Clay Calvert, professor and Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication at University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications speaks about white-nationalist Richard Spencer's scheduled speaking event on campus. (Gary W. Green/WUFT News)
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First Amendment Professor On Richard Spencer’s Right To Speak

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White Nationalist Richard Spencer from the National Policy Institute will be speaking on the University of Florida’s campus on Oct. 19. Yesterday we published an interview with Spencer about his views. Today, WUFT’s Elayza Gonzalez spoke with Clay Calvert, director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida. Calvert discussed why Spencer has a right to speak on campus and the importance of allowing such a discussion to take place.


Q: How is the First Amendment relevant to Richard Spencer speaking on campus?

A: Initially the First Amendment is relevant to Richard Spencer speaking at the University of Florida campus because the University of Florida is a public institution meaning it’s a government entity.

The First Amendment protects against government censorship, and so therefore the First Amendment is relevant because if the University of Florida were not to allow Richard Spencer to speak on campus it would raise a First Amendment based issue.

If we were a private university, there would be no First Amendment issue and a private university could exclude Richard Spencer from campus without raising any constitutional question.

Q: How is this supported by the University of Florida Student Honor Code?

A: Well, the University of Florida student honor code suggests that the university is a marketplace of ideas, and as a marketplace of ideas, students should be exposed to all different view points, even on subjects that might offend them or even with viewpoints they might find offensive or disagreeable.

So, to add to that, I think it’s very important a university, a public university especially, should not be an echo chamber or filter bubble where students are only exposed to ideas to which they agree or that they like.

So, the First Amendment is there to protect minority viewpoints, dissenting viewpoints. And by minority viewpoints, I don’t mean necessarily racial minorities, or religious minorities or sexual minorities, the small fringe viewpoint.

And so, Richard Spencer talked a lot about trying to spark discourse and discussion, and that’s actually a useful thing on a college campus as long as he is not trying to provoke violence, and inciting people, his followers, to commit violence. Having discussions about issues involving race especially a polarized climate in the United States today, I think, are very important.

Q: Why must public universities allow, with regard to the law, speakers such as Spencer to come on campus, no matter how “offensive or disagreeable” their opinions may be?

A: Part of the problem of trying to censor speech because it’s offensive or disagreeable is defining what is offensive. The term “offensive” is hugely vague. One person is going to find something offensive that another person will not.

At the Supreme Court in a case called Cohen versus California back in 1971 said that one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric, and that taps into the notion that how do we define what is offensive? What is disagreeable? Some people are going to love what he says and others won’t, and is not the government’s job to be in the business of drawing that line.

So think of it this way for people who don’t  want Richard Spencer to speak on campus: most of those people also don’t like Donald Trump, but Donald Trump is the government. Would they like Donald Trump to decide what’s offensive and disagreeable to him, and therefore exclude that speech? Probably not.

So we have to tolerate under the First Amendment a lot of speech that is intolerant of others and so that’s kind of an irony of having the First Amendment.

Q: What is the danger of censoring speakers such as Richard Spencer and forcing them into the shadows?

A: Part of the danger of not allowing Richard Spencer to espouse his views is that you don’t get rid of him or his views you, merely drive them underground. We tend to view free speech as a type of safety valve. We would rather have people engage in speech that is offensive and disagreeable than turn it into violence later on.

So free speech is just kind of a safety valve for people to express their views, and if we didn’t allow them to speak those views, it doesn’t mean their views go way we just drive them underground, and that’s the danger of speech codes on public university campuses.

One of the benefits of having free speech is that we get to know what people really think, and whether we want to hang out with them or associate with them. If people felt afraid or could not express how they felt how would you know who these people really are?

Q: Can you talk about the “heckler’s veto,”what that is, and how that might be applicable to the Richard Spencer event?

A: So, the heckler’s veto is clearly relevant to the Richard Spencer event. So the idea of the heckler’s veto is that the audience’s reaction drowns out the speech of the individual who’s trying to speak. So the analogy is in a comedy club, if the audience is heckling the comedian offstage then the audience wins, right? The audience gets to silence the speaker.

And that is actually anathema, or in opposition, to everything that the First Amendment stands for.  It is the government’s responsibility to defend the right of the speaker in the face of a hostile mob-like audience that could silence him.

So unfortunately for the University of Florida, this means more than a half million dollars in security costs. But that essentially can be considered a price that the First Amendment makes the University of Florida pay.

