It seems like every day now we see another example of people protesting and shutting down speakers when they don’t agree with their message. On campuses and other public venues, and now the controversy at the City Club.
Free speech, in my humble opinion, is the foundation of our civil liberties and its protection takes constant vigilance and tremendous fortitude. I write about it frequently. There is nothing anyone can say that will shake my conviction on that point. When we attempt to prohibit or block public hate speech we are throwing oil on a slippery slope to restricted civil liberties.
However. Private institutions like the City Club (and citizens) can choose who they *invite* to speak.
I would stand next to someone like Corey Lewandowski to protect his right to express his opinions in public – none of which I agreee with – but I would never invite him into my house. I disagree with the decision of the City Club to invite Lewandowski to speak because they are not required to provide a forum for his speech. The controversy itself only serves to amplify and legitmitize his message.
The problem I see is that conservative groups don’t seem to have the same desire to be exposed to contrary opinions. There are no headlines about liberals invited to conservative campuses or events to stimulate conversation only to be shut down by protests.
And that’s the real shame.
To be crystal clear so that my opinion is not misconstrued. I do not condone hate speech I support protecting free speech.
And it’s American.