Free Speech: Shakespeare or Alt-Right?

Before reading, watch the this link for Hannity’s segment with Laura Loomer, the woman who went on stage to interrupt Shakespeare in the Park.

Well, that sure was… something.
        This is the first time I’m writing a response to a video. I don’t typically do this, but after seeing this clip on Hannity I felt compelled to say something. Free speech is something I care deeply about. When I first witnessed college students attempting to shut down speakers on campuses, It horrified me. The idea that non-violent words could be that “harmful” to some. The idea that people my age weren’t willing to hear people out. To give others the benefit of the doubt. That no, everyone on the right is not trying to take away your rights. Sometimes we have differing opinions. And that’s how it should be.
        What struck me about this interview is that it is people on the “right” trying to shut down speech this time. I won’t get in to Hannity, as there could be novels written about his ignorance and hypocrisy. But focus more on the young woman – Laura Loomer. Laura is an enormous Trump supporter and works for Rebel Media, which is fine. While I disagree about the President, this isn’t why she’s gotten on my nerves. It’s some of the things she says during the interruption and this interview that got me going.
        By now we are all aware of Shakespeare in the park. Currently, they are performing Julius Caesar with the character of Caesar clearing dressed as Trump. Who is then violently stabbed to death. The play is for the New York liberal type. Which if you’ve never lived there, is an interesting character. Many upper-middle class people who are interested in art and politics. Who love to spend their evenings going to things like, well, Shakespeare in the park… These are not the violent progressives. The violent progressives and antifa movement which Laura is accustomed to battling aren’t here. They are on campuses. Regardless, this show is staged every year, and features different politicians – like this one with Obama.
        Now, is the visceral image of our President being stabbed to death bad? Yes. Is it made worse that it is in New York City done by a bunch of liberals? Yes. Does that mean you can do whatever it takes to stop the play? No.—
I thought the right had this. While I am not a fan, it surprised (and concerned) me when people like Mike Cernovich and Gavin McInnes supported this. But I guess only few Conservatives, or “Never-Trumpers”, such as Ben Shapiro have this one correct:
        “This idiotic snowflake-ism was promoted widely among right-wingers. It’s disgusting, it’s unjustifiable, and it’s no different than when protesters storm the stage at my speeches at University of Wisconsin or attempt to block me at California State University at Los Angeles or chant Charles Murray into submission at Middlebury or block Ayaan Hirsi Ali from speaking on campuses or invade Heather MacDonald’s events. The minute you equate speech with violence and attempt to forcibly shut it down, you’re a snowflake. End of story.”
        Exactly.
        This type of behavior, where someone says something we don’t like so we have to shut it down is dangerous. The right for so long during this free speech dilemma on campuses has held a strict red line. ALL speech is permitted, whether you like it or not – and that’s how it should stay. What this has actually done is give ammo to people trying to restrict free speech. Because now when the progressives say that certain speech is dangerous, they can point to this. They can say “well apparently not all speech is protected right? You said so yourself.” And they would be correct. The fact of the matter is that violent hyperbole has ALWAYS been present in our politics. This outrage is both disappointing, and unnecessary.
        Laura has gone as far as saying she’s using her constitutional right to condemn political violence against the right. Well, sort of. She has also even gone as far as saying that “I’m protecting the President’s life AND the Constitution.” (how humble) Really? Did Laura jump in front of a bullet to save the President? No. She was the annoying heckler who jumped on stage at a Shakespeare play. What is the difference between giving yourself that type of delusional credit, and the left-wing nutjobs on CNN? Now that seems mean to Laura, and I’m sure she’s a very nice person to meet, but this is crazy. Does the right have the right to protest this play? Of course. To stage a protest outside the event would be acceptable, but what isn’t acceptable is using your “free speech” to shut down other peoples’ speech. This Shakespeare play, as ugly as it may be, is speech. By interrupting the show, you are no better than the annoying college progressives who storm right wing political events. This behavior is the epitome of right wing snow-flakery.
        The right is usually so much better than this on free speech. I hope they get back to the redline of ALL speech is protected, before something changes for the worse. Rant over.

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3 thoughts on “Free Speech: Shakespeare or Alt-Right?

  1. If any details are incorrect, please correct me.

    It is my belief that, should speech be hosted in a public setting, you are at risk to be exposed to opposing views.

    She did not bring mace, weapons, bike locks, a mask to hide herself. Her identity was made clear. She used her words and ONLY her words. She complied with officers when she was detained. She did not cause any destruction to the property, adjacent property, college campus, or starbucks.

    The presentation was available to the public. Yes, it was disturbing. Yes, it drastically affected the continuity of the production. But couldn’t it be argued that her speech was protected? As far as I know, it didn’t even cancel the production. As they say, the show must go on.

    Again, if my details are incorrect, you should point them out so I can be more accurate.

    I’m reminded of seeing one of the iterations of Toy Story in a theater. At one point, a poor child had become so moved by what he saw that he clutched his Woody doll to his chest and started sobbing quite openly. It certainly disturbed the audience, and several other people cried in reaction to him. Eventually he was escorted out by his concerned mother. He was free to express himself.

    I’m not sure that this Laura character actually saved the president. But one could certainly become emotionally involved in this type of speech, particularly after her exposure.

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    1. Hey! Thanks so much for the comment.

      My issue is not so much that she was violent or did something egregiously illegal. My issue is that her, along with her employer Rebel Media, have made many videos about the social justice warriors on campuses across the country. The brats who go to events they don’t like, and not just protest outside, but disrupt the event. That, in my view, is what happened here. She wasn’t violent… good. But she still interrupted another’s free speech which is the same as the children whining on college campuses. I don’t think the young lady should go to jail or anything like that, I just see it as an annoying thing to do. If we want to hold people to the same standard of free speech for all, that means cringing instead of disrupting a play about Trump.

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      1. I’m conflicted, on this. I certainly want everyone to express their ideas fully. But when those ideas encourage violence as a solution to our problems, particularly in a public setting, then they should be at the mercy of the public wrath, as long the malcontent is expressed in a safe and legal way.

        She might be annoying, but what is the alternative? Stay silent on your beliefs? Protecting Trump may not have even been a core tenet for her. Maybe that play was just the “final straw?” Who knows. I agree it is annoying to interrupt a point instead of argue it in a structured manner.

        Perhaps a retaliatory play, hosted by corporate financial backers that depicted the violent murder of a Hillary look-alike?

        Of course, we know that would never happen. Yeah, she was annoying. But you know? Sometimes its good to dish it out a little.

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