Freedom of Speech and Freedom from Consequences Aren’t the Same Thing

What happened in Charlottesville this past weekend is disgusting. However, people are fighting back. One man’s father told him he’s no longer welcome at family events. Someone else has been fired from their job. As more and more men are identified through the photos that were taken I am sure more will be fired.

These men ran around screaming about their First Amendment rights, like that makes it okay. What they fail to understand is that the First Amendment does not protect them from consequences in the private sector. The First Amendment only applies to protect people from government action taken against them.

It seems hilarious to me that these tiki torch carrying, khaki clad men would think that they would be immune from consequences for their action. 1. They have to realize that they are the minority. Not only do non-whites not support them, neither do most whites. 2. Most states are at-will employment states and you can be fired for just about anything. It should be obvious to them that most companies don’t want their customers to know that they employ NeoNazis. 3. They’ve railed and screamed at people on the other side for their beliefs (like when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem)  – did they really thing it wouldn’t happen the other way around.

Additionally, speech that incites violence is NOT protected by the First Amendment either. When their stated purpose is to start violence, it’s not going to be protected. Perhaps they should have paid more attention in the government classes or actually read the Constitution they think they’re being patriots for.

Just because someone has the right to say whatever they want doesn’t mean anyone has to like it or support it. It doesn’t mean that they can skate by without anyone responding to their hate-filled rantings.

If you’re going to stand up and denounce every race but your own, you’re bound to run up against some opposition.

But, since it doesn’t seem like they can step outside of themselves for even a few minutes, I don’t think this realization will ever hit them.

In the meantime, we can all sit back and watch as consequences rain down on them.

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