Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Left Wing Thugs Shut Down Speech

A speech at Columbia University by Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, was overrun by students who objected to his views on illegal immigration in a planned attack to shut down the event. The speech, sponsored by the College Republicans at the school, never took place. And the students who did it are proud of it:

“We were aware that there was going to be a sign and we were going to occupy the stage,” said a protestor who was on stage and asked to remain anonymous. “I don’t feel like we need to apologize or anything. It was fundamentally a part of free speech. … The Minutemen are not a legitimate part of the debate on immigration.”

It’s astonishing to me that a student at a top notch school like Columbia could be clueless enough to call shutting down other people’s speech “fundamentally a part of free speech”. No, you cretin, you weren’t exercising your free speech, you were violating someone else’s. You were exercising the heckler’s veto, one of the most corrosive anti-free speech weapons there is. And mark my words, Columbia won’t do a thing about it. Not a single student will be disciplined for their actions. And at a university, of all places, they ought to know better.

Ironically, the only sensible person in the whole thing appears to be a group of Hispanic students:

“We don’t condone the actions of members on either side. Either people on stage who were holding up signs, or people who felt that their speaker was being threatened by people holding signs,” said Adhemir Romero, CC ’07 and president of the Chicano Caucus.

Romero released a statement late Wednesdy from the executive board of the Caucus. “We feel that it is important to discuss and bring to light important issues concerning immigration, though they should be done in a peaceful manner,” it said. “While we do not agree with Mr. Gilchrist and his organization’s views, we respect everyone’s right to freedom of speech and regret that his opinion was not heard.”

The voice of reason, in any language.

Comments

  1. #1 Jeff Rients
    October 5, 2006

    Q: What kind of an idiot confuses free speech with the squelching of another’s free speech?

    A: The same kind of idiot who gets up on a stage at a public gathering and then asks to remain anonymous.

  2. #2 Ted
    October 5, 2006

    But before he could get much farther, two students stepped on stage with a banner. Student protestors said that the demonstration was meant to be peaceful, but when students with the Republicans and other Gilchrist supporters came on stage, the confrontation turned violent. One student was kicked in the head and bleeding, students reported.

    I wonder which side did the head-kicking.

    If the liberals (lef-wingers) are getting haed-kicking agressive, there may be hope yet.

  3. #3 Ed Brayton
    October 5, 2006

    Uh, yeah. If only they would beat people up for holding opinions they don’t like, that would give us “hope”. That’s fucking insane, Ted.

  4. #4 Robert
    October 5, 2006

    I’m not saying that there isn’t a time for headkicking… but I am saying that this wasn’t one of the times.

    An appropriate response would be protesting peacefully outside the auditorium and non-disruptively outside the auditorium.

  5. #5 Ben
    October 5, 2006

    Ed-

    Not to put words into Ted’s mouth, but I think he might have meant that if the protestors were the ones acting violently, there might be hope that Columbia actually does something. You’re right that the university usually won’t do anything in this situation. If one of the protestors actually assaulted someone, they might be forced to. So I guess I’m “hoping” that the protestors were stupid enough to force the university’s hand.

  6. #6 Ed Brayton
    October 5, 2006

    Ben-

    Possible, but I doubt it. The way it’s worded, it looks like he’s endorsing this sort of thing as long as it’s done by liberals, that liberals need to get “head kicking aggressive.”

  7. #7 Ted
    October 5, 2006

    Uh, yeah. If only they would beat people up for holding opinions they don’t like, that would give us “hope”. That’s fucking insane, Ted.

    Like I said, it depends on who’s doing the head-kicking.

    This is how I read the story:

    1. The fuhrer of the Minutemen gets up to give a speech.
    2. Two students get up on stage and unfurl a banner.
    3. The Republicans rush the stage to disarm the banner wielders and shoving ensues.
    4. Some unattributed head-kicking happens, but at least the leftist thugs got off their lazy asses and mixed it up with the libertarian-republican coalition on the stage.

    Of course there may be more to it, but I’m reminded that last year when Gilchrist gave a speech one of his minutemen drove through a crowd of people protesting outside.

    So much for peacefully protesting outside.

    Of course, in that case too, the guy that ran the protesters down got off with no charges while five protesters were arrested for menacing and threatening with soda cans.

    I’ve heard a fair amount from the minutemen and they’ve grouped themselves with racists and white-supremacists. I have no patience for these folk, and if I was paying $45K annual tuition to Columbia and they invited (bestowing credibility on them) racist, white-supremacist scum I’d be emotional about it too.

    I don’t want to offend, but democrats and other left-wing thugs need to get their pasty asses out from behind the keyboard occasionally, throw off the birkenstocks and mix it up with those strong, virile libertarian-republicans.

  8. #8 Bill Jarrell
    October 5, 2006

    “If the liberals (lef-wingers) are getting haed-kicking agressive, there may be hope yet.”

    Hope for what, mob rule?

  9. #9 dogscratcher
    October 5, 2006

    “I don’t want to offend, but democrats and other left-wing thugs need to get their pasty asses out from behind the keyboard occasionally, throw off the birkenstocks and mix it up with those strong, virile libertarian-republicans.”

    Because that would make the liberals better somehow? Why don’t we torture some alleged barbarians to stop barbarity too? That would show them who is civilized.

  10. #10 El Christador
    October 5, 2006

    It’s astonishing to me that a student at a top notch school like Columbia could be clueless enough to call shutting down other people’s speech “fundamentally a part of free speech”.

    Really? I thought this was par for the course for universities, including (or perhaps even especially) top-notch ones like Columbia.

  11. #11 steve s
    October 5, 2006

    There are evil thugs on the left as well as the right.

  12. #12 Ed Brayton
    October 5, 2006

    Ted wrote:

    1. The fuhrer of the Minutemen gets up to give a speech.
    2. Two students get up on stage and unfurl a banner.
    3. The Republicans rush the stage to disarm the banner wielders and shoving ensues.
    4. Some unattributed head-kicking happens, but at least the leftist thugs got off their lazy asses and mixed it up with the libertarian-republican coalition on the stage.

    By “how I read” the article, you obviously mean “what I read into” the article. The article makes it pretty clear that the protestors went there with the intent of stopping the speech and they are proud that they did so. They had no business being on the stage in any capacity. The event was sponsored by a student group, and that group gets to decide who speaks and who doesn’t at that particular even, not a crowd of thugs. If they don’t like what is being said, they are of course free to protest outside, write letters to the editor, invite an opposing speaker to campus to speak for the other side, and so forth. They are not free to disrupt the speech and jump on stage, and they frankly should have been arrested the moment they tried to do so.

    And I have no idea what the word “libertarian” is doing in that paragraph. Libertarians are generally in favor of open borders, which is quite opposed by the Minutemen. Ideologically, they’re more likely to be on the protestors’ side (though clearly not operationally).

    I’ve heard a fair amount from the minutemen and they’ve grouped themselves with racists and white-supremacists. I have no patience for these folk, and if I was paying $45K annual tuition to Columbia and they invited (bestowing credibility on them) racist, white-supremacist scum I’d be emotional about it too.

    They can be as emotional as they want to be. That doesn’t excuse their attempts to violate the rights of others.

  13. #13 Ted
    October 5, 2006

    My, my…

    I watched that movie several times and read the comments left on a few of the left-wing thug sites. My lying eyes show a bunch of republicans and minutemen grabbing signs and pushing. That whole video was a hottenany that brought a smile to my face.

    I just loves the agitation.

    Gilchrist’s visit to Columbia is only one of many he’s planning at campuses across the country. He says the more controversy and protest the better.

    If it wasn’t for the jackbooted birkenstockers this thing wouldn’t be the news it is today. It was pure fodder for STACLU and WorldnutDaily.

    What exactly should these people be kicked out of Columbia for? The left-wing thugs I mean? Having bad manners? Occupying the stage?

  14. #14 Ed Brayton
    October 5, 2006

    I didn’t say they should be kicked out of Columbia. I think they should have been arrested for trying to shut down a perfectly legal event. If the police had done their job, which is to protect the legal exercise of free speech, the whole situation would be avoided. The speech would have gone on as it should have, and those who opposed it remain entirely free to protest it (not disrupt it, that’s not the same thing) and speak out against (not drown it out, that’s also not the same thing).