So Spencer’s paying about $10,000, but the university cannot raise the costs to him for security based upon an anticipated hostile reaction of others to his speech. If it did that, then that raised $500,000 would be equivalent to a heckler’s veto because the money becomes so expensive essentially. If you said, ‘Well it will cost you $2 million, Richard Spencer, to speak on campus,’ he might not be able to afford that and that’s silencing his views.

So the best way to think about that is that the $500,000 plus, the half a million plus the University of Florida will pay out to law enforcement agencies to cover the cost of security, is just simply a cost born by the First Amendment that we all have to kind of tolerate.

Q: Can you also talk about how what’s happening at the University of Florida compares to the Skokie, Illinois case?

A: So, the courts made it clear in the 1970s that the Nazis had a right to march through Skokie, Illinois, despite the fact that Skokie at that time, had a large Holocaust survivor population.

That was a clear chance to be a heckler’s veto.  In other words,  Nazis marching through an area heavily Jewish Holocaust survivors, there’s a large chance for a hostile reaction against the Nazis to silence them. It’s not that the Nazis are going to commit violence, it’s that people are going hate them so much, they’ll attack them, and ultimately what the courts held was that the government has a burden of protecting hostile, offensive speakers, in this case, the Nazis marching in Skokie.

It’s very much equivalent to the government, University of Florida, having the burden to protect Richard Spencer and his Nazi, Neo-Nazi, white-nationalist views.

Q: Looking to how Spencer’s speaking in Charlottesville resulted in violence, should his speech be protected at UF, even if his speaking incites violence by his supporters?

A: There is one exception to the First Amendment that might be relevant here and that is incitement to violence.

So, the Supreme Court has made it clear that speech that is directed, meaning intended, to inciting or producing imminent, meaning timely, lawless action and is likely, meaning probable to result in, can be censored before the violence actually happens. But all of those conditions must be satisfied.

One, Richard Spencer must have an actual intent to incite his followers to commit violence against others and it must also be likely to occur. That is very different then Richard Spencer espousing hateful views about non-whites.

He can advocate in the abstract, sending people back to different continents and different countries all he wants. What he can’t do is urge his followers and basically the courts have said, steal them to action,  give them the means.

If he armed all of his followers with weapons and said, ‘I want you all right now to go over and shoot those blacks, or those Jews or whoever the minority group is, that’s not going to be protected. But, in the abstract he can say hateful things all that he wants and espouse his theories. It’s just like people can espouse racial inferiority or racial superiority. We would allow that speech, even though it’s worthless.

And so sometimes, and I think it’s important point no matter where it goes, sometimes the First Amendment has to protect worthless ideas and that’s kind of just a price paid by the First Amendment that we have. Consider it like collateral damage, I guess might be a good phrase for it. We just have to suck it up, that those are certain things that there’s going be a lot of good speech that comes out there but how you define good speech from bad speech and that’s an impossible line to define even though most people believe they can make it for themselves. We don’t want the government making that decision for us. In this case, the government’s the University of Florida, but if it were at the national level that would be Donald Trump and so you might ask the protestors to ask would they want Donald Trump, the government, protesters to ask what they want Donald Trump the government defining what speech is good or bad in which speech can be censored, and the answer is probably no.

Q: With regards to the counter speech doctrine, is there a concern that more speech by more people in the “marketplace of ideas” will lead to more violence?

A: There’s always the possibility of that, so the marketplace of ideas says that all ideas, excuse me, all viewpoints on any topic should be allowed to come out. So whether it relates to racial issues in the United States today or sports all ideas should be able to come out on that topic.

So counter speech is the notion that rather than censoring the speaker in the marketplace of ideas in drowning out his or her views we should add more speech, and that’s kind of a self help remedy. So people who don’t like Richard Spencer certainly have a First Amendment right to peaceably assemble, and the assembly clause is very important under the First Amendment, people have a right of the First Amendment to peaceably assemble and then they have a right to engage in speech once they’ve assembled. But again, it has to be peaceable. So the first that’s important under assembly clause, peaceably assemble, it’s not violently assemble, to engage in speech rights.

The other option that people have instead of engaging in counter speech is to simply not attend, and thereby deny Richard Spencer an audience that he probably craves and the media attention that he probably craves. Unfortunately, in this case, the media will be there regardless of whether students show up or not or whether members the crowd show up.

So in a way, this is somewhat analogous to Klan rallies. So most rallies held by the Klan are really non-news events. They’re just a bunch of guys in robes burning crosses and espousing racial, hateful things. But, what the Klan depends on are media cameras because this is great footage. We got burning crosses, we got guys in hoods in robes and they’re saying hateful things, so it becomes a news story.

So there’s attention both for people who want to show up as well as for the news media, I think here, in terms of how much coverage is given to Richard Spencer.

