A campus dialogue

I firmly believe in free speech.

So do I.

Great! Let’s talk current events. I think this latest terrorist attack shows that we really need to wrestle with the danger posed by radical Islam.

You can’t say that! That’s Islamophobic!

You just said you believe in free speech.

Hate speech isn’t free speech. You can’t say things like that.

Maybe another topic. I think that the owners of private property should be able to set the rules governing their own bathrooms.

Transphobic hate speech! I am feeling so triggered right now.

Never mind. Let’s talk about Israel’s security measures. Now that ramming attacks are becoming common around the world, we can learn a lot from the steps Israel took to fight them.

Israel?! Defending genocide is not free speech!

What genocide? Anyway, the official State Department definition of anti-Semitism includes holding Israel to a standard not demanded of any other democratic nation, so aren’t you wrong-footing your own espoused opposition to hate speech?

SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

Oh, forget current events. Anyway, we’ve invited Ben Shapiro to come speak on campus. I think you might find him interesting.

Ben Shapiro? He can’t speak here; he’s a security risk!

A security risk? He’s just one guy, and all he does is talk.

There will be riots.

Riots? Who’s going to riot?

We are.

Oh. Well, on another topic, I read an interesting story in the alternative media. It said that on the first day of the Democratic convention, they didn’t have any American flags on stage.

Stop repeating fake news.

Fake news?

Yes, that’s fake news. Snopes said so. Facebook is implementing a system to suppress that stuff.

But, you can watch the convention video and the story is true. The only flags on stage the first day were during a brief opening ceremony, hours before prime time. The flags appeared the second day, after their absence was reported.

Fake news! Snopes!

Well, if we’re going to suppress fake news, at least we’ll clean up the mainstream media too. They won’t be repeating fabricated events like “hands up, don’t shoot” which have led to a dangerous backlash against police.

No, the mainstream media is reliable.

What?! Oh never mind. Let me tell you about a project I’ve been doing. Two friends and I made a documentary about some candidates for election.

Cool, I look forward to seeing it.

Okay, great. Anyway, we formed a corporation to distribute it, it’s called—

Hold on. A corporation? Forget it. Corporations aren’t people; free speech doesn’t apply to them.

But it’s just me and two other guys. We only formed the corporation to protect ourselves against frivolous lawsuits.

Nope. No rights for corporations. Our democracy is not for sale.

But, isn’t the New York Times a corporation? Or CBS? Shouldn’t they get free speech?

Yes, but we can trust the government to suppress the right corporations.

Oooo-kay. Let’s just talk sports. I think that Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest is ill-considered, and the means of his protest is not only disrespectful to veterans but frankly ungrateful toward a nation that has given him a lot.

Why are you so opposed to free speech?

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