily exercise. I think the tricky part is that for us, repression is highly contextual (often it’s bad, in some cases it’s fine or even good). But increasingly, the most important forms of state power are context-less. So the way we often approach politics is different from how the state does. We’re focused on directing power within a particular context, while the state is focused on increasing its power in the most general sense (and then inevitably using it against us).

Some struggles are recognizing this. For example, we don’t just oppose using military force against minority communities, we oppose the existence of militarized police altogether because their power is context agnostic. Even if the state claimed it was militarizing police to keep us safe from terrorists or nazis, it would not matter. If we tolerate the existence of that power it will inevitably be directed against marginalized communities and dissident movements.

The case this thread was originally about doesn’t really apply, since it’s not really setting a precedent about speech. That finding seems probably fine. But in general, expanded power to regulate expression seems similar to expanded police militarization, because the way the legal system works makes it effortless to apply those same precedents in another context.

Yeah, Citizens United is a strong counterpoint. But I’d say that empowering the (racist, patriarchal, imperialistic) state to reign in corporate influence is swallowing the spider to catch the fly and having the fox guard the henhouse (spider guarding the flyhouse? lol). Even if we overturned Citizens United somehow, the state can’t be trusted to reign in corporate influence. We have to do that ourselves.

I agree that the ideal of American Free Speech is bogus and never existed. But the influence of legal precedent and public norms do serve to restrain the state’s action against us, so it is of strategic importance even if the ideal is a myth.

closed #115

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