Q: Richard Spencer has spoken predominantly at Southern public universities. Do you think there will be more or less tolerance for his First Amendment rights if he is able to speak at Northern universities such as Penn State, as he suggested?

A: I don’t think the level of tolerance for him will be any greater among the student body or administrators at any university. He’s already filed a lawsuit against Michigan State University, so that lawsuit is pending. He has not sued the Penn State yet, but there is one lawsuit pending against Michigan State University. He successfully sued Auburn in the South to do this.

The South certainly has the better context for him because Charlottesville hinged on the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, that’s why they were there. It was the Unite the Right, I believe is what he called it, rally in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue in a public park of Robert E. Lee. And so that was kind of the entree for him, so in the North we’re not going to find statues of Robert E. Lee. 

But so the South has more monuments, like the one that was just taken down in downtown Gainesville, as well. So you know, plus, there are more people, clearly, in the south who identify with the Confederacy in the Civil War and identify, not necessarily with racism, but with southern, what they were could consider to be, southern heritage and southern pride. The kind of Lynyrd Skynyrd crowd, whether or not that’s racism. But they would like to identify with that.

So it certainly creates a much greater potential for a flash point on free speech issues in the South than the North, but certainly people in the North are not going to tolerate him. It’s going be the same reaction, I think, on any public university campus that you would face, especially public university campuses. 

I would add this if I can add one more thing, there’s no reason why Richard Spencer can’t speak at a Holiday Inn in Gainesville, Florida, but he has chosen to speak at the University of Florida catch media attention and to push the First Amendment issues to its limits. 

So as Tom Petty, the late Tom Petty a Gainesvillian, once said, ‘you know you can stand me up to the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.’ Richard Spencer is standing the First Amendment up to the gates of hell, and it’s up to the University of Florida to make sure that it doesn’t back down in the face of Richard Spencer. 

Q: You talked about how speakers, such as Spencer, are really utilizing the media to get their message out and its good theatre. What is the responsibility from a local, or regional, or national news organization to give certain attention to speakers such as Spencer? In specific, WUFT has received a lot of negative attention for our covering of his interview and really giving him a voice and a platform. From your perspective, do you think the media have a responsibility to cover such events, or would we simply be better off to not cover it as though it didn’t happen and therefore not give him a platform?

A:  I think the news media have a responsibility to cover events, such as Richard Spencer or the religious figure in Gainesville who was burning the Quran a couple years ago. Those are news events. The question is really a matter of proportionality of coverage and covering all sides fairly. And so the news media do have a responsibility to inform people of what Richard Spencer believes in because there are other people who believe in it. It is also important for people who don’t believe in it to hear that his views because it helps them crystallize and reconfirm their own beliefs, why they don’t like him.

And so, to not cover it all would be disingenuous, especially at this point, but it is a matter proportionality in the scope of coverage as well as the context in which it is in. Because by context I mean there are other major issues going on right now. Whether it’s North Korea, or healthcare, or religious entities not, you know, having to fund contraception, there are major issues going on in the United States. And whether it’s our racial injustice, Black Lives Matter and Colin Kaepernick in taking a knee issues. So there is a danger that an individual like Richard Spencer can hijack media coverage and distract us from what is real.

So again, and this is not to say that his views are not harmful or offensive to people, but the harm of offense is that the First Amendment puts on the speaker to tolerate. It is not physical violence. And part of living in a free society is that we have to tolerate speech that we don’t like. 

The First Amendment is not there to protect happy speech, if it was there would be no need for the First Amendment, right? It’s to protect the outlying view. And so, this case will be a real test for the First Amendment, it will also be a test upon Florida students, Florida faculty, Gainesville citizens and Richard Spencer’s supporters. Whether we can have civilized discussion about racial issues that clearly polarize our climate, or whether we will let it go to mob violence, and that will be a sad thing that will reflect negatively not just on the University of Florida but on Gainesville, generally. And so I would urge people to exercise as much restraint and try to keep those First Amendment principles in mind.

Q:  Can you talk about how allowing for certain speech to take place does not predicate that the university or media is complicit to the message?

A: Sure well, part of the difficulty in defending the First Amendment is to make people understand that you are not defending somebody’s underlying substantive viewpoint. To defend somebody’s right to speak is not to defend their viewpoint. And that is something that I think is lost on many people today and that’s very difficult for people to understand. So, the First Amendment and advocates the First Amendment will defend Richard Spencer’s right to speak at the University of Florida up until his speech crosses that line where he threatens incitement to imminent violence, or any other exception of the First Amendment would come up then we would not support de his view. 

