Threats of violence and fears of the label “racist” spur conservatives to self-censor. Local law enforcement officers and conservative organizers continue to shut down or cancel peaceful free speech events after the left labels them “white supremacist” rallies.
The targeting of free speech and America’s past began long before the violence in Charlottesville and long before Donald Trump won the presidency. This has nothing to do with the Confederacy or a resurgence of white supremacists. This is basic iconoclasm, with cultural revolutionaries directing their hatred at a politically-anointed totem.
We’ve seen this trend throughout history: aggressive rejection of the status quo. It’s a common component of major – usually radical – political and cultural change, just like international movements, from China’s cultural revolution in the ’60s and ’70s – which left 1.5 million people dead – to the Taliban’s destruction of centuries-old Buddhist statues and the Islamic State’s ongoing devastation of ancient sites. This iconoclastic sentiment – a groupthink fever spreading relatively unchecked – now infects America. First, the herd goes for the statues. Then comes the book burning. Eventually, we see the targeting of individuals and their freedoms. The tactics are totalitarian, the monuments, simply weapons to attack the First Amendment.
As Breitbart Tech’s Allum Bokhari wrote, Silicon Valley killed free speech in August 2017. From GoDaddy, to Google, to Twitter, to Paypal — major technology companies drop, ban, and block groups in the wake of Charlottesville.
When blocking or banning isn’t an option, another fashionable way to silence free speech is to cite public safety concerns. This is becoming a common theme not just among complacent government officials – all too eager to bend the knee to their Leftists and media overlords – but also among right-wing organizers, who increasingly cave to leftist threats of violence, self-censoring and canceling their own events.
In Boston, a 300-person event sponsored by the “Boston Free Speech Coalition” – whose organizers planned the event well before the incidents of Charlottesville and who repeatedly said they had no connections whatsoever with neo-Nazis, the KKK, or any Confederate monument — was shut down, ordered to disband by police. Why? Because of violence brought about by the 35000-40,000 anti-free speech counter-protesters.
Last week, ACT for America, a conservative national security organization, canceled its 67 “America First Rallies,” previously scheduled, long before Charlottesville, for Saturday, September 9, “out of an abundance of caution.”
“In recent weeks, extremist and radical organizations in the United States and abroad have overrun peaceful events in order to advance their own agendas, and in many cases, violence has been the result,” organizers said in a press release provided to Breitbart News.
Just this weekend, another right-leaning group “Patriot Prayer” canceled its planned (and authorized) “Freedom Rally” in San Franciso.
“We’ve decided that tomorrow really seems like a setup,” Joey Gibson, the organizer of Patriot Prayer, announced during a Facebook Live video Saturday. Citing safety concerns, he added, “The rhetoric from Nancy Pelosi, [Democratic] Mayor Lee, the media – all of these people are saying that we’re white supremacists, and it’s bringing in tons of extremists.”
By stoking security concerns, the Left no longer needs to show up. Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other Alt-Left domestic terrorists have found a way to use the government and responsible right-leaning event organizers to do their bidding for them.
Amanda House is Breitbart News’ Deputy Political Editor. You can follow her on Twitter at @AmandaLeeHouse.