Trump supports free speech for Nazis, not for people of colorBy Ruben Tarajano | 09/25/2017 10:27pm
The president has hit a breaking point, and his true colors are showing now more than ever. The U.S. has been pushed to the brink of nuclear war with North Korea, multiple natural disasters have destroyed U.S. states and territories, and a bill is being pushed through Congress which will make health care unaffordable for millions. In spite of all this, President Trump’s main focus is attacking black individuals for peacefully protesting systemic violence and racism.
Just a week ago, Trump went after Jemele Hill, a Black ESPN host for calling him a "white supremacist". Trump’s administration called this a fireable offense, which only proved Hills’ point. Why does it come as a surprise that Hill said this when the president calls for the firing of black employees of a private organization for utilizing their free speech, but demands respect for Nazis?
Puerto Rico, an island we continue to colonize, is under water and without power. 3.4 million individuals, mostly people of color, are struggling to survive. The American government has yet to send the necessary supplies to the U.S. territory. Instead of being concerned for Puerto Rican lives, President Trump was busy rallying in Alabama to have black NFL players fired for utilizing their constitutional right to peacefully protest. He went so far as to call men like Kaepernick "sons of b******".
Trump's behavior should not come as a surprise. This is the same man that payed for a full front-page article in the Daily News in 1989 calling for the deaths of five innocent Black men in the Central Park jogger case.
This is the same man which uses not-so-subtle dog whistle politics to rally racists and Nazi leadership. For instance, his use of "the good ole days" and "law and order" are obvious allusions to the Nixon and Reagan administration and their demolition of Black and Latinx communities during the War on Crime. This is the same man who calls Mexicans "murderers" and "rapists".
Trump and his supporters are quick to deny free speech as a right to black athletes, yet many Republicans and even members of the "tolerant left" are still justifying free speech if it supports the same philosophies which killed over 11 million in Germany. Just because Nazis have decided to re-label themselves as "alt-right" and claim they are simply looking to defend "white heritage", doesn't mean their free speech should be protected. Constitutional rights only go so far; your rights end when they infringe upon the rights of others.
If your speech infringes on the lives of others and incites domestic terrorism, like the van attack in Charlottesville, then your speech is not welcome and should not be allowed. Trump called these white supremacists "very fine people", but throws a tantrum whenever anyone expresses their free speech to criticize the president and his administration.
Centrists and moderates continue to advocate for "peace" and "acceptance of all viewpoints." But what we are arguing over is whether or not people should be able to openly advocate for the eradication of people of color, whether that be through domestic terrorism, police violence, mass incarceration, or deportation. When you appease and allow the voices which support these systems of oppression, you are not protecting free speech, you are encouraging genocide.
The freedom of speech for Nazis is gleefully defended by the president and his supporters, while people of color are denied this same support while also dying at the hands of police and lack of assistance during natural disasters. When people of color speak up, the president is livid and his true racism really shows.
Ruben Tarajano is a sophomore majoring in public health. His column runs biweekly.