So the university’s not complicit to this at all. The university creates centers like the Phillips Center, which are forums for speech. So the Phillips center hosts musical acts, it hosts TEDx, all of those are First Amendment protected speech activities. And when the university creates a forum such as the Phillips Center for speech-based events, it cannot discriminate against a speaker based on his or her viewpoint and that’s very important. The First Amendment prohibits viewpoint- based discrimination. So when you create a public forum like the Phillips Center for anybody to rent, whether it’s a comedian, whether it’s a music act, whether it’s TedEx or a play. Those are all speech based events, and imagine I said, ‘you can’t perform Rent on campus because I don’t like the language in this and it deals with AIDS and different issues, so we’re not going to allow it.’ Well, that would be offensive to most people, right? They would say that’s clearly unconstitutional. 

So again it comes down to the idea that the First Amendment is a viewpoint neutral document. It does not allow for viewpoint based censorship, and we are on a public university campus, and there is almost an obligation, not to go hear Richard Spencer, but to hear views sometimes that don’t simply jive with your own. If you wanted a degree where you only heard views that were with your own you might as well pay $50,000 in a private liberal arts college in the Northeast, and you’ll be protected because it’s private and they can throw anybody off campus, and all your professors will say exactly what you want here and that’s not an education. 

Q: Is there anything else relevant to either this conversation or our previous coverage on Spencer?

A: I think that the coverage given to Richard Spencer’s views is clearly warranted as long as it is in proportion and other people with counter views get to speak as well. To say that he’s coming here and then not to say what he believes would be disingenuous. Journalists have an obligation to try to be as best they can, be balanced in their coverage, to be neutral in their coverage, to show all sides of the story, and to only show the people who protest him and not to show his view simply doesn’t conform with the tenets of basic journalism, and again sometimes we have to tolerate speech that we disagree with. And he’s going to have very few people here in Gainesville relative to the tens of thousands people living in Gainesville and attending the university here very, few actually support his views. 

Last thing would be that I hope that the University of Florida, its student body, its faculty and the surrounding Gainesville community, in terms of their reaction to Richard Spencer, serves as a model for the rest of the country and other public universities how to handle a speaker such as Richard Spencer. We do not become and that we as an audience don’t allow it to become a violent affair. 

If he incites his people to commit violence then his First Amendment rights end, and the police can arrest him and their supporters, but that violence, if there’s any, should not be sparked by our student body, our faculty or our staff, or Gainesvillians generally. It should also not be sparked by the Antifa people, who have been known to commit violent acts and sometimes basically border on anarchists. 

So you know if they started, then they should be arrested, right? So hopefully we’ll become a model template for how you handle one of the most controversial speakers in recent decades.

 

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. 

About Elayza Gonzalez

Elayza is a reporter for WUFT News and can be reached by calling 305-877-5852 or emailing egonzalez14@ufl.edu.

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  • Emma Goldman

    He’s already turned it into violence. Charlottesville, for example. Violence is the essence of his ideology.

    When you give fascists a platform you are allowing them to climb up from the underground into the mainstream. The underground is the only place his ideology can be allowed.

    He won’t be going away no matter the response to his speech. Spencer has publically claimed that he intends to use ethnic cleansing to create a white ethno-state.

    UF is giving him a chance to further recruit for this plan.

    • Hadding Scott

      How about when you give Communists a platform? Maybe Emma Goldman shouldn’t be allowed to comment here because Communists have mass-murdered.

      Emma Goldman, are you going to bring a bag of urine or a weapon when RIchard Spencer arrives? That would be the usual for Antifa.

    • Ronald Ewalt

      Spenser is racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, nationalistic, etc but that alone does not countenance censorship. Emma, you must state specifics that meet the constitutional definition of “incitement of violence”. To prohibit Spenser’s speech because of your definitons without consideration of the Constitution is to fuel his fires, and to provide a platform for controlling your free speech rights.

  • Emma Goldman

    “Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.”

    “Anti-fascism is opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals.”

    And you suggest “antifa” is “known to commit violent acts” and give fascists a pass?

    • Sum Pearson

      When you posted your description of fascism, you were describing Antifa

    • Hadding Scott

      Lawrence Dennis advocated fascism for the United States in his 1934 book, The Coming American Fascism. The book is entirely about economics and makes no mention of any kind of suppression or violence.

      I think that the Marxists have been peddling a bogus definition of fascism.

      Were the Bolsheviks known for tolerating dissent? I think not.

      If fascists at some time used violence, they certainly did not invent it. Georges Sorel, who wrote the book on political violence, was a Marxist. That was before anybody had heard of Mussolini.

