Michael Savage and Free Speech Under Attack by San Francisco Government
"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." Voltaire
Michael Savage has been condemned by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for exercising his right to free speech, which they have officially termed as "symbolizing hatred and racism".
Supporters of allowing illegal aliens the right to in-state tuition privileges protested in public and demanded such a right. They vowed to go on a hunger strike if they didn’t get their way. Savage said, in effect, “let ‘em.” If, after these students had received approximately $120,000 each from the taxpayers for a twelve year education, they wanted to threaten the taxpayers with their own starvation, should they not be allowed the “choice”? The politicians morphed that into saying that he “urged the death” of the protesters.
Traditionally, when government has interfered with free speech, it was recognized as a danger to the First Amendment rights guaranteed to all citizens and called a “chilling effect”. However, looking closely at this condemnation of Savage could lead one to think that there is a concerted effort to kill free speech, and not just in San Francisco.
A hate speech law has been passed by Congress and is awaiting the decision of the president to veto it or not. At one time in this country’s history there would have been no doubt that a veto would be forthcoming. However, the politicians are very clever in attaching unpopular laws onto larger, vital legislation, such as defense spending.
The president, who billed himself as a “compassionate conservative”, has proven to many conservatives that he is not in their corner. It is difficult to speculate as to whether he will sign the bill or not.
The impetus behind a new hate speech law is that of the homosexual lobby. Some groups of people are already protected, minorities such as blacks, for instance. However, now the homosexual lobby has succeeded in adding gender determination to the list. We need not look any farther than Canada to see the repercussions of such laws.
Some passages of the Bible may be determined to be hate literature if placed in a particular context, a Canadian provincial court averred. A province’s human rights tribunal fined a man for his ad in a newspaper that included Bible verses concerning homosexuality. A WorldNet Daily article of February 18, 2003, “Bible verses regarded as hate literature”, notes:
“Imagine the ‘hand-wringing if ever a federal court labeled the Quran hate literature and forced a devout Muslim to pay a fine for printing some of his book’s more astringent passages in an ad in a daily newspaper’, wrote Lorne Gunter in the Edmonton, Alberta, daily”.
The man with the offending ad was found guilty of inciting hatred and had to pay each of the three homosexual complainants damages of 1,5000 Canadian dollars. This is the “chilling effect” desired by the homosexual lobby. If the similar hate crime law is passed in the U.S., those who have offending opinions may be called into court to face the power of the government, which has unlimited resources of time and money with which to convict the offender.
In an article by Art Moore which appeared in WorldNet Daily on October 31, 2002, a report was given about an Ontario, Canada man, Mark Harding:
“Harding was convicted in 1998 on federal hate-crimes charges stemming from a June 1997 incident in which he distributed pamphlets outside a public high school, Weston College Institute in Toronto. Harding - who said that until that point he spent most of his time evangelizing Muslims - was protesting the school’s policy of setting aside a room for Muslim students to pray during school hours.
In one of his pamphlets, Harding listed atrocities committed by Muslims in foreign lands to back his assertion that Canadians should be wary of local Muslims.”
When Muslims issued a “fatwa” against Salman Rushdie for a book he wrote, the “Satanic Verses”, that contained some criticism of the Muslim religion, it seemed to be an odd and isolated incident to most Western observers. Rushdie was given police protection and went into hiding for some time, in fear for his life. A “fatwa” is a serious, religion-based calling for the death of a critic.
This event alone could lead someone to sound a warning, as Harding did. As part of his sentence Harding was directed to do community service, some of which was what he has described as indoctrination into Islam. He was to perform community service under the direction of Mohammad Ashraf, general secretary of the Islamic Society of North America in Ontario.
Art Moore of WorldNet Daily continues:
“He said he was my supervisor, and if I didn’t follow what he said, he would send
me back to jail,” recounted Harding, who had been prevented from speaking publicly about his case under a gag order...
But Harding said after his case became public, he no longer felt safe, due to threats from Muslims. When he entered court for the first time for his trial, he required police protection as a large crowd of Muslims gathered, with some chanting ‘Infidels, you will burn in hell’”.
Harding recounted that he got a call from someone who said they were going to break his legs, while another caller said he would rip out his testicles.
How much more hateful can speech get when it threatens severe bodily harm and perhaps even loss of one’s life? Why weren’t those shouting these threats arrested by the attendant police? Apparently, Harding is not in a protected class, as are others, by the hate speech laws.
These efforts at shutting off all speech with which they disagree are escalating as those denying free speech are getting bolder. The U.S. Congress has been bent to this opinion, led by the Democrats now in charge of both bodies and the predictable RINOs, who vote with them on such matters. The Senate bill was led by Kennedy and RINO Gordon Smith of Oregon.
Free speech deniers know who their enemies are and have struck out at probably the most powerful voice against them, Michael Savage. However, shortly after the Board of San Francisco Supervisors condemned Savage, Rush Limbaugh came under attack for a remark that was twisted out of context to suit those who would shut him up. Limbaugh did not come to the defense of Savage when Savage was attacked, so this lack of solidarity by Limbaugh and others could only have emboldened the free speech destroyers.
The San Francisco Board tried to attach the patina of law to their condemnation of Michael Savage. However, no law was passed. Their action only put on further display their favoritism toward illegal aliens and their demands. Savage called them on it and they retaliated, using the offices given them by the voters of the city, and only after they had ousted from the board the lone dissenting vote of Ed Jew. When dissent is not tolerated by government officials, citizens should beware.
This time it is Michael Savage they are after. Any time in the future it could be your own viewpoint that will be squelched. If the talk show hosts are silenced, surely the potent venue of free speech, the internet, will be next. Any viewpoint that is not politically correct could be called a “hate crime”.
The U.S. Constitution, by its First Amendment, spells out that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech. Hate speech laws counter that amendment, hacking away at it piecemeal. The right to equality under the law is under attack by those special interests which influence Congress and by such groups as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who try to suggest their biases have the weight of law.
Yes, it is Michael Savage this time, but if you are a religious minister or just a commentator on the social scene of this country, some privileged group may be able to drag you into court to make you pay for offending it. Now is the time to show support for Michael Savage, who believes in your free speech as well as his own.
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire
Barbara regularly writes for CapitolHillCoffeeHouse. She also appears in California Chronicle, Border Patrol, and Citizens Caucus. Her primary interest is illegal immigration, but she writes about other subjects as well.
Barbara lives in a large city on the West Coast. Her loyalties are with God, family, country, heritage and borders.
She enjoys music, painting, poetry and song writing.