Free Speech? Not In Minneapolis!

The City of Minneapolis has established a hot line to report speech and conduct that are deemed hateful. The city’s press release says:

Through its 311 service, the City of Minneapolis has opened a new hotline for reporting hate crimes, which are harassing behaviors motivated by prejudice.

That is wrong. “Harassing behaviors” may or may not be crimes; in many cases, depending on how the phrase is understood by people using the hot line, they probably aren’t.

The Director of Minneapolis’s Department of Civil Rights, Velma Korbel, explains the rationale behind the new reporting system:

Since the general election, many of us have experienced, witnessed firsthand or heard of actions of: racism, xenophobia, sexism and bigotry directed at people here and in cities across the United States.

So this is all about the “Resistance” to President Trump’s administration, a fact that is reaffirmed in the next paragraph.

In no uncertain terms, hate-motivated speech and actions have no place in Minneapolis nor will they be tolerated. Activities such as these are against the law.

No, they aren’t. “Hate speech” is, in general, protected by the First Amendment, as the Supreme Court reaffirmed only days ago. And what “hate-motivated speech” might be, I have no idea. Likewise with “hate-motivated actions.” If such actions are crimes, they certainly are against the law; if they are not crimes, they are not against the law. There is no general prohibition against saying or doing things that are motivated by hate, nor can there be.

No one is above the law.

An ironic observation, given that in this instance the City attempts to place itself (and perhaps certain categories of people expected to use the hot line) above the law.

More from the same “Message to the Minneapolis Community” by Ms. Korbel:

Minneapolis is committed to human rights and racial equity for anyone who lives, works, and visits our city. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome here. This department echoes Minneapolis mayor, Betsy Hodges’ resolve and commitment when she stated: “I will not compromise the public safety of the people of Minneapolis to satisfy Trump’s desire to put politics before public safety. Minneapolis is being built and strengthened by people from all over the world and I am grateful for their commitment to our city. I stand with them today and will continue to take that stand as the President-elect prepares to take office.”

Again, it is all about Trump. Which makes you wonder whether expressions of support for President Trump and his agenda would be considered “hate-motivated speech” by those who man Minneapolis’s hot line, or by the city’s misguided–to give her the benefit of the doubt–Director of the Department of Civil Rights.

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