    My lying eyes show a bunch of republicans and minutemen grabbing signs and pushing.

    I see a man trying to give a perfectly legal speech (one I happen to disagree with strongly, by the way) and a bunch of students jumping on stage to interrupt him, yelling and screaming and jumping up and down to drown him out and doing anything they can to prevent him from doing what the constitution absolutely protects – speaking his mind. His right to speak and the audience’s right to see him speak does not simply disappear just because you or those students don’t like what he’s saying. If it was a pro-life group jumping on stage to stop a speech by the head of Planned Parenthood, neither you nor I would hesitate to criticize those right wing thugs from violating her rights. But one of us – that would be me – is at least consistent in support of free speech.

  15. #15 kehrsam
    October 5, 2006

    Ted,

    Either one is a free-speech absolutist, or one is not. The problem with being in the “not” camp, is that it means someone gets to make distinctions about which points of view will be allowed and which are to be repressed.

    Is Gilchrist the face for a gang of racist anti-democratic proto-fascists? Absolutely. He also hasn’t, to the best of my knowledge, broken any laws. He gets to speak. Because you can’t beat fascists at their own game.

    The only chance liberty ever has is in the free discussion of ideas and a culture which values learning, freedom, and at least some semblance of toleration. Frankly, I am amazed that such a society has ever existed, much less that I am blessed to live in its midst. For all its flaws, the US remains the main hope and future of mass democracy. Shit like this doesn’t help.

  16. #16 El Christador
    October 5, 2006

    Actually, I like the whole notion of “X is not a legitimate part of this debate therefore we are entitled to silence X” espoused by Ted and the left-wing thugs. Especially if I’m the one who gets to choose who’s a legitimate voice. It promises to be immensely useful: Of course the WTO should have cops clearing protesters out of the cities where they’re holding their summits. The protesters are not a legitimate part of the debate. Of course anti-war protesters aren’t allowed in front of the White House. They’re not a legitimate part of the debate.

    Eeeeexcellent!

  17. #17 Ebonmuse
    October 5, 2006

    In fairness to the left, here is an excerpt from the Columbia College Democrats mailing list (which I’m on):

    Jim Gilchrist, founder of the anti-immigrant organization, the Minutemen, is coming to speak at Columbia University. He has been invited by the Columbia College Republicans to speak about “the threat posed by illegal immigration” and to promote his racist, vigilante project. Join us this Wednesday, to come let Gilchrist know that his bigotry and his racist organization are not welcome in New York City.

    Additionally, if you would like to attend the actual speech in addition to the rally, we ask that you do so respectfully and do not attempt to interrupt it or to prevent Mr. Gilchrist from speaking.

    I suspect the people who actually disrupted the speech were not affiliated with Columbia’s Democratic student groups, but just radical agitators who wanted to draw attention to themselves.

  18. #18 Robert
    October 5, 2006

    I agree that liberals need to get out past their keyboards and do something more proactive. However, that does not include shutting down speeches in the way that this one was, nor does it include getting violent.

    Everyone gets to voice their opinion. We should just spend time trying to educate people so that they can recognize hate-spewing slime and nonsense when its presented.

  19. #19 Ted
    October 5, 2006

    But one of us – that would be me – is at least consistent in support of free speech.

    Oh, I fully agree that I would not be consistent in support of free speech. Let me give you an example where I’ll paraphrase because I don’t know how to search your site – so maybe it won’t be a 100% correct.

    A while back there was a discussion about the Phelps/Westboros demonstrating at funerals and you said something like: “I fully support their right to say these awful things, although on a personal level someone may have to hold me back from bashing their brains out if they tried it at a funeral for one of mine.” I paraphrase liberally.

    I find that what is most true — for me — is what I do an a personal level, not what some dead great white guy made a principle 300 years ago. What you’re prone to do is what’s important. We can all memorize crap. Preamble. Bill of Rights. Recipes. Principles don’t mean jack until you do something like hide that Jewish family in the barn, the neighbors rat you out because they want your field by the river and the Nazis come over to line up 20 members of your family against the wall in the back courtyard.

    Speech is dangerous (that’s why it’s nominally protected), and if it becomes overly dangerous speech I may do something about it because action on a personal level is more important than principles that lose their meaning over time. And then maybe take the consequences if there are some worth taking. Or I may just let it go and say screw it; it’s more interesting being in a movie than watching one. The suspense of waiting for the jackboots makes life interesting.

    I like reading coturnix’s political stuff sometimes. It’s amusing. People go to his site and say, “Yo, nice writeup on torture and habeas corpus — you been there…”, you know what happens when demagogues grab a hold of the population and everyone has their fill of free speech. Nationalism and chauvinism flowers and blooms. Intellectuals delude themselves, sitting around sipping coffee, telling themselves that smart people won’t allow one of the strongest countries in Europe to be turn into a tinderbox by a bunch of peasant racist pigs. They label the inciters provincial, uneducated, and stupid. That logic and intelligence will win. Certainly. But yo, is that demagoguery ever inflammatory, emotional and effective. It’s good drama and who needs movies when you can dodge bullets firsthand.

    Long story short, most intellectuals and people of means left the country when the sanctions and death squads came, and left the place to burn at the hands of said peasant, uneducated demagogues. And they had a rousing good time of it.

    So in my view, sometimes intellectuals need to take action — push away from the keyboard and punch the guy’s lights out when they talk racist, inflammatory shit. And then if there are ugly consequences, line up against the wall and wait for it. Nobody lives forever.

    As far as the Columbia thing, these girls on the stage really, really need to take their shirts off and show us some tits. That would have been a bitchin’ and newsworthy protest and on the Today show and CNN by tomorrow morn.

  20. #20 Ed Brayton
    October 5, 2006

    Ted-

    If you were any more full of shit, you’d be choking on it.

  21. #21 Ted
    October 5, 2006

    Thanks Ed.

  22. #22 DuWayne
    October 5, 2006

    Ted –
    What happens when you restrict hatefull speech, when you force those kind of people to go underground, is terrorism. There are many other reasons for absolutes in speech but lets start with that. When you force people to fester their anger and hate, when you cram them into a little corner and restrict them from saying hatefull things, what recourse do they have to be heard? Well, they can make statements with bombs or guns, get their message on the news, hopefully instigating others to mimic their actions.

    Another reason is that it is all a matter of degree. Hatefull speech is just speech that offends or hurts peoples feelings. Since you bring up Phelps, we’ll use him. He takes that offense and hurt to an extreme degree but when you step back it is no different than my calling a self-proclaimed free-market capitolist a socialist for supporting smoking bans. It offends them, some even get a little hurt – the only difference is the degree of offense. So you decide to restrict hate speech on the grounds that it is horribly offensive and hurtfull – those same grounds fit the bill for a lot of other speech, including political dissent.

    Lastly, who decides? Right now we have a government that has gone entirely off the deep end. Do you want them to decide? Or do you want the dems to decide if the backlash against those currently in charge sends them into a similar position? Should it be left to the courts to decide on a case by case basis? Do you think they can set real precedent, that can effectively be used throughout the judicial system? But lets keep it simple, what speech restrictions do you believe in?

  23. #23 jba
    October 5, 2006

    DuWayne:

    Well said.

  24. #24 DuWayne
    October 5, 2006

    You know, it’s kind of scary and disturbing to me when I hear people talking about retricting hate speech. But I can understand it. It is very emotional – yes it’s a matter of degree but it is an extreme and when you get to extremes, where emotions are also extreme, thinking can be impared to more of an extreme. But talking about restricting the speech addressed above, is far more disturbing to me – in fact it is downright scary. This is not nearly so extreme and it is not rooted in hate. I dissagree with the isolationist view espoused by the munutemen but their’s is not rooted in racism or hate, it’s rooted in fear. Not fear of brown people, not fear of “what those people will do when they get here,” but a fear of a cheaper labor force. Certainly there are people involved with this group that are racists and hatefull people, but that is not the viewpoint of the minuteman organization. This is non-hate, political speech – period.

