Let me start by stating a very obvious fact. I don’t like Richard Spencer. The drivel that falls out of his mouth is the same that millions died to fight back against during World War 2. Every time his language or actions veer into neo-Nazi territory, I feel not rage, but sorrow for the men who had to watch their fellow soldiers and friends die to keep that idiocy in trash heap where it belongs.
That said, I’m thrilled we can live in a country where he can do that. I might not like what he has to say in the least, but as a libertarian with a fondness for our constitutional rights, I’m glad Spencer can reveal his own idiocy in the light of day where I can mock and/or refute his racism. It’s the same rules that allow Ben Shapiro — a complete opposite to Spencer — to do the same in the face of a mob who thinks he and Spencer are birds of a feather without any proof.
Even if I don’t like Spencer’s speech, I can revel in the fact that he can say it. It means I can speak my mind freely too, and those who believe my speech evil won’t be able to shut me down either.
But not everyone believes this. Some think that Spencer’s speech will result in the assault of (insert minority group here). They believe that because Spencer’s speech is so disagreeable to them, that the 1st Amendment rights we all enjoy should not apply to him. They believe he must be stopped, and at any cost.
They who would shut down Spencer’s right to free speech will never have to pay that cost, but for local law enforcement agencies in Gainesville, Florida, that cost is $500,000.
According to Sarah Rumpf at The Capitolist, local law enforcement agencies are gearing up for the actual backlash that will likely occur when Spencer goes to speak at the University of Florida later this month. Spencer originally tried to speak at UF in September, but officials thought it too soon after the violent events of Charllotesville, where Spencer also spoke.
But despite waiting a little while longer, local law enforcement is bracing for impact. Be it from leftist groups like Antifa, who are commonly known for their open encouragement of violence against those whom they disagree, or from violent members of Spencer’s alt-right, Gainesville police will foot the bill to make sure the situation remains in control.
From The Capitolist:
All together, the UF Police Department, Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies providing first responders will be forced to spend more than $500,000 “to enhance security on campus and in the city of Gainesville for this event,” according to the website.
To see to it that Gainesville doesn’t become Charlottesville: Round 2, authorities are banning certain objects.
Presumably hoping to avoid the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, law enforcement has stated that items like torches, masks, and weapons are strictly prohibited, and consequences are promised for those who violate the law or UF’s student conduct rules.
All this because a fool wants to say foolish things in the open.
Why not let him? At this time, Spencer’s speech is currently heard in bar rooms, online chat forums, and random interviews on YouTube, and that’s where the world tries to keep him. In those backroom settings, his words fester in the minds of those that don’t have the experience and knowledge to refute it. We throw Spencer into the shadows where we try our best to ignore him, and wonder why he grows.
Why not let him speak, cover his speech, and allow people to tear it apart point by point? Why not those who know he’s wrong also be given a platform to openly and accurately discuss why he’s wrong? Instead of letting emotion drive our responses, why not let logic win the day?
I always thought one of radical Islam’s largest thorns in its side was people who were given a national platform to proselytize it openly. There is no better example of how awful radical Islam is than Anjem Choudary when he would appear on Fox News and rattle off his nonsense. Whenever Sharia supporting radical feminist Linda Sarsour opens her mouth, it does far more to hurt the cause of Sharia and feminism than I could ever accomplish.
All this can be summed up with a quote from Napoleon: “Never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
So let Spencer speak. Let him make that mistake. Stop making law enforcement agencies shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars — money that ultimately comes from innocent people — so that someone can practice a right they already have.