We Hate Hate Speech

NH Journal has a story relating to the University Near Here: GOP State Senators Call Out Hate Speech at UNH. A relevant tweet:

One of the senators is Dan Innis, a UNH prof in the business school. He and Senator Jeb Bradley have strong words for a fellow facule:

Speech should always be protected, but when that speech creates a dangerous environment for others, it must be condemned and stopped. Suggesting that a group of people should be killed is not speech, it is a direct threat to their safety and wellbeing. Associate Professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is guilty of threatening everyone on the UNH campus and beyond, particularly Jewish students, staff, and faculty. Her words are hateful and disgusting, and we condemn this behavior. It is our hope and expectation that UNH will do the same,” concluded Senators Bradley and Innis.

Goodness knows, I am no Chanda Prescod-Weinstein fan. Her words are hateful and disgusting.

But I am kind of a free speech fan, so I think Jeb and Dan go off the rails here. The senators apparently advocate a new rule: that speech creating "a dangerous environment for others" should be "stopped". That's a very broad and vague litmus test, and it is a sad echo of what the woke speech censors have been saying for years. Do we really have to go along with them?

The actual rule for Constitutionally-unprotected "incitement" speech is pretty narrow: it is "advocacy of the use of force" which is "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action" and is "likely to incite or produce such action".

I really doubt that anything CPW said or wrote comes even close to meeting that test.

I also wonder if UNH has (at least informally) adopted a "Kalven Report" policy on its pronouncments on political and social issues: namely it shouldn't make them. Given UNH's past behavior, that seems the wisest course to take.

Also of note:

  • And for more in the "hateful and disgusting" department… Robert Azzi is pretty reliable on that front. His latest column, appearing in my local newspaper, Foster's Daily Democrat, yesterday is headlined: Crying Out For Freedom From The River To The Sea. It's a defense of the indefensible:

    Understanding Rep.Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) utterance of “From the River to the Sea” is today passing through such a fire, torched by western Orientalists determined to diminish or erase any humanity or sympathy for the plight of Palestinians living under occupation.

    While “From the River to the Sea Palestine will be Free” is for most supporters – and for myself – a rallying cry of support for Palestinian dignity and freedom, unfortunately some Palestinian antisemitic extremists and their supporters – a minority of protestors – have appropriated it as a banner for their hateful agenda.

    Many others – mostly for those who support continued Israeli occupation in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem – interpret the call as a war cry intended to erase Israel from the map of the Levant; others – both including many Israelis and Palestinians, witness it as a call to solidarity for justice and freedom for all peoples between the river and the sea.

    Sure, we're just for justice and freedom. It's just "some Palestinian antisemitic extremists and their supporters" who think it means killing lots of Jews. Unfortunate!

    And I'm sure people chanting "Keep America American" and burning crosses aren't trying to resurrect the KKK.

    My suggestion, Mr. Azzi: get a better slogan to use and defend.

    In Foster's defense, they had a column by UNH Prof Emeritus Richard England as a counterpoint: “From the river to the sea,” what does it mean? Excerpt:

    The 1988 Hamas Covenant is perfectly clear about this opposition: “Israel ... will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.” Only days ago, a Hamas official promised that his terrorists will repeat the attack of October 7 until Israel’s “annihilation” has been completed. But what about Mahmoud Abbas and his “moderate” Palestinian Authority? Couldn’t he be a partner for peace? The problem is that Abbas is a Soviet-trained antisemite. At an August 2023 meeting of his party’s Revolutionary Council, Abbas revealed his true feelings: “They say Hitler killed the Jews because they were Jews. Not true ... [Europeans] fought against these people because of their role in society ... usury, money, ... [and] sabotage.” [Le Monde, 8 Sept. 2023]

    So, whether a protesting freshman at Columbia University or Harvard College [or Robert Azzi — PS] knows it or not, the true meaning of “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is not that the Palestinian people will achieve sovereignty in their own nation. Rather, it means that all of Palestine will eventually be freed of its Jews, either by murder or by expulsion. This means Tel Aviv and Haifa, not just the West Bank.

    I'm on Team England.

  • In fairness, the competition is weak. The Josiah Bartlett Center has some good news: N.H. again tops all of North America in economic freedom.

    New Hampshire is the most economically free state in North America and in the United States, once again edging Florida to top every Canadian province, U.S. state and Mexican state as ranked by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s free-market think tank.

    The Fraser Institute’s 2023 Economic Freedom in North America report, released in partnership with the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, measures government spending, taxation and labor market restrictions using data from 2021, the most recent year of available comparable data.

    New Hampshire surpassed Florida as having the highest level of economic freedom in the U.S., having scored 7.96 out of 10 in this year’s report. Rounding out the top five freest states are Florida (2nd), Tennessee (3rd), Texas (4th) and South Dakota (5th). Puerto Rico came in last with 2.85. The least free states were New York (50th), California and Vermont (tied for 48th), Oregon (47th) and Hawaii (46th).

    I understand that Governor Joyce Craig will do her darndest to fix this.

    The Fraser Institute report is here.

  • Even on guns. Maybe especially on guns. Jacob Sullum asks for Constitutional relief: SCOTUS Should Not Let Bureaucrats Invent Crimes by Rewriting the Law.

    On December 26, 2018, every American who owned a bump stock, a rifle accessory that facilitates rapid firing, was suddenly guilty of a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. That did not happen because a new law took effect; it happened because federal regulators reinterpreted an existing law to mean something they had long said it did not mean.

    As anyone who has read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock! could tell you, this is not how laws are supposed to be made. The Trump administration's bump stock ban, which is at the center of a case that the U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear, raises the question of whether unelected bureaucrats can evade the constitutionally prescribed legislative process by unilaterally criminalizing previously legal conduct.

    Note this happened at the express direction of that friend of liberty, Donald J. Trump.

    In an Orwellian "We have always been at war with Eastasia" observation, Sullum notes that "the ATF insists that bump stocks have always been illegal, although no one (including the ATF) realized that until 2018."

  • "I am not called 'notorious' for nothing!" "You mean they pay you?" Jeff Maurer gives his substack over to guest columnist Joe Biden: Don't Worry: I Got Advice About Preserving My Legacy from Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    In early 2016, I was fortunate enough to share an audience with the esteemed Justice. She was 82, the same age I’ll be if sworn in for a second term. Trump was rolling to the nomination, and some Democrats wanted Ginsburg to retire so that Obama could appoint her successor. To be clear: These people largely shared Justice Ginsburg’s views. In fact, they lauded and respected her. They saw her as a champion of feminism and individual rights, and argued that having a president who shared her values appoint her successor would solidify the gains that she had worked so hard to secure.

    I’ll never forget what the late Justice said to me. “Nah,” she said. “Nah fuck that fuckin’ shit.” (The former Justice was saltier in private than she was in public.) She elaborated: “I know that a bunch of libtards want Baby Ruth to take a dive, but homie don’t play that. They need to get their panties un-twisted. Because really: What are the odds that Trump will win and then I’ll die during his term and he’ll appoint a super-conservative 48 year-old who will undo everything that I worked for?”

    Headline inspiration: Daredevil #37

Last Modified 2023-11-15 8:37 PM EDT