    I am sorry, but anyone who wants to restrict political speech is a coward, a moron and absolutely, un-American. Ted, what you are espousing is just as bad as the views and policies of the bush regime. You flippantly piss on the graves of the millions of people who sarificed their lives, with honor, so that you could grow up in this kind of freedom. There are a lot of countries that have very similar systems now. But before the United States of America fought for it’s independance – this did not exist. What other countries have, similar to our own system, they have because we tried it first. But you would just piss that away. If your ideas are better than someone elses, they will eventualy take deep root into our society. But trying to push them, by force, without allowing dissenting views, will make them simply blow away and dissapeer in the short term, because if their is no debate, if other ideas aren’t being heard, no one can tell if something else might not be better. They will always be suspect if they are not arrived at by arduous debate that allows all viewpoints to be addressed. Certainly that means that crack-pots and even very sick and disgusting ideas are able to get a voice, but they are marginalised by their very stupidity. Meanwhile, while debate rages we move slowly, but inexorably, towards an increasingly rational and reasonable society.

    But, hey, your stupid enough to support violence, in response to strictly political speech, so what the hell would you know about rationality? Now, I might get into a violent mood if someone protested a funeral I was attending, but advocating violence against non-hate speech? That, is rank cowardice. Not to mention that what turns a lot of people on the fence about abortion, is the fact that pro-choice activists refrain from using the barbaric, terrorist methods of elements of the anti-choice crowd. One of the things that makes libralism so attractive to me is the marked tendency towards non-violent, rational thinking. Certainly, most conservatives are also repulsed by violence but the right certainly has a lot more in the way of violent neanderthals than the left. So please, if you do use violence to make a point, don’t make the point – it makes the rest of those espousing similar views look bad and hurts the cause, whatever it might be.

  25. #25 Ted
    October 5, 2006

    You flippantly piss on the graves of the millions of people who sarificed their lives, with honor, so that you could grow up in this kind of freedom.

    I’m not genetically predisposed to your kind of patriotism because I didn’t grow up in this kind of freedom. Gimme a few more generations; I’m sure my offspring will have those values imbued into their very cells — their very being and soul.

    But me and John Yoo, we’re two peas in a pod. Brother travelers that took a different path but each that want to pervert the great American ideals. I turn on the TV daily to get a dose of that greatness.

    What I meant before was “Thanks Ed”, for giving me a voice.

    I know that I have a voice here only by Ed’s continuing graces, and when my speech — or my idealogy gets too uncomfortable, or too stupid — I’m pretty sure I’ll get cut off at the knees and become a desaparecido on the blogs.

  26. #26 DuWayne
    October 5, 2006

    Ted said –
    I’m not genetically predisposed to your kind of patriotism because I didn’t grow up in this kind of freedom.

    My apologies, what that should be then is;
    You flippantly piss on the graves of the millions of people who sarificed their lives, with honor, so you could come here to live in it.

    I turn on the TV daily to get a dose of that greatness.

    You probably do, but if you meant that as sarcasticly as I took it you probably don’t even realize it. In this country people can do and say what they please, with minimal restrictions. They do it too – even in this political and social climate, one I find frightening and disturbing, we are still able to espouse views in dissent of and even mocking towards the regime in power. We can loudly respond in protest to speech we dissagree with – even against the very people with the power in this country. When you sarcasticly say; But me and John Yoo, we’re two peas in a pod. Brother travelers that took a different path but each that want to pervert the great American ideals. your right. It is an absolute perversion of American ideals to restrict free speech. If you don’t think free speech is so great then explain it. How can you surmount the problems I ascribe to a more authoritarian approach to pushing your ideas? How can you make them stick when the world is moving away from authoritarian tactics, because the ideas promoted through those means, cannot survive over time? How can you get people to jsut accept it, forever, if it has never been debated, openly and honestly?

  27. #27 Troy Britain
    October 5, 2006

    Ed: Libertarians are generally in favor of open borders…

    IMO, that’s going over the line from libertarianism to anarchism.

    To all regarding Gilchrist: Does anyone have evidence that he is a racist beyond his being against illegal immigration? I am perfectly willing to believe he is if there is evidence to support it, however I am not willing to just take peoples word for it as the label “racist” has become a way for many on the left to demonize people they disagree with.

    I know that he has said some very stupid things about the ACLU for example but I heard those comments for myself. I have yet to hear anything that was obviously racist from him though.

    So please if he is such an obvious racist, as many here claim, could you please point me towards the documentation of this fact.

    Thanks

  28. #28 Ted
    October 5, 2006

    So much anger…or is it the joy of being native born? I can’t tell.

    Say DuWayne, have you ever been to Western Europe?

    You may have heard that they have horribly oppressive free speech laws that restrict hate-speech, and you’d be right to feel sorry for all of them because they are SO very stupid, not to realize that libertarianism is a religion. They routinely piss away their freedom to antagonize their neighbor into violence. Stupid sots, every one.

    They’re sort of secular in their desire for tolerance and universal social democracy. Unlike stunted children, their academics study social issues and respond to them with measures suitable for use in the 20th century; they’re too stupid to know how stupid they are, so they seldom just say, “oh my, we’re sooooo stupid, we’ll never be able to match the intellectual greatness of the great men of the 17th and 18th century. Let us feed upon burgers, and other free-market detritus and leave social democracy to our betters and elders.”

    Instead, like the stupid, deluded Western Europeans that they are, they set a series of judicial and social standards that a country has to meet, and then says, “Oh, you want some of this European Union second class goodness? (Second after the US of course.) Start by treating your people better and when you get close to our human rights standards, we’ll give you a hand up the rest of the way.”

    The EU grows and accepts new countries into a common framework on schedule. When’s the last time the US gave someone some standards and said, “Hey, reach these standards, and we’ll let you into the US. Yup, the whole freaking country can come in. Was it Texas?”

    I believe that we’re not so much into bringing others to our goodness except through the barrel of a gun and maybe a lot of theological and philosophical preachiness thrown in. But we are more enlightened, so we’re more entitled. It just follows.

    It’s always amusing (and predictable) to invoke the greatest generation and ride on their coattails because their blood flows through you several generations later. I sense their greatness in you during these exchanges of ideas.

    And I am VERY indebted to your graciousness in allowing me to homestead here — my intent all along has been quite selfish — after I pissed in the pool in the old country and they threw me out, I came here to get rich at your expense. Without once honoring the values or your patriotic genes.

    Dude, I confess that I’m here for the free porn, to practice bad manners freely and to get my hands on fast, easy cash at the expense of others.

    You’re not going to insult me because most of your points are valid in a strictly American way, and I am just the scum that you make me to be. Really.

    Oh, and BTW, in a nod to coturnix’s old country that self immolated, guess what some of their colorful nationalist mottoes were? Yup, they had two good ones:

    God Bless (insert country here) and Live Free or Die.

    Those were the mottoes of the proud ones, the ones that were blamed for the raping, the looting, the killing, the shelling of children, the 6000 executed in Srebrenica.

    Them be good mottoes.

  29. #29 Ted
    October 5, 2006

    So please if he is such an obvious racist, as many here claim, could you please point me towards the documentation of this fact.

    It’s not that he’s an obvious racist, it’s that the organization that he founded and represents is routinely viewed as racist by independent observers. You could go troll through SPLC or IndyMedia archives for extreme minutemen watch, but even relatively mainstream outlets like the fort worth weekly find them a front for racism.

    Their biggest sin is that they attract the skinheads and supremacists by the troves. I had a friend that did a week with them on the border and he came back a liberal after manning the fence with a few stormfront boys.

    Then also, Gilchrist is a condidate and a representative of the Constitution party, so I suppose that his political views are protected, even if they happen to be party of homophobia, and theocracy (is it Dominionism that they hold as a political tenet?). The famous Judge Roy Moore is a fellow traveler of his (as John Yoo is mine).

    For fun try this: Go to the minutemen site, find any of their events and then google the event plus indymedia. Oh, it’s a hoot. Wherever they go, indymedia thugs trash their rights.

  30. #30 DuWayne
    October 6, 2006

    You may have heard that they have horribly oppressive free speech laws that restrict hate-speech, and you’d be right to feel sorry for all of them because they are SO very stupid, not to realize that libertarianism is a religion.

    I take it you think that I am a libertarian? Socialy. I geuss I am but I do not subscribe to an extreme libertarian philosophy. But I do, in fact feel sorry for Western European nations that restrict speech. Restrictions to speech are prohibitive to the democratic proccess – period.