      • Emma Goldman

        I think your word salad is an attempt at distraction.

        Specifically, what isn’t accurate about that definition? Can you address the merits of fascism? Or why any criticism of a genocidal ideology causes you to have fits of whataboutism?

        From Merriam-Webster: “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”

        • Hadding Scott

          It absolutely fails as a definition, because it isn’t meant to be a real definition. It’s Marxist propaganda, just as it would be right-wing propaganda if Communism were defined as a system of GULAGs.

          In essence, fascism is a solution to the problem of capitalist overproduction within the framework of the nation-state. This means making sure that the nation’s wealth is not concentrated too much in just a few hands. The “control of industry and commerce” is for that purpose. Fascism is a conservative form of socialism.

          Marxists don’t want to advertise the fact that there could be such a thing as conservative socialism. So they accuse fascism of being all about dictatorship and violence and oppression, and leave out the economic part.

          With that kind of pseudo-definition they can classify Augusto Pinochet as a fascist. Pinochet was a dictator who killed many dissidents but he was no fascist, because he was not using economic regulation to ensure a good life for the workers. Quite the contrary.

          Fascism only appeared in the early 20th century, as a solution to the crisis of capitalism. Dictatorship and violent suppression of dissent on the other hand have been around forever. Fascists did not invent those things, and they do not define fascism.

          During the past century, it was Communism, not fascism, that was most noteworthy for those features.

          • Charlie Mitchell

            Wow – I’ve never seen someone try to defend fascism and attack the dictionary for being a Marxist enclave. Where did you pull this magical definition where economic regulation ensures “a good life for the workers”? What fascist regime has not been accompanied by crushing civil rights and/or scapegoating and oppressing communities?

          • Hadding Scott

            As previously stated, I learn about Fascism by reading Fascists, not by trusting what their enemies say about them.

            Mainstream scholarship in the USA is still heavily influenced by war-propaganda, and also to a very great extent by the legacy of the Cultural Marxists from Europe that started arriving in 1933.

            I doubt that any society exists that doesn’t oppress somebody. You are kidding yourself.

          • Charlie Mitchell

            They don’t want to defend them because they were guilty of unspeakable atrocities. Go to Auschwitz. Go to Dachau. Listen to the voices of the countless dead. Your argument is that we should ignore the actions of fascist dictators and just read their writings? That’s insane. We beat them in the war because fascist regimes are militaristic and exploit other countries for resources. And your big finish was that all society’s oppress? Your conclusions are intellectually and morally bankrupt. If your preference is to live in a fascist society where there is no free speech and no civil rights, I guess you’ll get the government you deserve.

          • Hadding Scott

            This is precisely the kind of old war-propaganda to which I referred.

            You’re so poorly informed that you don’t even know that the gas-chamber accusation about Dachau was abandoned before 1960, and that the gas-chamber story about Auschwitz lost all credibility in 1988.

          • Charlie Mitchell

            What reprisals? You are airing your nonsense on a public forum. Has anyone come to your house to arrest you? Shame on you. I knew you were an armchair political theorist but I didn’t know you were a holocaust denier. If you think history has been staged and all but the informed superior intellects like yourself know the truth, there’s nothing more to do here. It’s narcissists that buy into absurd conspiracy theories and spend their time railing against ((mainstream media)). I will leave you to continue flattering yourself and thank god I live in a country where I can ignore trolls who are free to live under their own bridge. And you should be thankful too. In a fascist regime, you’d be put in front of a wall and shot.

          • Hadding Scott

            Don’t play innocent.

            What you’ve just done there is that you’ve rationalized censorship-through-violence. You just said that I deserved to be shot. Consequently, in your mind, whatever violence I might suffer from scumbag friends of yours would be more than justified.

            The problem is assholes like you who think that “punch a nazi” is justified, compounded in some locales by authorities who should be upholding order and protecting dissident speech but feel unmotivated to do so.

          • Charlie Mitchell

            I was about to respond to your Nazi nut-job ramblings but as soon as I saw mention of the DailyStormer, I realized that you’re a lost cause. I don’t think you deserve to be shot, or punched. You seem to be a creature fueled by nothing but anger. There’s a piece of humanity missing from you. I feel sorry for you.

          • Hadding Scott

            You stupid jerk, I referred to the Daily Stormer not because I luv it to death — frankly the Daily Stormer is not my style — but because it is an example of the advance of Internet censorship, something that did not happen in this country until this year.

            A lot of people who clearly do not agree with the Daily Stormer had misgivings about the suppression of that site.

