While I was away talking about legal ethics with some extremely lively and ethically astute D.C. lawyers, I challenged the Ethics Alarms regulars to identify the rationalizations, logical fallacies, falsehoods and outright errors in this risible essay by Noah Berlatsky, who presented a terrible case for suspending the First Amendment in the case of “Nazis” (not that there is a good case available) that was somehow deemed worthy of publication on the NBC website, in a section called “Think,” of all places. To be fair, NBC does not have a section called “Brain Dead,” so that wasn’t an option.
A brief sample of Noah’s reasoning:
“This doesn’t mean that the First Amendment is useless, clearly. Hopefully it will play a part in helping the protesters, known widely as the J20 defendants, go free. But it also isn’t a cure for all social ills. Hate speech hurts marginalized people, and the First Amendment doesn’t always and invariably protect them. Free speech advocates say that hate speech “is a price ‘we’ pay for living in a free society,” Delgado told me, but they never stop “to add up the two accounts” or look “to see on whom the price is imposed.”
“I’m expecting some Comments of the Day when I get back from my seminar,” I wrote.
I got them. First up is this masterful effort by Mrs. Q. As of this moment, Mrs. Q holds the Ethics Alarms record for the best Comment of the Day- per-comments-made-ratio (min. 25 comments or more). This COTD is also notable for its rare format, the satirical parody.
Here is Mrs. Q’s Comment of the Day on the post, An Ethics Alarms Holiday Challenge! Identify The Rationalizations, Logical Fallacies, Falsehoods And Outright Errors In This Essay Advocating Limits On Speech…:
Hi. My name is Noah. I’m Jewish so I can tell you all about what black people go through. Also I just fuckin’ hate Nazi’s for the obvious reasons. So anyway I’m mostly going to refer to one book by two authors as my jumping off point. I know that’s rather limited in making a coherent case but hey, free speech right?
First off I want you to know I’m woke. You know this because even though my fellow liberals are becoming more anti-Semitic thanks to Black Lives Matter collaborating with BDS, I’m still being published on NBC news which you know, is super down, which means I’m super down too.
I hate modern Nazis because they say stuff that’s shitty. And you know what? They make black people all nervous to the point that they have high blood pressure. According to a study by woke people who I’m sure weren’t paid by any special interest donors, blacks do shitty on test scores because Trump and Nazis.
Eagles and snakes, paternalism, Milo Yiannopolous, trauma, Charlottesville, J20, marginalized people, Mexicans, racists, abuse, vulnerable citizens, 1984, white supremacy, Trump!!!, murder, victims, Nazis, and more victims. Did I get enough tags and buzzwords in this piece? I hope so! See how woke I am?
You see I’m not racist because I advocate for people who are darker than me so that automatically makes me not racist. I suppose I could let an empowered POC write a piece like this for themselves, but they do poorly on test scores so NBC probably won’t publish them. It’s up to woke whites like me to help these poor marginalized victims of white imperialism.
Speaking of imperialism, Germany, The Netherlands, and Sweden have pretty pro-eugenics policies (wait, did the Nazi’s have that too? Oh well I’m just too woke to worry about that slippery slope). I guess France is getting her ass handed to her by terrorists and their citizens complain of immigrants being a drain on the system, but hey at least they do authoritarianism the right way.
Anyway the First Amendment sucks because feelings are more important than freedom. Never mind that it was censorship in Germany that helped Hitler gain power.
Rather than always defending Nazis we should just become more like them. After all, my socialist folk hero Che Guevara once said: “The Negro is indolent and lazy and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent.” So yeah let’s be more like Europe!