    It’s always amusing (and predictable) to invoke the greatest generation and ride on their coattails because their blood flows through you several generations later. I sense their greatness in you during these exchanges of ideas.

    That would be a trick. I am not certain any of their blood flows through me. My mother came over here from Germany with her mother when whe was seven. My biological father is in the fourth generation of his families arrival to these shores. The only possibility that my roots go back very far is my maternal grandfather. He was an American GI in WWII when he hooked up with my Grandma – but we know absolutely nothing about him.

    What I would like to know is how you would answer my questions. Or at least show me how speech restrictrions in Western European nations that have them are so very benificial. Show me statistics about the rock bottom levels of hate crimes. Show me how it works so much better when you can jail someone for saying they think “queers should burn in hell” or “insert religion is evil.”

    And please, explain where you would draw the line on just how offended someone has to be by someone elses words to make those words a crime.

    Meanwhile, I will continue to fight the current regime in this country and their ideals that include, amongst their attempts to do away with our rights to private conversations on the telephone and e-mails, to also restrict speech in this country. Only they aren’t trying to restrict hate speech, like you seem keen on, they are interested in restricting political speech – on very similar grounds. You want to know why I am angry – because you use the same logic they do to justify their restrictions. Personaly, I like to be able to demonstrate and speak out against power run amuck.

    I don’t give two shits if you espouse some love of American ideals or not. This is a country where you are free not to – in fact you can still legaly speak out against everything this country stands for – for the moment. It just doesn’t come with the freedom not to be offended in turn when someone calls you an asshole for it. . .Asshole.

  31. #31 DuWayne
    October 6, 2006

    And BTW, Ted, I happen to think in many regards, the US is quite behind many Western European countries – lack of universal healthcare being a huge one. Criminal justice being another. For the moment I have the right to say that and fight to change that. Unfortunately, I also have to fight to ensure we continue to have the right to say and fight for those things in this country. So go ahead and argue yourself blue in the face against free speech – your just arguing the same old shit the bush regime argues too.

  32. #32 Jaime A. Headden
    October 6, 2006

    I’m curious, but a free-flow of ideas would not require a peaceful demonstration far-removed from the other. If the liberal side of this debate wanted to demonstrate a free-flow, they would listen, and organize their own speech, right?

    If the conservative, right-wingers who originally held the speech wanted a free-flow of ideas, they would have organized a debate. Did they? No. They wanted a soapbox, and possibly a fight, to prove that the left-wingers are trying to stop them.

    Ann Coulter would be proud.

    In the end, the hot-heads showed how brainless they were in not staging a non-violent protest, and the speech-makers showed how non-confrontational and open-minded they were by organizing a closed audience.

    Kudos to Columbia if they manage to deal with both sides right by highling the faults of both sides. Boo to the conservs for avaoiding true debate. Boo to the hot-heads (who aren’t truly liberals in that they were certainly NOT open-minded) for having no honor in this matter.

  33. #33 kehrsam
    October 6, 2006

    Mr. Brittain: By far the best and most comprehensive writeup on minuteman ideology has been done by Dave Niewert writing on his Orsinus blog. http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/

    His minuteman series can be found in the upper left in 12 parts. And, by the way, I did not call Mr. Gilchrist a fascist; I agree, the word is bandied about all too loosely these days. I called him a proto-fascist.

  34. #34 Tim B.
    October 6, 2006

    I think someone earlier alluded to the “free speech” zones set up to keep free speech away from the president. Maybe Ted has a bit of a point. Perhaps it’s time to physically trample down such barriers, a bit of a revolution? Whoever would erect such barriers has, in my estimation, forfeited the right to their own free speech. In other words, they deserve the full wrath of the heckler’s veto. Bush and his ilk should be shouted down constantly for their brazen attacks on the Constitution.

    How does the above connect to the Minutemen thing? Not sure, but if there is any implicit denial of free speech in their philosophy (theocracy?), then such implicit attack on the Constitution should be met with the frontal attack of a heckler’s veto.

    Now, I suspect that my early morning mental meanderings are infected by internal paradox. Maybe this is more emotional than mental and, therefore, undeserving of public scrutiny.

  35. #35 Ted
    October 6, 2006

    Only they aren’t trying to restrict hate speech, like you seem keen on, they are interested in restricting political speech – on very similar grounds. You want to know why I am angry – because you use the same logic they do to justify their restrictions. Personaly, I like to be able to demonstrate and speak out against power run amuck.

    Well DuWayne,

    You hit the crux of it through several of your observations. And I like your observations — they’re not entirely foreign to me, I just think that there’s a variety of options involved and we don’t all think alike.

    1. I believe in intelligent free expression. I don’t believe in incitement because I think that the persuasive nature of speech is powerful, and because it is the nature of our betters to use group A against group B to guarantee that the betters get their desired outcome.

    2. I will not give unqualified support for anything. I will look at things for myself and make up my own mind. I like Colbert and Stewart, but they don’t give me an opinion by themselves.

    3. When you see some brownshirts rallying around the flag, throwing seig heils, you can greet them cheerfully and celebrate their right to speech. I may choose to confront them if I’m not too busy or if the chemicals strike me. We both will deal with consequences as they come. I may get carted away by the Police and make Ed’s thug-o-the-week headline (and maybe get some coverage over on WorldNutDaily too), but generally I’ll sleep OK even after dealing with the Police. I’ll get that notch for arrested for political reasons. Getting that ticket punched is important. The consequence of doing nothing while these guys goose-step is also pretty well documented. But really, it’s mox-nix to me. I plan to be dead in the future and others will deal with it.

    4. I didn’t mean to say that you were religiously libertarian, but I do consider in general, that people that hold principles of free speech to higher standards than intelligently coexisting peacefully in that religious category. If one seeks out confrontation on principle, I’m going to conflate him in with the other riders of the short bus — the theocrats, the constitutional party hacks, the militant libertarians, the US chamber of commerce, and so on.

    So please, if you do use violence to make a point, don’t make the point – it makes the rest of those espousing similar views look bad and hurts the cause, whatever it might be.

    Oh DuWayne, sounds like you’re all for free speech but would like me to self-censor so you don’t look foolish when someone conflates your views with mine. See how similar we are? I just think that many don’t have the capacity to self-censor, so giving them a nudge occasionally is OK.

    The question commonly is:

    Well who will tell us how much free speech is OK? And my answer is — I don’t know. I guess that I trust intelligent, well educated people to be able to step in and mediate. I rely on a system that pumps out more intelligent, progressive people than one that pumps out brownshirts.

    Someone above said, “If you restrict free speech you put bombs into the hands of terrorists.” Well maybe, but maybe intelligent people focused on social justice and progress would act to negate the incentives for terrorism, hence the European Courts of Justice, and the essential agreed-upon-to rights documents. I simply don’t agree that exercise of speech is the answer to everything in itself because it misses the point that ACTION is quite important and not all ACTION is mandated by shrill speech. Some action is driven by responsible and forward looking intentions.

    I don’t have to wait for my kid to tell me, “Dad, I’m starving.” Maybe, if I was doing my job, I’d feed the kid before he had to tell me his belly was empty. Mind you, I wouldn’t just throw a smorgasbord of sweets and high-fats and say, “Ah, go ahead and fill up on as much of this junk as you want while dad surfs the Internets. I’ll get to your problems when they become problems demanding my attention.”

    Anywhoo, that’s my answer to terrorism. Statism — because principles that work when the world has a population of 100 million may be stressed as the world approaches a population of 9 billion.

    I know that one of Ed’s favorite saws is the issue of Gays in the Military and their inefficient use in the US. I really hope that we can discuss that at some point by looking at what makes the gays in the military so acceptable to Europeans when compared to the US military. Do you figure bloggers exercising free speech back in the 80s laid the groundwork for that acceptance? I’d like to know because I’m quite curious.

  36. #36 Raging Bee
    October 6, 2006

    Ted: Have you any idea how transparent your hypocricy is? Do you actually expect us to believe that if it was Minutemen disrupting a pro-immigration speech, you’d be talking about the Minutemen’s right to disrupt the event?

