Meet Speech with Speech on Boston Common (But be Careful)

What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by an assassin’s bullet. No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders…[A]n uncontrolled or uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.—Robert F. Kennedy

They have two hours to spew whatever hate they want short of inciting violence. The ridiculously named “free speech rally” is set for the Boston Common Saturday morning. (Three hours are reserved on the group’s permit for setting up and breaking down). I firmly believe the answer to hate speech is more, countering speech. But even in the Cradle of Liberty, we need to be careful lest we end up like Charlottesville.

Make no mistake, the humps speaking at this rally are nothing short of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, KKK and other bad actors. Hate speech will be the order of the day for these people. The worst thing that can happen is for well-meaning counter-demonstrators to try to physically block the haters from speaking.

The best antidote for fear is knowledge. The best antiseptic is sunlight. The best response to hate speech is more speech—it is not violent action to stop the offending speech.

 

An invitation to counter demonstrate on Facebook was originally titled, “Block the Band Stand”—a reference to physically blocking the hate groups’ right to speak. Organizers came to their senses and renamed it, “Fight Supremacy.”

It needs to be said: No matter how despicable, how repulsive or how objectionable the content of the offending groups’ is, it is constitutionally protected. It’s that simple.

The deplorables will be on display for sure. Emboldened by the president’s own words, these people have the audacity to show up in the Cradle of Liberty and spread their awful message. Some of the more cowardly players have backed out “for p.r. reasons.” Others will be there.

The rock stars of hate who will be at the rally are Joe Biggs, Kyle Chapman, Shiva Ayyadurai and Samson Racioppi.

Biggs is a pal of Infowars conspiracy nut Alex Jones. Biggs was a key figure in pushing the insane story that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex operation out of a DC pizza shop. (One follower showed up with a gun looking for “evidence” of the ring and fired off a round into the floor).

Chapman is known as the “Stickman” on the internet after a video surfaced showing him beating a protester over the head with wooden post at a pro-Trump rally.

Ayyadurai is a candidate for US Senate from Massachusetts. Racioppi is a Libertarian candidate for Congress who claims not to be affiliated with the Alt-right movement. “I’m not a white Supremacist. I’m not a neo-Nazi. I’m not a member of the KKK,” Racioppi said.

The Boston Police Department will have more than a heavy presence at the rally. Mayor Marty Walsh made it clear there will be a zero tolerance policy for sticks, back packs or anything that can be used as weapons.

The lunatics will be out on the Boston Common Saturday. The worst thing that can happen is that good people take the bait and participate in violence.

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