Social justice extremists at Vassar College in New York have launched an assault on the Constitution and the founding principles of our society. In a response letter to an on-campus lecture given by Legal Insurrection’s William Jacobson titled “‘Hate Speech’ is Sill Free Speech, Even After Charlottesville,” the group Healing to Action (H2A) made it clear that any speech not approved by them cannot be covered by the First Amendment.
H2A insists that the Constitution is “inherently racist” and therefore, free speech is for the protected class (whites) only. The First Amendment, then, in the group’s assessment, serves to “preserve white supremacy” and the “patriarchy.” H2A doesn’t believe the First Amendment offers a blanket right to any individual’s speech, but only that speech which has the “collective well-being of all members of our society” in mind.
In the college paper, The Miscellany News, the group laid out its manifesto:
Demands for the protection of free speech under the First Amendment are based on the assertion that all voices are given equal weight in society and they all need protection from censorship. This is objectively false in our white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist society. These demands fail to acknowledge systems of oppression that give power to privileged people (those who are white, cisgender, heterosexual, wealthy and/or able-bodied) at the expense of the “others” of society. The Constitution was created to justify genocide of indigenous peoples and institutionalize chattel slavery. It is inherently racist, and is currently used to justify modern day acts of racism. Hate speech is a violent tool used by oppressors to preserve white supremacy, the patriarchy, etc., and any rhetoric that serves to protect it is inherently linked to this violence. We wish to alter the framing of this issue altogether. The issue at hand is not about one’s individual, legal right to free speech, but is instead about the collective well-being of all members of our society. Healing to Action is premised on the idea that what affects one individual affects us all. Speech, whether it is legal or not, can be and is violent. We have a collective responsibility to stand up for those in our communities who are harmed or disenfranchised by speech, whether it is technically legally permissible or not.
Jacobson reported that H2A incited the campus against him and claimed his speech was a danger to the student body. The organization claimed he was promoting his lecture across multiple white nationalist websites to mobilize their members to come to campus and target minorities, homosexuals, and Jewish students. In reality, the only danger to students was perpetrated by H2A when it manufactured mass hysteria. Jacobson’s October 25th lecture was attended by 300 students who listened for 45 minutes and then participated in a two-hour Q&A session. And guess what? No one was hurt during the speech! Shocker!
But as for H2A’s total disregard for our founding documents and its desire to fundamentally alter their meanings, Jacobson says, “It’s the stuff of which totalitarian societies are made.”
Jacobson was recently on NRA TV’s Cam & Co. talking about this experience: