All Voices Matter: tolerance towards the intolerant


Prachurjya Shreya

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

Aviance Pritchett, Staff Reporter

Richard Spencer is a well-known neo-Nazi and white supremacist who has been interviewed by major news outlets like CNN and is most associated with the Unite the Right rally, which he organized with fellow white supremacist Jason Kessler. In fact, Spencer even said that the rally wouldn’t have occurred without President Trump, which is even more alarming, but we can go into this later.

On Monday, far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos leaked audio of Spencer going on a racist rant after the 2017 rally that had resulted in 1 death and injured more than 20 people. Since the leak, there have been calls for Spencer to be permanently banned from Twitter. Some people disagree with the notion because they believe it to be restriction of freedom of speech, despite the fact that this freedom is being used to spread hate. 

Even though this hate speech was not explicitly stated on Twitter but instead on a different platform, there’s no denying that having such a hateful individual would be against Twitter’s rules, which states that users “may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, [etc.]”,  as well as incredibly reckless due to the fact that it only gives him a platform to spread his racist views.

Racists, bigots, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, whatever you want to call them, do not deserve to have freedom of speech. They should not have a platform, regardless of how “peaceful” their methods were. Because the Ku Klux Klan decided to display their hate through words instead of physical means, does that mean that they’re “peaceful”? Because neo-Nazis decided to “peacefully” protest while screaming racist slurs at counter-protestors, does that mean that they deserve nice treatment?

Why do we insist on showing tolerance towards the intolerant? Why are minorities encouraged to forgive the people who want them to be erased from this planet? Stop giving these people the chance to spread this harmful speech, especially on influential platforms like Twitter, YouTube, or even large media outlets, because you want to raise awareness or get views; we are fully aware of what these people are, what they can do, and what they believe in. You are not truly against bigotry if you’re willing to “hear their side”, because you’re just giving them the motivation to raise their hate to the extremes. 

They are bad people. 

They do not care about anyone that does not apply to their twisted world view and they never will. If you want America to be the loving place that we falsely make it out to be to other countries, we need to crack down on this hate. Stop treating them as human when I can guarantee that that they don’t see you–or if you’re a white person, your non-white friends–the same way.