Free Speech as One-way Thing

There’s been a great deal of conversation about de-platforming and the free speech of some proto-fascists, or homophobes, or white supremacists.

But the “blue lives matter” outrage machine kicked in and got a CUNY professor disciplined for saying he was teaching “future dead cops.” [fox]

Some of y’all might think it sucks being an anti-fascist teaching at John Jay College but I think it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops

“Michael Issacson harbors total disdain for the active and future police officers that he teaches at John Jay College,” Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said in a Friday press release.

Well, let me say for the record Fuck king Vagiralongkorn of Thailand, and fuck the active and future police officers; I think what he said was stupid – he should have said something like:

Why would you want to be on the side of arbitrary authority? If you’re interested in justice and making society better, being a public defender, or helping sue cops, would be a better way to do it. Those bastards are deeply embedded, like ticks, into the blood-stream of the body politic. And, of, look, speaking of parasites… here’s Patrick Lynch with some important words for you about how important it is to let cops commit crimes while sheltering them from justice.

Not only was what he said stupid, he made a horrible strategic blunder: he went on Tucker Carlson’s show. What did he expect, a fair hearing? Has he no idea how Carlson does his interviews? He interrupts, talks over, and yanks the discussion into wherever he wants it to go.

John Jay College President Karol V. Mason called Isaacson’s comments “abhorrent” and the “antithesis” of an academic institution that trains future law enforcement in a statement. Although she said that professors have a right to free speech and academic freedom, “expressions of hate or intimidation are not welcome in that civil discourse.”

Fuck John Jay College President Karol V. Mason, too.

Remember all the talk about how president Trump was lowering the tone of dialogue? I have a public service announcement for Carlson and those academics: if it’s OK to chant “lock her up” or to chant racist threats while cops stand around using their thumbs as buttplugs, it’s OK to talk about dead cops. In fact, it’s stupid not to.

Want to bet the “free speech” outrage machine is going to kick into overdrive because this doofus was de-platformed?


  1. says

    I don’t like the idea of banning any types of free speech. Personally, I don’t enjoy hearing racist, homophobic, Neo-Nazi, sexist etc. free speech. But I still think that it is a very bad idea for law enforcement and governments to attempt to ban such speech. Once you pass a law that Neo-Nazi speech is banned, it sets a precedent that free speech isn’t absolute. It makes it easier to ban criticizing the government (or church or whatever).

  2. cvoinescu says

    Free speech is not absolute, and never was — not in theory, even less in practice.

    And I don’t know why this even comes up. This is not about the government banning anything. Remember that free speech is not the same as free platforms, except in the fevered imagination of some.

  3. polishsalami says

    The “only the government can censor” line is a Libertarian talking point, pushed in order to justify corporations stifling the ability of employees to speak their mind. People who aren’t Libertarians really need to stop repeating this.