    It’s time the academic left got off their hobby-horse and stopped pretending it’s their job to decide whose opinions are “worthy” of a hearing. All they’re doing is flushing their own integrity down the toilet, which is all they accomplished in the ’60s as well. Decades of right-wing Republican rule prove their tactics have failed. And no, Republican policies do NOT justify any of it. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    Suppressing free speech is evil when the majority party do it, and just plain stupid when a minority do it. Hello? You’re the MINORITY — you don’t have the power to pull it off.

    Also, I’m getting sick of people who advocate restrictions on immigration being automatically labelled “fascist” or “racist.” Such name-calling is pure cowardice. Every country has not just the right, but the duty, to secure and police its own borders, and to keep out people whom it decides it cannot reasonably accomodate, or who it believes may be criminals or otherwise pose a threat. No person has any right to enter a country of which he/she is not a citizen or a national.

    Our current immigration “policy” — letting people come here illegally while pretending not to — is both dishonest and anti-democratic, insofar as laws made by elected legislatures are not being respected or enforced. I could also call it “racist,” insofar as it allows people to come and work here as an underclass with no legal rights or standing, subject to deportation at any time.

    Whether we allow three Mexicans to cross our border in a given year, or three million, it should be done honestly and legally; not under the table.

    Right or wrong, the Minutemen are reacting to a policy vacuum — a deriliction of duty by our border guards — which we, the silent and irresponsible majority, have allowed to happen, and continue to allow, in order to avoid an honest debate on the issue.

    PS: The issue with the Columbia incident is the same as that with those funerals the Phelps gaggle want to disrupt: the right to express oneself lawfully without bullying or harassment.

    PPS: If the Minutemen reacted with violence to the left’s disruption, it is perfectly understandable. If you violate someone else’s rights, it’s your fault if you get a violent reaction — just as it’s a rapist’s fault if his intended victim manages to club him in the nuts.

  37. #37 Ted
    October 6, 2006

    Ted: Have you any idea how transparent your hypocricy is? Do you actually expect us to believe that if it was Minutemen disrupting a pro-immigration speech, you’d be talking about the Minutemen’s right to disrupt the event?

    Raging B,

    Haven’t we had this discussion before? I said before that:

    1. I am not consistent; I find consistency dogmatic and
    b. I highlighted the word “unqualified” above for a reason.

    That clearly means to me that I would NOT be defending the minutemen on principle because I don’t believe that all POVs or ideas have equal standing. I said before that I’m not going to follow a principle over common sense. So you got me in a hypocrisy?

    You use the phrase “free-speech” because it’s a holy word in the bibles of western thought, but I commonly replace the word “free-speech” with “hate-speech” when I’m reading something to see if it still makes sense. If it doesn’t I throw that baby out the window with the bathwater.

    With regard to free-speech zones, THAT is really what needs addressing because when the government creates free speech zones I ask myself, “Are the democrats spewing hate-speech at the Republican convention which would necessitate their removal and arrest, or is this being done for a political agenda at the behest of the ruling party and NY business interests?”

    Since we’ve clearly accepted the concept of free-speech zones in the run-up to 2004 elections, I really don’t see what argument you’re making. We defacto have limited political free speech but are ginning for unlimited hate-speech. Oh good.

    I not too happy with that status quo interpretation so I support students going onstage and unfurling a banner.

    And I’d support them even more if they showed us some tit to punctuate the event.

  38. #38 DuWayne
    October 6, 2006

    It is pointless to continue arguing with you Ted. The closest you have come to actually answering my argument is to tell me you and I aren’t smart enough to really have this conversation – that tells me all I need to know. If you want to depend on those smarter than you to draw those lines, go ahead. Just don’t be surprised when, in your little society, people smarter than you start making laws you don’t like, making restricitons you don’t like and you find yourself in a nasty situation. Because when you clamp down on speech, make words a crime, you are inviting the jack boot thugs to rip down your door and put you in prison.

    And obviously if you are not smart enough to effect the legislative proccess, you would be too stupid to self police what you say or do. My apologies for assuming otherwise.

  39. #39 Raging Bee
    October 6, 2006

    Ted wrote:

    That clearly means to me that I would NOT be defending the minutemen on principle because I don’t believe that all POVs or ideas have equal standing.

    In other words, you are against freedom of speech because you believe that only people who agree with you have the right to express their opinions, and that only people like you have the right to silence contrary opinions. Since you clearly do not share or support my society’s most basic values — values which have kept me alive, when other governments routinely kill people like me without a second thought — I have nothing further to say to you.

    You also seem to have nothing to say to me either, given that you have completely ignored the rest of my post.

  40. #40 DuWayne
    October 6, 2006

    Since we’ve clearly accepted the concept of free-speech zones in the run-up to 2004 elections, I really don’t see what argument you’re making. We defacto have limited political free speech but are ginning for unlimited hate-speech. Oh good.

    I can’t just let that one pass. Because at the crux you have hit on the biggest argument that I have made and yo still refuse to answer. I do not accept free-speech zones, neither does Raging Bee who has also come out squarely and strongly against them. The point is that arguments that make allowances for them are entirley the same arguments for restricting hate speech. And you say you want to depend on people smarter than you or I to dedcide? If by smarter people, you mean people in power – who, by the way make the rules – then you get things like free speech zones. And make no mistake, the people in power are the ones who will make those decisions – and they may well not be smarter than us.

  41. #41 Ed Brayton
    October 6, 2006

    Jaime Headden wrote:

    If the conservative, right-wingers who originally held the speech wanted a free-flow of ideas, they would have organized a debate. Did they? No. They wanted a soapbox, and possibly a fight, to prove that the left-wingers are trying to stop them.

    This is nonsense. There is no requirement that every speech be a debate. People on all sides of every issue invite speakers to campuses without having debates. Does that mean no one is interested in a “free flow of ideas”? Of course not. There are also plenty of such debates that take place, on every issue imaginable. But there’s no reason to condemn any speech that is not part of a debate as being opposed to the free flow of ideas.

  42. #42 Ed Brayton
    October 6, 2006

    Tim B wrote:

    I think someone earlier alluded to the “free speech” zones set up to keep free speech away from the president. Maybe Ted has a bit of a point. Perhaps it’s time to physically trample down such barriers, a bit of a revolution? Whoever would erect such barriers has, in my estimation, forfeited the right to their own free speech. In other words, they deserve the full wrath of the heckler’s veto. Bush and his ilk should be shouted down constantly for their brazen attacks on the Constitution.

    Knocking down a barrier to free speech is hardly the same thing as knocking down someone trying to exercise their free speech. An individual speaker is not the government. If some wants to engage in civil disobedience in response to the government’s absurd “free speech zones”, I’m all for it. But if they want to do that but also want to shut down someone else’s free speech, then they are clearly being hypocrites – they don’t believe in free speech, they only believe in their free speech.

  43. #43 Ed Brayton
    October 6, 2006

    Folks, I think it’s obvious how pointless it is to engage Ted on this issue. He is not only transparently hypocritical on this issue, he think it’s perfectly okay to be that inconsistent. You cannot reason with that.

  44. #44 Raging Bee
    October 6, 2006

    Ed: I would add to your point about “Knocking down a barrier to free speech” the important point that those who choose to do so are acting in violation of the law, and will have to be prepared to admit this and accept whatever punishment they get as a result. This honesty, and refusal to place oneself above the law, is an important and integral part of the doctrine of “non-violent civil disobedience.”

  45. #45 Troy Britain
    October 6, 2006

    kehrsam: Mr. Brittain: By far the best and most comprehensive writeup on minuteman ideology has been done by Dave Niewert writing on his Orsinus blog. http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/

    It’s Britain (one “T”, like the country) and I will check out your source, thanks.

    kehrsam: And, by the way, I did not call Mr. Gilchrist a fascist; I agree, the word is bandied about all too loosely these days. I called him a proto-fascist.

    OK, but I didn’t ask about him being called a fascist, I asked for evidence in support of the charge that he was a racist.

    A data point to consider in this regard is the fact that the person who spoke (to the racist jeers of the crowed according the the Minutemen site) at this event immediately before Gilchrist was Marvin Stewart who is black.

    And while I am sure that there are racists in the Minutemen organization (despite their statements that they don’t want any to join), one should also bear in mind that some of their opponents are also racists.

    Ever hear the slogan: “For the race everything. For those outside the race, nothing.”?

