All Voices Matter: except those that preach hate

In+her+weekly+column%2C+All+Voices+Matter%2C+staff+reporter+Aviance+Pritchett+gives+her+take+on+social+and+cultural+issues.+
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All Voices Matter: except those that preach hate

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

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According to statistics found by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups have risen to a record high of 1,020 in 2018, which is a “30 percent increase roughly coinciding with Trump’s campaign and presidency.”

According to The Guardian, in less than a decade, there have been fourteen mass killings committed by people who align themselves with hate groups and/or hold extremist views, with the most recent of these killings being the Christchurch mosque shootings in March of 2019 that killed 51 and injured 49. The shooter had proudly professed his association with the alt-right and white supremacist movement, and used sites such as Twitter and 8chan to indulge in his obsession with white supremacy.

The aforementioned sites, along with sites such as Reddit, 4chan, and Tumblr, have large communities with neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan members, and other extremists with discriminatory views. Twitter and Tumblr specifically are used by many, and has a large base of users who are 18 and under, extremely vulnerable ages that are able to be easily influenced and motivated by hate speech.

In December, Tumblr had banned all adult-content, but their white supremacist and neo-nazi user base continued to thrive on the site, which had become so much of a problem that their own users had come up with a way to lessen neo-Nazi activity;they participated in something called “Woody’s Roundup”, where they would report neo-Nazi and white supremacist accounts, take their usernames, and replace their icons with pictures of Woody from Toy Story. One parody account had gathered so many usernames, that Tumblr had eventually suspended the account because it had “promoted hate speech”, which can be seen as proof that Tumblr is slowly but surely trying it rid itself of extremist users.

It’s concerning to discover that there was such a huge problem with the growing amount of extremist users that people took it upon themselves to silence them and make the site a better place. It’s disturbing to know that these sites are safe spaces to those who are very much against the idea of safety for minorities, and give them a platform for them to spread their hate speech. How has America transitioned from denouncing fascist ideas and Nazism to asking that we hear what the “other side”–white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the alt-right, whatever they wanna be called (it doesn’t matter since they’re pretty much the same thing at this point) has to say?

Yes, we are all, under the Constitution, allowed to say whatever we want because we have the freedom of speech. There is frequent debate over whether or not the First Amendment applies to hate speech or not, and personally, I don’t think it does. For a country that fought against British oppression in order to be independent and was born on the ideas of democracy and equality for all, I think it’s hypocritical to allow someone to speak oppressively and advocate for suppression of minorities when that was something we had fought for years to reject.

And even as we move on from the Revolutionary era, Americans still continued to fight against oppression; the literal entirety of the Civil Rights era was about fighting against racism and segregation, and fighting for equality.

We denounce segregationists from that era, why do we not do the same now?

We acknowledge that segregationists had evil morals and ideas, so why are we suddenly lax on them?

Why is the rise of white supremacy so normalized and so unsurprising to us?

Why do we think that these hateful people deserve to be heard out?

It doesn’t matter if these people have yet to commit an actual hate crime. There’s no such thing as a moderate white supremacist, or a decent Klansman, or a good Nazi–these movements are so deeply rooted in such violently racist, anti-semitic, homophobic, and segregationist ideas that it doesn’t matter if these people wouldn’t go so far as committing genocide by their own hands. They still believe in these ideas and they still endorse these ideas.

They do not deserve a platform or a safe space if they truly believe that the white race is above and supreme to all other races. They do not deserve a platform or a safe space if they will march on streets calling for the killing Jewish people. They do not deserve a platform or a safe space if they don’t see any wrong in what they believe.

To say that they are in a way a minority because more and more people are revoking their access to platforms, that’s untrue. Look at how many anti-black leaders we have had in our executive, legislative, and judicial system in the past; we literally had a Ku Klux Klan member in the House of Representatives.

We let people like Alex Jones and Richard Spencer grow to have large fan bases on sites like YouTube and Twitter, and only recently have they been banned from these platforms for their hateful views. White supremacists and neo-nazis had a march in Charlottesville that had killed one person and injured many others in a hit-and-run, and also assaulted a black person.

They have a platform already and it’s only getting bigger as we continue to televise their events and our debates with them. The more we give them attention, the more they are able to spread their influence. There is a huge problem in America concerning these extremists, and we should be actively shutting them down–not giving them a chance to be heard. Yes, this column is entitled “All Voices Matter”, but not voices that preach hate and intolerance.