            The New York Times carried an essay by Kate Klonic titled, “The Terrifying Power of Internet Censors.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/13/opinion/cloudflare-daily-stormer-charlottesville.html?_r=0

            The Washington Times carried an essay by Alex Swoyer titled, “Ban of white nationalist website raising fears of government censorship.” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/21/daily-stormer-ban-opens-door-to-government-censors/

            CNN reported that Matthew Prince, the CEO of Cloudflare, had doubts about whether he had made the right decision by terminating DailyStormer.com . He called it “a dangerous precedent.” http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/24/technology/business/cloudflare-ceo-interview-daily-stormer/index.html

            But you’re going to say that I am a wacko because I find it concerning? You have marked yourself as an intolerant left-wing extremist here.

            You’re still playing cute, pretending that you did not mean to insinuate that I deserve to be shot, but that is clearly what you meant. You are using the logic of war-propaganda, whereby one accuses the enemy of doing, or intending to do, or being inclined to do, something at least as bad as whatever one intends to do oneself. Then you can say that what you did to the enemy was excusable because the enemy would have done something as bad or worse.

          • Charlie Mitchell

            I meant that you’d be shot under a fascist regime for any view they didn’t like. It was to illustrate that your defense of that kind of government is ridiculous but you’re clearly too dense to get the point and have decided to play the victim (or probably the hero in your own mind). So your listed sources are op-eds from the NYTimes, the Washington Times, and CNN? How is that NOT the “((mainstream media))”? So those sources are ok if they present a viewpoint you agree with? That makes you a hypocrite. Your war propaganda argument is garbled nonsense which doesn’t surprise me considering you are arguing FOR a fascist state for vague economic reasons, a type of government that is notorious for censorship. So the overwhelming evidence of Nazi atrocities is just war propaganda? The GI’s that saw those camps, extensively documented what happened there, were all lying? And only a select few like you know the truth? Again – narcissism. My uncle risked his life to fight the Nazis so their tyranny could be eradicated. You dishonor him and all the men who fought in that war with your nonsense. You don’t really care about censorship. You want what Spencer and his ilk want – attention for your idiotic ideas. You’re on the wrong side of history.

          • Hadding Scott

            “I meant …”

            No, I think you’re projecting your own intolerance and brutality. The propaganda of the Second World War consisted mostly of that kind of projection, as I already explained.

            The intolerance is very clear in your case, because you reacted adversely to the proposition that the Daily Stormer should have freedom of speech.

            You really shouldn’t even attempt to argue with me about “the Holocaust” because you know absolutely nothing about it. Your statements make your ignorance about this matter abundantly clear. I already told you something about Dachau, and it is obvious that you haven’t even checked that, because you’re still babbling about Dachau and the other camps that “the GI’s” saw. The official story has changed. In 1945 and 1946, Dachau and Buchenwald were said to be places where people were gassed. By 1960, those claims were authoritatively dismissed. You can easily verify this, but my expectation is that you will not.

          • Charlie Mitchell

            Well aren’t you the fragile snowflake. Suddenly you are victim of brutality because I criticized an inhuman fascist regime. I know plenty about the Holocaust because I’ve read extensively about it and I’ve been to the camps. I’ve walked into the gas chamber in Auschwitz. Have you? What’s your theory? Millions of Jews committed suicide? Ask yourself why it’s so important to you to deny the mass murder of Jews, Russians, and Roma? Is it because you’ve emotionally committed yourself to this pro-fascist stance and to accept the truth will destroy how special you want to feel? That’s the true cognitive dissidence. As this forum clearly shows, your freedom of speech is alive and well. As for the hate-mongering Daily Stormer, as far as I can see, the site is still functioning and giving it’s racist hordes directions about how to scare the citizens of my community. So spare me your sob story about censorship.

          • Hadding Scott

            You haven’t had a chance to make me a victim of your kind of brutality, but many others have been. There are for example the many people who have been killed in the name of fighting “another Hitler” (Serbs, Iraqis, Syrians, and perhaps soon the Iranians) .

            If you went to Auschwitz you didn’t understand anything about what you saw there, just as the USGIs didn’t understand what was shown to them in 1945. You saw a ROOM. Somebody TOLD you that people were gassed there. You BELIEVED it.

            My point is, if you knew anything, you should not have believed it.

            Now you have invoked the alleged mass-murder of “Russians and Roma” Have you never heard of General Vlasov and the Russian Liberation Army that the Germans mobilized toward the end of the war? About Gypsies, the claim of genocide per se has been abandoned. Deborah Lipstadt says that some Gypsies even served in the German army! (D. Lipstadt, The Atlantic, 30 January 2017)

            According to Lipstadt, the Holocaust is by definition about Jews, and only about Jews.