    Why do those on the left who attack the Minutemen for their supposed racism almost never go after groups like MEChA for their racialism?

    Another interesting thing is that (and this is not a counter point to any claims about the Minutemen) judging by some of the signage carried by the crowd, the communist party was well represented at the event. Something I’ve noted at many of the illegal immigrant support rallies.

  46. #46 DuWayne
    October 6, 2006

    Why do those on the left who attack the Minutemen for their supposed racism almost never go after groups like MEChA for their racialism?

    Oh sure, next you’ll be trying to say their are racist elements in the NAACP. . .Oh, wait, umm, bad example – but. . .

  47. #47 gwangung
    October 6, 2006

    I suspect a lot of folks on the immigrant side of the debate have long memories; many of the same arguments have been in use for a long time, and were linked to blatantly racist arguments.

    It would help for folks on the immigration regulation side would acknowledge that and take more pains to delineate how their arguments are more tied to current events and trends.

  48. #48 Raging Bee
    October 6, 2006

    It would help for folks on the immigration regulation side would acknowledge that and take more pains to delineate how their arguments are more tied to current events and trends.

    From what I’ve heard, they’re already doing that. What makes you think they’re not?

    I’ve heard advocates of immigration restrictions talk about potential or real burdens on social services, the legal limbo of illegal residency, the unfairness of hiring illegals to avoid legal obligations to workers, entry of criminals (and al Qaeda infiltrators) via porous borders, and other subjects that are clearly relevant, whatever opinions you or I may have about them. It’s the anti-reform reactionaries, in my experience at least, who are gumming up the public debate with emotion and name-calling.

  49. #49 David Neiwert
    October 6, 2006

    FWIW, Troy, the phrase you quote — “For the race everything. For those outside the race, nothing” — is not a slogan that is used by any organization. It appears on some 1969-era organizing documents for MEChA. But MEChA’s actual slogan is “La Union hace la Fuerza.”

    You actually are parroting propaganda that was first disseminated by white supremacists.

    As for Gilchrist, what I argue consistently is that he is an extremist whose ideology and organization are based out of white-supremacist groups who are seeking to mainstream their agenda. His partner in the Minutemen, Chris Simcox, is much more of an extremist. As for Gilchrist himself, there’s this:

    Under Gilchrist’s guidance, the Minuteman Project has tried to rhetorically distance itself from both paramilitarism and racism. Yet Gilchrist himself is prone to hysterical remarks about immigrants and to conspiracy mongering, as evidenced by these remarks:

    From what I have seen in videos, to me there is a clear and present danger of insurrection, sedition and succession by those who buy into the fact that this really is Mexico’s territory and doesn’t belong to the United States and should be taken back.

    Gilchrist’s words are a succinct statement of the so-called reconquista conspiracy theory which holds that Mexico is quietly infiltrating a fifth-column of revolutionaries into the United States with the purpose of territorial conquest. Moreover the infiltration is being accomplished with the treasonous collusion of various “liberal elite” institutions, e.g. the Catholic Church and the Ford Foundation, and the applause of muddle-headed multiculturalists.

    Gilchrist’s conspiracist formulation of the problem he sees with undocumented immigration is only an extreme form of the basic xenophobic arguments repeating the time-tested formula of bigoted fear-mongering. In the early years of the twentieth century it was the “yellow peril” — which led to laws excluding those of Asian descent from immigrating to the United States. In the wake of the Civil War, and with the failure of Reconstruction, it was Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws, intended to keep the races forever separate and distinct.

    In a May 2005 speech to a meeting of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, a hardcore anti-immigrant group which promotes the reconquista conspiracy theory, Gilchrist said, “I’m damn proud to be a vigilante.” He believes that, “Illegal immigrants will destroy this country.” At a Memorial Day 2005 “summit” of anti-immigrant leader in Las Vegas, Gilchrist commented, “Every time a Mexican flag is planted on American soil, it is a declaration of war.”

    Judge for yourself.

    And FWIW, I agree with Ed that the cretins who jumped onstage should have been arrested, and I agree with his larger point that thuggery and disruption have no place in civil discourse. OTOH, there was no justification for those on Gilchrist’s side to respond violently to what had been up to then a non-violent disruption. If it turns out that it was they who did the head-kicking, then those students too should be arrested and charged with assault.

    It’s the job of security personnel to handle these disruptions, not some self-appointed “red-blooded American males.”

  50. #50 Tyler DiPietro
    October 6, 2006

    Mr. Britain,

    I don’t know whether the MM are overtly racist, but if you want evidence that racism is a huge factor the current anti-immigrant hysteria, all you need to do is listen to any right-winger with a talk show or a blog. Listen to Glenn Beck or Howie Carr or read Michelle “Self-Loathing Anchor-Baby” Malkin to see the imediately noticable racist tendencies.

    Take a listen to Howie Carr. Just about every day of the week he’ll pull up some obscure story about an illegal immigrant comitting a crime and make some variation of the quip “They’re only doing X activity that Americans won’t”, where is X is “raping the women” or “stealing from the stores” or other such nonsense. It’s blatant demagoguery meant to frame it in terms of the evil brown people.

    Trust me, there’s racism out there. Arguing with anti-immigrants is a daunting task because there is clearly a blind, emotive anger directed at the demonic image in their head of what Latin-American people are “doing to this country”. I’ve been yelled at over and over again, even called a “race traitor” or several occasions and faulted for being “for the F&$#ing Mexicans!”.

    I’ve even gotten into such suffles with my fellow Italian-Americans on this issue. Of all people, I’d expect them to be sympathetic, as they suffered the same racial bigotry and slander not too long ago that Latin-Americans now suffer today. Unfortunately, many Italian-Americans have grown too far from their heritage to remember the lessons of the past.

    I agree with everyone (except Ted) here that actions like those taken in this story can’t be tolerated in a free society. We also can’t put on the blinders about racism being a huge factor in the current fit of xenophobic hysteria overtaking the country.

  51. #51 Tyler DiPietro
    October 6, 2006

    Raging Bee,

    Who exactly are these “anti-reform reactionaries” you’re talking about? I don’t know of anyone who is reflexively “anti-reform” on immigration. No one can argue that our current immigration policy is working. It’s the blatantly racist calls for border freezes and deportation and false claims made about them being a “drain” on the economy and social services that anger me, and I suspect most others on my side are the same way (even if I can’t read minds).

  52. #52 Raging Bee
    October 6, 2006

    Trust me, there’s racism out there. Arguing with anti-immigrants is a daunting task because there is clearly a blind, emotive anger directed at the demonic image in their head of what Latin-American people are “doing to this country”.

    There’s also a “blind, emotive anger” directed at Pagans by some Christians; but I don’t automatically assume all Christians are that bigoted — because I’ve met Christians who aren’t.

    Just because some racists want to change our immigration “policy,” does not make it an idea that should not be discussed. Did it ever occur to you that racist parties (both here and in Europe) are gaining strength by addresing issues the mainstream are afraid to touch?

    …I’d expect them to be sympathetic, as they suffered the same racial bigotry and slander not too long ago that Latin-Americans now suffer today.

    And how, exactly, does refusing to change our current “policy” make things better for Latin-Americans? Letting people stay illegally only keeps them at the level of an underclass, where certain benefits are not legally available to them.

  53. #53 gwangung
    October 6, 2006

    From what I’ve heard, they’re already doing that. What makes you think they’re not?

    No, they aren’t. When I see the same arguments that were used against my grandparents, without even acknowledging that they’re the same, I can’t take it seriously that they’re taking any pains to particularize their arguments for today.

  54. #54 Raging Bee
    October 6, 2006

    No one can argue that our current immigration policy is working.

    It works for Mexicans who want to come here but, for whatever reason, can’t come legally. It also works for employers who want to profit from cheap labor. No argument is necessary — just shut up and pretend to disapprove.

    It’s the blatantly racist calls for border freezes and deportation…

    Why is that “racist?” You just proved my point about anti-reform reactionaries calling their opponents names, rather than engage in honest debate.

    And before you continue with the name-calling, let me clarify the fact that border security and immigration quotas are not the same issue. It is possible, for example, to advocate sealing our borders, and making it easier for more immigrants to enter LEGALLY. I don’t have a problem with immigrants, provided that they are admitted legally, so that they can enjoy the full benefits of living in the US, and so that our government knows where and how many there are in order to serve them better.

