by Kevin Fenchak
The Daily Collegian has really pushed the envelope on its generally mediocre, often sloppily edited, and consistently insipid opinion commentary. By publishing columnist Dominique Servati's article, entitled “When does the first amendment go too far to protect hate speech?”, they have lowered the bar even further. Servati's argument is not only legally wrong, it is philosophically vacuous and serves only to reinforce the prejudices of leftist students.
The importance of an article such as this is doubtful. However poorly argued, it is clear that Servati's argument is representative of an ideology which has become all-too pervasive on college campuses across the country. She includes a variety of stunning assertions, such as “using these freedoms in such a way that does not foster the well-being of all citizens… is unjust”, a statement which explicitly creates a moral requirement to agree with liberal multiculturalism. It is clear what she means by “all citizens”, as throughout the article she places the emphasis solely on minority groups, focusing on immigrants and the wonderful contribution of diversity that comes with importing millions of outsiders into the country. Her only example of the First Amendment being used properly is by MLK Jr. and the Civil Rights movement, unsurprising for your garden variety college progressive.
It has apparently not yet dawned on this columnist that the First Amendment is ultimately a freedom of conscience as well as speech. Without freedom of conscience and belief, expression is irrelevant, mechanical, and easily controlled. There is a reason that the First groups together religion, press, and assembly as well as expression. The ultimate guarantee and meaning of the words penned over two hundred years ago is of freedom for the mind and actions of man, not merely for his tongue. We have in this country a freedom to believe as we wish, to influence others with our way of thinking, to gather, to demand action, for better or for worse. The Supreme Court has confirmed multiple times that concepts such as “hate speech” have no place in interpreting the First Amendment, although this is apparently not well known among university students. While Servati may have the freedom to express her opinion, she does not have the right to implement it at our expense.
It is regrettable, but perhaps predictable, that even this cherished freedom should find itself perverted by the acolytes of modern “critical theory” and its concomitant theories of oppression, privilege, and so on. The writer feels no need to explain herself or couch her argument in any reason or objective reality. In fact, she demands for the right to express oneself be taken away from, you guessed it, people who speak out or organize against the holy cows of immigration and diversity. Sadly, the state of humanities education throughout both public school and university is so bad that many will not question the ridiculous assertions used to back this insanity!
The standard gibberish about America being a “nation of immigrants” is not only contradictory in name, it's completely ignorant to the actual historical circumstance of this country. America was settled by men and women of the British Isles, bringing beliefs, ways of life, language, and customs peculiar to themselves. Other groups who settled the North American continent were similar to the original settlers in temperament and ability, sharing with them many of the customs common to the region of Northern Europe which was the source of nearly all of these newcomers (not the least of which was a general respect for the principles of expression, dissent, and philosophy). Germans, Dutch, Norwegians and Frenchmen, greatly similar to the British peoples and sharing ancient bonds of history and lineage, made up this first wave. The inclusion of groups even as moderately dissimilar as the Irish and Italians caused massive growing pains in America, and although they are today considered as American as anyone, the differences there in culture and religion persist.
What we see is that the American people, historically constituted, can hardly be labelled “immigrants”, a term which calls to mind a proletarian mass, without form or history beyond the fabricated values they pay lip service to. On the contrary, America is a nation of colonizers and settlers which traces its existence to one country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Throughout time in our quest for expansion and settlement from coast to coast we included in our grand project many nations similar to our original stock and adopted them as our own people, whose descendants are today known only as Americans, no hyphenated-identities or disclaimers necessary, while outright banning and restricting those from outside Northern Europe.
Servati claims that “the First Amendment was not intended to be used for exclusion and hate” because she believes the country was founded on the principle of inclusion and universal equality. She is either unaware of or willfully ignoring the reality of this nation's founding as a republic based on a strong national and folk identity, which has historically excluded nearly every other group on the planet for most of its history. Either Servati is just now the first to discover the true meaning of a Constitutional law that has guided this nation for over 200 years, or she's just plain wrong. Americans have every right to discriminate, between good and bad, right and wrong, friend and foreigner as we always have. Necessary to her argument is the idea that the historically-constituted nation should be transformed by diversity and immigration until it is no longer recognizable, and that any attempt to use the constitutional protections established by our founding fathers to prevent this is “going too far”. According to her argument, is it not worth defending against the destruction of this country at the hands of those with no respect for its history or laws. Immigrants and diversity are supposedly our strength, but advocating for America and Americans will make them angry and is thusly according to her considered hate speech.
If anything is anti-American, anti-Constitutional, and opposed to the ideals of our history, it's Dominique Servati's diatribe against the protection of dissenting speech. The article calls her both an English and History major, and I can only hope after seeing her obvious failings in both language and historical interpretation that she is not representative of her peers. Pushing the idea that legitimate historical inquiry and political activism is unfree speech is beneath anyone with real respect for the humanities.