            You don’t really know anything that you are saying.

            Obviously you are going to remain in your ignorance, because you still haven’t checked out what I told you about Dachau.

          • Charlie Mitchell

            There’s all kinds of eyewitness reports about the gas chamber at Dachau. I’ve looked at your conspiracy theories and my response is (besides they are wrong) is…who gives a shit? And that should be your response too. Even if there was no gas chamber there, the fact that human beings were worked to death doesn’t give you pause? The fact that Jews were driven from their homes, their belongings stolen, put into camps, and starved doesn’t halt your fascist cheerleading squad? What the fuck do you think it was – a spa? Where’s your humanity?

            You quibble about the word Holocaust. It means slaughter on a mass scale. That’s what happened. Hitler’s Willing Executioners is a good book on the subject. You want to learn about the Holocaust, see how the German’s teach it in schools. They don’t shy away from it and they have every reason to.

            You don’t seem to have a real outlook here or at least you’re afraid to articulate it completely. But I can draw conclusions based on what you’ve written. You believe Hitler was a great, misunderstood guy who didn’t kill any Jews (I guess they just disappeared), fascism is a great system of government (economic regulation ensures a good life for workers – except for those pesky Jews – remember Kristallnacht?). You also don’t seem to be a bit fan of individual rights since those don’t play in fascist countries. How about the ethnostate? Are you big on that too? I guess those people of color are just going to move willingly. Oh wait, that’s what the military is for right?

            Spencer’s act didn’t play here because people hate terrible ideas, especially ones where millions of lives were lost fighting them. I can see why you’re afraid of getting a punch in the face.

          • Hadding Scott

            “There’s all kinds of eyewitness reports about the gas chamber at Dachau.”

            Oh yeah, there is even that film of the USGI opening the door that says BRAUSEBAD on it, and then the camera enters the room and shows the showerheads on the low ceiling. The British and American propaganda-films of the time told us that people had been gassed there. Holocaust-propaganda still uses that film!

            Nonetheless, the official story about Dachau changed long ago, although much of the general public seems not to have noticed.

            Here is a current official account, from the Dachau museum. They still claim that 2500 prisoners sent to Hartheim Castle were gassed in 1942, but they do not claim that anyone was gassed at Dachau. https://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de/History_1933-1945.html

            You go ahead and look through that site for a reference to gasings at Dachau. YOU WON’T FIND IT.

            Here’s a letter from Dr. Martin Broszat, director of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, that appeared in Die Zeit on 19 August 1960. Broszat says in the first sentence: “Neither in Dachau nor in Bergen-Belsen nor in Buchenwald were Jews or other prisoners gassed.” https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sk9WPNKVTm4/WGFqr9lBKeI/AAAAAAAABpM/gpR_954y90QmO25GHVku6m_z4s5ihh0RgCLcB/s1600/Broszat%2Bletter%2Bto%2BDie%2BZeit%2B19August1960.jpg

            Here’s a sign that was displayed in the “Dachau gas-chamber” after 1965 that says that nobody was gassed there. https://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/Photos2001/DachauE019.jpg

            Since you’re too lazy to check the Dachau gas-chamber story for your self, I just did the work for you.

          • Charlie Mitchell

            And we’re back to Dachau. You know damn well the point I was making – the oppression of Jews in Germany under a fascist regime. Do you condone it? Yes or no?

          • Hadding Scott

            We have to establish what this means first.

            It is clear as day from German documents that the “solution” to the Jewish problem was to send all the Jews to live outside of Europe, but war-propaganda and Zionist propaganda say that the “solution” was to kill all the Jews, mostly by gassing them To prop up their accusation, they claim that the German documents are written in codewords. “Resettlement” doesn’t really mean resettlement, etc.

            You say that Jews were gassed, but you also say that Dachau is a place where Jews were gassed.

            The authorities on the Holocaust abandoned that claim decades ago.

            This is a clear indicator that you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

            Apparently you have an inkling that you are wrong about Dachau. So your escape is to say that it doesn’t matter. It does matter, because two things: (1) you don’t know what the hell you are talking about, and (2) the Holocaust is a changing story, which means an unreliable story.

          • Charlie Mitchell

            Well – no surprise here. It was just a matter of time before the words “Zionist propaganda” would appear. You’re another run-of-the-mill Hitler apologist and anti-Semite. I’ve tried to appeal to your sense of empathy but I see there is nothing there. Any normal person would be sickened by the pictures of the skeletal half-dead in those camps and the pits full of bodies. Oh – wait – those photos were part of the Zionist, post-war propaganda intended to blah blah blah… Put on your tin foil hat and and live your unexamined life full of magical thinking. I won’t look at your idiotic posts anymore. Seeing someone put this much effort into denying the suffering of others sickens me. But I will take great comfort in knowing that people like you are a pathetic fringe with no power in this world.