  55. #55 Tyler DiPietro
    October 6, 2006

    Just because some racists want to change our immigration “policy,” does not make it an idea that should not be discussed. Did it ever occur to you that racist parties (both here and in Europe) are gaining strength by addresing issues the mainstream are afraid to touch?

    And what exactly are your “proposals” here, or those of other right-wingers? All I see are the same reflexive (and unrealistic) calls for border freezes and deporation.

    And how, exactly, does refusing to change our current “policy” make things better for Latin-Americans?

    I never said I “refused” to change it. That’s a blatant strawman. The problem is that the xenophobic, racist anti-immigrant hysterics will not settle for anything short of a massive police-state deporation.

    Letting people stay illegally only keeps them at the level of an underclass, where certain benefits are not legally available to them.

    Most benefits are not legally to them now, contrary to anti-immigrant propaganda. The 1996 Welfare Reform Bill disqualified undocumented residents from almost all means-tested programs, with the exception of K-12 Education and emergency medical treatment. So what, exactly, is the basis for this argument, the ridiculous (though common) claim that this batch immigrants will defy all historical trends and remain a “permanent” underclass?

  56. #56 Raging Bee
    October 6, 2006

    gwangung: did your grandparents enter legally or illegally? The issue here is illegal immigration, not immigration in general.

    And your grandparents’ experience does not give you the right to demonize everyone who disagrees with you and ignore what they’re actually saying. Victimhood does not trump morality, reason or common sense.

    Yes, there are racists in America, and yes, they don’t want any new immigrants. Refusing to discuss the issues like adults won’t make them go away, and in fact only makes them look more sensible than they are, and leaves them owning certain issues by default. That’s how LePen’s party is getting so much support in France.

  57. #57 Tyler DiPietro
    October 6, 2006

    Why is that “racist?” You just proved my point about anti-reform reactionaries calling their opponents names, rather than engage in honest debate.

    Deportation is racist because it will require racial profiling to accomplish, which will no doubt implicate a lot of innocent legal Hispanic residents since, where they reside, law-enforcement is infamous for it’s racial prejudices. That’s just the tip of the ice-berg.

    It works for Mexicans who want to come here but, for whatever reason, can’t come legally. It also works for employers who want to profit from cheap labor. No argument is necessary — just shut up and pretend to disapprove.

    Oh yes, so now you’re a mind reader!

    Do yourself a favor and look into actual cases of people attempting to come here legally. It’s such a drawn-out beurocratic process that it often takes an upwards of a decade to attain citizenship (not counting how long it takes to attain a greencard). And did it ever occur to you that the fact that it’s a more rational choice to hire someone who will work harder for less money, especially when it’s difficult to find native-born Americans who will do so?

    Your last comments points to the fact that we’re essentially in agreement. I’m for reform to make it easier for someone to enter legally, and also for a process of legalization for the current undocumented residents.

  58. #58 Tyler DiPietro
    October 6, 2006

    gwangung: did your grandparents enter legally or illegally? The issue here is illegal immigration, not immigration in general.

    If his antecendants came here before the 1920′s, there was no distinction as there were no laws restricting immigration. Contrary to the current narrative, our immigration laws haven’t gradually loosening, they been getting progressively more draconian.

  59. #59 Raging Bee
    October 6, 2006

    Tyler: I’m not familiar with US immigration policy, but if what you’re saying is true (I’ve heard it from others), then we have to make it easier for immigrants (including the ones already here) to come here legally in the numbers we’ve decided are right for our interests. Whatever policy we make must be honestly debated and decided, then honestly ENFORCED. And that will mean tighter border controls, however permissive our admission process may be. It will also mean acknowledging all of the conflicting self-interests that our politicians are currently trying to avoid.

  60. #60 kehrsam
    October 6, 2006

    TylerP:

    The US started exercising control of its borders long before 1920. What happened in the 20s was actual quotas and limits. However, the status of people who entered before that date continued to be an issue. My grandfather faced a deportation hearing in 1942 based upon his entry status.

    Also, many states attempted to control imiigration on their own, especially in the west.

  61. #61 Raging Bee
    October 6, 2006

    Deportation is racist because it will require racial profiling to accomplish…

    No it won’t; all it will require is a lack of paperwork proving one is in the US legally.

  62. #62 Ted
    October 6, 2006

    DuWayne-

    It is pointless to continue arguing with you Ted. The closest you have come to actually answering my argument is to tell me you and I aren’t smart enough to really have this conversation – that tells me all I need to know. If you want to depend on those smarter than you to draw those lines, go ahead. Just don’t be surprised when, in your little society, people smarter than you start making laws you don’t like, making restricitons you don’t like and you find yourself in a nasty situation. Because when you clamp down on speech, make words a crime, you are inviting the jack boot thugs to rip down your door and put you in prison.

    And obviously if you are not smart enough to effect the legislative proccess, you would be too stupid to self police what you say or do. My apologies for assuming otherwise.

    Apology accepted DuWayne, I don’t hold you responsible for my stupidity that you’ve deftly identified. I don’t harbor any ill will just because you alternately believe that I’m stupid, and unamerican, so the aplogy wasn’t strictly necessary.

    And thanks for letting me know how jackbooted thugs operate. I had no idea prior to this. I’m starting to vacillate back over to the side that support for hate-speech is a good thing. I did not explicitly say that you are not smart enough at anything although you did say this:

    I am sorry, but anyone who wants to restrict political speech is a coward, a moron and absolutely, un-American. Ted, what you are espousing is just as bad as the views and policies of the bush regime. You flippantly piss on the graves of the millions of people who sarificed their lives, with honor, so that you could grow up in this kind of freedom.

    So if I don’t agree with you I am quite sinful it appears. I thought we were just discussing thuggery things in general. Where did you get your definition for what an un-american is, because I’d like to check up on the etymology?

    Raging B-

    In other words, you are against freedom of speech because you believe that only people who agree with you have the right to express their opinions, and that only people like you have the right to silence contrary opinions.

    Uh, those seem to be your words Raging B. What I said was I’ll take it on a case by case basis and that I don’t think all POVs have equal validity. I could easily say something that would make you happy, but it’s not what I feel so it’s not gonna happen.

    This forum’s view of free-speech and hate-speech is interesting, but it’s not universal despite how much you may think it is.

    I don’t know which part you want me to address but I sense that you don’t like the use of the word racist conflated with nationalist. And you seem to have an issue with strong terms such as racist, but what is the title of this article? Something about left-wing thugs?

    DuWayne-

    I can’t just let that one pass. Because at the crux you have hit on the biggest argument that I have made and yo still refuse to answer. I do not accept free-speech zones, neither does Raging Bee who has also come out squarely and strongly against them. The point is that arguments that make allowances for them are entirley the same arguments for restricting hate speech. And you say you want to depend on people smarter than you or I to dedcide? If by smarter people, you mean people in power – who, by the way make the rules – then you get things like free speech zones. And make no mistake, the people in power are the ones who will make those decisions – and they may well not be smarter than us.

    I thought you weren’t gonna talk to me any more because I’m un-american. But you can’t help trying to save the sinner? I appreciate the sentiment dude. I really do; you sound like like a standup guy.

    Look, you think you have free speech. I don’t we have it except on paper and what’s given to us by laws. Others have decided those limits already, there I think that I have the freedoms that are within the framework that I live in. For example, the US military personnel do not have freedom to say what they want, (unless they’re SF Gen Boykin and he knows his God is stronger than their god — although lately his God is taking some lumps.) That’s a whole bunch of people protecting your right to speech and have very little of their own and it’s codified.

    Will people smarter than you and I decide this? I don’t know, I said as much, but given the direction the country is going I doubt it. You know my ideal world thing where enlightened people outnumber the brownshirts? It’s idealistic and I know it. But hey, it’s fun to annoy you because you seem to take it quite personally.

    Ed-

    Folks, I think it’s obvious how pointless it is to engage Ted on this issue. He is not only transparently hypocritical on this issue, he think it’s perfectly okay to be that inconsistent. You cannot reason with that.

