Tuesday, May 15, 2018

War on Free Speech: UK Teen Forced to Wear Ankle Bracelet for Hate Speech Offense

If you ever wondered what America would look like without free speech protections such as the 1st Amendment, then look no further than the prosecutions taking place in the United Kingdom today, as a 19-year-old girl was just found guilty of violating the country’s new “hate speech” laws after posting song lyrics to her social media account.
The case started when Chelsea Russell, age 19, posted lyrics to a song by rap artist “Snap Dog”, not to be confused with Snoop Dog, that included the “n-word” on her Instagram account in memory of Frankie Murphy, a 13-year-old who was killed after being hit by a car while riding his bike. Apparently, thousands of other people on social media were also using these lyrics to memorialize the Murphy’s death, yet Chelsea Russell was unfortunate enough to be reported to the “Hate Crime Unit” of the Liverpool Police Department in the UK.
At Russell’s trial, her defense pointed out that Jay-Z had used these similarly offensive words at a music festival in Glastonbury. She had copied the lyrics off a friend’s Instagram account—apparently thousands of others were using the lyrics to remember Murphy. Clearly it must have been a favorite song of his.
But the court and the magistrates didn’t care. District Judge Jack McGarva said: “There is no place in civil society for language like that. Everyone with an Instagram account could view this content. The lyrics also encourage killing and robbing, so are grossly offensive.”
Russell now has to submit to ankle monitoring for eight weeks and pay the equivalent of about $800 in fines.
Ironically, the judge in the case said: “There is no place in a civil society for language like that.” This means that, according to this judge, every single rap artist who uses the n-word, to which there are many, in their songs also has “no place in a civil society”. By the implications of his statement alone, Judge Jack McGarva is guilty of hate speech, as he is branding thousands of African-Americans as uncivilized and saying they have no place in a civil society. However, the legal system in the UK will never go after rap artists for using the n-word in their songs, which means their goal isn’t actually to eliminate use of that word, but rather to force their society to only voice opinions that align with the ruling class of government.
Of course, that’s not what the judge meant by his statement, yet Chelsea Russell meant only to memorialize the death of a 13-year-old when she posted “offensive” song lyrics to her Instagram account and she now has to pay a fine and wear an ankle bracelet for 8 weeks. If supporters of free speech are ever to successfully fight oppressive “hate speech” laws in the UK, then this is how they must do it. Turn those laws against those seeking to enforce them by picking apart their own statements and accusing them of hate speech, since the very definition of this crime boils down to speech that is offensive, and there is always a way to twist the meaning of someone’s words to distort them into a widely offensive statement.
Imagine being forced to wear an ankle bracelet monitoring your every move and forcing you to remain in your home during certain hours of the day for doing nothing more than posting musical lyrics on your social account. In America, ankle bracelets are typically associated with acts considered serious crimes, for habitual offenders or if someone is a flight risk. Not in the UK, however, as if you were to say anything on social media that anyone finds offensive, then you could found guilty of hate speech and subject to fines as well as constant monitoring by the government.
Such a scenario, being forced to wear an ankle bracelet for posting a single phrase on social media, could easily be part of a fictional story from a dystopian novel outlining a future where citizens are ruled by an oppressive government. The novel 1984 has long been synonymous with invasive government surveillance and citizens living in constant fear of saying the wrong thing, or being guilty of “wrong-think”, which ironically takes place in a future version of England. It appears the UK is dedicated to not only fulfilling the book’s vision of the future, but exceeding it with their prosecution of a teenage girl who was found guilty of their real-life version of “wrong-think”.
The UK even has a specialized “Hate Crimes Unit” for the specific purpose of having a department that citizens can use to snitch on anyone they want who says anything that offends them. Such people who report their neighbors are no doubt praised and held in high standard for upholding hate speech laws and policing the words and thoughts of their fellow citizens. If similar hate speech laws are ever enacted in America, expect a entirely new legal department to be formed, similar to when the Department of Homeland Security was started, which would be just as vast and invasive.
America has long held free speech as a staple of a free and prosperous society, regardless if someone finds such speech offensive. However, Democrats and their leftist allies have been hard at work in recent years to suppress free and open discussions by branding it as “hate speech”. Although official hate speech laws have not yet been enacted in America, those found guilty of hate speech (namely conservatives) by the left are quickly denounced, harassed and persecuted in public forums. So-called hate speech can even cost you your career, as James Damore found out the hard way when it penned an opinion on women working in the technology and was subsequently fired from Google for what was essentially considered “wrong-think”.

Look to the UK for America’s future if the Democrats and their leftist allies regain control of government. For if they had their way, every conservative who dared speak against leftist policies would be found guilty of hate speech and severely punished to send a message to any other would-be free thinkers.