          • Hadding Scott

            “Any normal person would be sickened by the pictures of the skeletal half-dead in those camps and the pits full of bodies.”

            I’ve been telling you for several days now that those pictures do not show what you think they show. The historical consensus today is that nobody was gassed in those places where the pictures were taken. What you are seeing are mostly victims of a typhus-epidemic that broke out at the end of the war, and in some instances victims of Anglo-American bombing.

            Quite recently I even caught the World Jewish Congress misrepresenting a photo of German corpses from the Allied bombing of Dresden as Jewish Holocaust victims. http://national-socialist-worldview.blogspot.com/2016/01/misrepresentation-of-german-bombing.html

            It would be excusable for you to believe those things if nobody had ever told you otherwise, but I’ve been giving you information and you won’t even check it. You are a very stupid guy.

  • Hadding Scott

    Richard Spencer has never incited violence. The suggestion that he might is absurd.

    The violence at the rally in Charlottesville last August was initiated entirely by Antifa, who even went to the trouble of bringing bags of urine and other noxious chemicals to throw at the pro-statue demonstrators.

    Hardly anybody is safe from Antifa. They even call Ben Shapiro a nazi.

    • Ronald Ewalt

      Spencer may be too sophisticated to say anything that meets the constitutional definition of “incitement” but it is not absurd to suggest that he “advocates” violence through his use of paramilitary groups for protection, and his failure to denounce the violence that was initiated by his supporters, or at a minimum, to call for peaceful protests in face of the unquestionable provocative actions of his supporters. Consideration of violent behavior by Antifa has credibility only if one acknowledges Neo-Nazi violence.

      • Hadding Scott

        Wow, what a jumbled knot of falsehoods.

        Spencer relies mainly on the police to guarantee his right to speak. The fact that the police in Charlottesville declined to defend this right is why Spencer and others ended up not speaking.

        I am not aware that Spencer was accompanied by any “paramilitary groups.”

        Are Antifa a paramilitary group? They are certainly violent. A certain number of them arrive at any Antifa gathering with their faces masked with the intention of committing violent crimes without being identified.

        You imply that the violence of Antifa is only a reaction to “Neo-Nazi violence.” This is utterly false. Antifa have been violent toward people who were neither “Neo-Nazi” nor violent.

        But from Antifa’s perspective, speech can be a form of violence, and therefore if you say something that they find disagreeable, they are entitled to respond physically.

        From Antifa’s perspective, if you disagree with them you are a Nazi. Ben Shapiro is a Nazi, according to Antifa. President Trump is a Nazi, according to Antifa.

        You’re going to have to explain how violence was ever initiated by Spencer’s supporters. I think I missed that.

  • David Denslow

    This outstanding analysis reflects more positively on UF than anything else I’ve seen. Reflecting badly on UF: (1) President Fuchs’ statement that he would ignore free speech if he were able to. (2) The faculty union’s claim that Spencer should not be allowed to speak because of their cowardice. Sometimes, for the sake of our Constitution, you have to be strong.

  • Ronald Ewalt

    1. Add to the discussion, “The Danger of American Fascism,” by Henry A. Wallace, Franklin Roosevelt’s vice president, an essay in which he suggested that the number of American fascists and the threat they posed were directly connected to how fascism was defined.
    2. To cite only one book to discount the use of violence by Fascists is disingenuous at best.
    3. A plan to form a Fascist government funded by American corporations was foiled in 1934.
    http://www.npr.org/2012/02/12/145472726/when-the-bankers-plotted-to-overthrow-fdr.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTdx6vEUtIA
    4. To use Calvert’s words, as Spenser stands the First Amendment up to Gates of Hell, we won’t back down to him, and we won’t back down to anyone, no matter their politics, philosophies, religions or protestations of moral superiority. To “win” this battle and shut down Spenser means we face the Unintended Consequences of losing Free Speech protections for all of us.
    5. “When political activism becomes dogmatic and punishing, it uses the same techniques of exclusion and oppression that it rejects, only now in the name of liberation.” –Kelly Oliver, Philosophy Professor.

    • Hadding Scott

      This “plan to form a Fascist government” that was “foiled in 1934” was described by the New York Times of 22 November 1934 as a “gigantic hoax.”

      What in hell does it have to do with Richard Spencer?