    Well Ed, that would be dependent on why someone may want to engage me on it. If they wanted to use pure reason (i.e. logic), it probably wouldn’t go far because it’s a messy world and people do all kinds illogical things – murder for instance is illogical but happens all the time. The mathematical argument for reason doesn’t work for me because although I try to use logic, emotion gets in the way and it becomes a damn mess. It takes like three whiteboards to diagram why I choose a restaurant for the night out.

    If it’s your position to convert me, it is probably pointless — at least in the terms of being called the names I’ve been called above. But I was just looking at it as a discussion.

    I have no intention of converting you, or DuWayne, or Raging B or anyone else. I just find it boring when everyone says “ditto”.

    Now really Raging B, DuWayne — I just answered out of courtesy. I got it. You think what the students did was bad and they should be arrested. Ok, I’m not really disputing that (see my use of the word consequences). But I like anarchists, that say “Dammit, I’ve had enough and I’m not gonna take it any more,” — there’s something really politically romantic about reading Emma Goldman and Orwell because they have some bitchin ideas that are, well inspiring in a perverted way. So people may say, but you got the “wrong message” from those essays. Sure, maybe, but it’s that message that has meaning for me. So, please don’t let me convert you over to the anarchist side — we gots people covering the barricades.

    tata; stick a fork in me, I’m done.

  63. #63 somnilista, FCD
    October 6, 2006

    In the mid-1980s, Nicaraguan Contra leader Adolfo Calero was scheduled to speak at Northwestern University. Leftists caused a disturbance that lead to cancellation of the speech, and assistant professor of English Barbara Foley was quoted as saying, “fascists have no right to speak.”

    Years later, Foley’s department recommended her for tenure, but it was denied by University president Arnold Weber.

  64. #64 kehrsam
    October 6, 2006

    I understand Ted’s position, and the fact that he has no intention of changing it. And he seems to understand that everyone else who posts here is opposed, and that we are not going to change our minds, either. So why is this discussion going on?

    By the way, Ted, anarchy is a wonderful and beautiful thing, at least until someone needs to do the sweeping up.

  65. #65 Ed Brayton
    October 6, 2006

    I understand his position too. His position is “I know my position is irrational and hypocritical, but I don’t care.” That’s why I said there’s no point in reasoning with him. Head, meet wall. Repeat if necessary. It’s totally pointless.

  66. #66 Bill Jarrell
    October 6, 2006

    “assistant professor of English Barbara Foley was quoted as saying, ‘fascists have no right to speak.’”

    So who gets to define “fascist?”

  67. #67 RickD
    October 6, 2006

    Props here, Ed. You’ve been trying real hard lately to find some way to criticize the left during the hurricane season known as right-wing corruption, and have thus far come up empty. But you have found something worth criticizing here. No excuses for the left here.

    So, how about that right-wing President who continues to claim the right to violate the law?

  68. #68 Ed Brayton
    October 6, 2006

    Yep, you’re right Rick. Every day I wake up thinking, “I’ve got to find some way to criticize the left.” No, I don’t just criticize those things I think deserve criticism, everything is all about finding some way to criticize the left. Never mind the volumes of writing I do blasting the right on a daily basis, filter everything through that simplistic little dichotomy in your head. Give me a fucking break. And get a fucking clue.

  69. #69 Troy Britain
    October 6, 2006

    David Neiwert: FWIW, Troy, the phrase you quote — “For the race everything. For those outside the race, nothing” — is not a slogan that is used by any organization. It appears on some 1969-era organizing documents for MEChA. But MEChA’s actual slogan is “La Union hace la Fuerza.”

    You actually are parroting propaganda that was first disseminated by white supremacists.

    I’m “parroting propaganda” from “white supremacists” am I? That’s odd because I seem to recall first seeing this slogan (and I don’t doubt they have more than one), on a MEChA web site. That is the first place I heard about it. Not from a dip-shit racist in a sheet or from some anti-immigrant group, but from a MEChA site.

    Like this one:

    http://www.berkeleymecha.org/documents/epeda.html

    See there just after the third paragraph?

    “Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.”

    Now, who is parroting what again? And yes I know the translation isn’t exact but the meaning is clear.

    You can also learn about the “the brutal “gringo” invasion” of “Aztl├ín”. And about the “bronze continent”, “people of the sun”, and “bronze people with a bronze culture”.

    Swap the words bronze out with “white” and who would this stuff sound like it was coming from? And I don’t care how old it is. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is even older that doesn’t stop it from being racist bullshit.

    I fervently oppose racism and if I find that the leaders of the Minutemen are racists (I am sure some of their members are) I will condemn them as such (I already disagree with much of their non-illegal immigration related views).

    However I also condemn the racism found in groups on the other side of the issue. I wish more people on the left were willing to do so as well.

  70. #70 Troy Britain
    October 6, 2006

    Tyler: I don’t know whether the MM are overtly racist, but if you want evidence that racism is a huge factor the current anti-immigrant hysteria, all you need to do is listen to any right-winger with a talk show or a blog.

    “Anti-immigrant hysteria”? I am sure there are those out there who are “anti-immigrant” however most of the people I hear from are not anti-immigrant but rather anti-uncontrolled illegal immigration.

    Orwellian language use noted however.

    Tyler: Listen to Glenn Beck or Howie Carr or read Michelle “Self-Loathing Anchor-Baby” Malkin to see the imediately noticable racist tendencies.

    The only person here I am familiar with at all is Malkin, and I really like “Self-Loathing Anchor-Baby” comment. No one of non-European descent could possibly disagree with you without being someone who is “Self-Loathing” right? Or do you have a documented quote from Malkin where she expresses her loathing for people of Filipino heritage? Oh, and do you have evidence to show that her parents were in the U.S. illegally? If not then she would not be considered a so called “anchor-baby”.

    Tyler: Take a listen to Howie Carr. Just about every day of the week he’ll pull up some obscure story about an illegal immigrant comitting a crime and make some variation of the quip “They’re only doing X activity that Americans won’t”, where is X is “raping the women” or “stealing from the stores” or other such nonsense. It’s blatant demagoguery meant to frame it in terms of the evil brown people.

    I’m sure that exists and it is hysterical nonsense. But that doesn’t mean the opposite of the hysterical nonsense is automatically true; that all illegal immigrants are hard working peace loving sweethearts. I would imagine that the ratio of good to bad people is more or less the same amongst illegal immigrants as any other group of people save for the fact that they are knowingly breaking our laws by being here.

    Tyler: Trust me, there’s racism out there.

    No, really? Just how Pollyanna would someone have to be not to know this?

    Tyler: Arguing with anti-immigrants is a daunting task because there is clearly a blind, emotive anger directed at the demonic image in their head of what Latin-American people are “doing to this country”. I’ve been yelled at over and over again, even called a “race traitor” or several occasions and faulted for being “for the F&$#ing Mexicans!”.

    Again, I know there are racists who oppose not only illegal immigration but any immigration whatsoever. However there are also lots of people like myself who are only concerned with uncontrolled illegal immigration and who don’t give a rat’s ass what color they are. Maybe you annoy some of the later by constantly talking about immigrants when they are talking about illegal immigration and calling them hysterical xenophobic racists for disagreeing with you.

    Perhaps that is why some of them are angry.

  71. #71 Seth Manapio
    October 6, 2006

    Bee say: “In other words, you are against freedom of speech because you believe that only people who agree with you have the right to express their opinions, and that only people like you have the right to silence contrary opinions.”

    Ted Say: Uh, those seem to be your words Raging B. What I said was I’ll take it on a case by case basis and that I don’t think all POVs have equal validity.”

    —————-

    Ted, your taking points of view on a case by case basis, and evaluating whether or not that point of view should be heard or silenced is EXACTLY EQUIVALENT to stating that only points of view that you agree with should be heard and that only people like you (the guy evaluating on a case by case basis) should make that decision. Are you actually so stupid that you can’t understand that, or is it just that if you had to admit to yourself that you are completely opposed to free speech, your self image would wither and die?

    I can think of no philosophy on earth so diametrically opposed to anarchism as your own pathetic excuses to control what others say.

  72. #72 Mike Horn
    October 9, 2006

    If this has been linked already sorry, but here’s a video of the incident: http://youtube.com/watch?v=cfnn7wTgoE8

  73. #73 Ted
    October 9, 2006

    Here’s an interview with the protestors:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P23D6ahHLo