Discerning Hate Speech from Free Speech

 

When athletes kneel for our National Anthem, that is called “free speech.” When others criticize them, that is called “hate speech.” There was a good example of this recently at a Nebraska volleyball game (emphasis mine):

When the national anthem was sung before the match, a few Maryland players took a knee, which has occurred at other sporting events when student-athletes want to publicly protest something.

A few Nebraska spectators yelled at the Maryland players to “stand up.” Those shouts only lasted for a few moments but could be heard throughout the arena.

The Husker players were hurt by the Maryland players being yelled at, so much so that Nebraska coach John Cook said some of the Husker players were crying during a timeout early in the match.

During his news conference after the match, Cook said he was disappointed by what had happened Friday evening.

I just don’t think that’s our fans’ place to say things during a match. It’s putting judgment on the other team, and this is a volleyball match. We’re not here to do that. So I’m a little disappointed that happened. And our players apologized to the Maryland players after the match. There are other ways to express people’s opinions, but not right after ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and introductions.”

So Coach Cook says there is no place for political statements during a volleyball game.  Fair enough.

But he sees no problem, apparently, with players kneeling during the national anthem.  There were apparently a few fans there who agreed with Mr. Cook that there is no place for political statements during a volleyball game, and they said so.  Coach Cook was ‘disappointed’ that they agreed with him.  Or something.

This doesn’t make any sense.

The author of the news story didn’t find this dichotomy to be odd.  He didn’t ask Mr. Cook to explain why some political speech is apparently welcome at a volleyball game but other political speech is not.  How does Mr. Cook determine which speech is acceptable?  Why should we care what political speech is acceptable to a volleyball coach, anyway?  The article doesn’t say.

In fact, the author is intentionally vague throughout – note the first sentence above:  “When the national anthem was sung before the match, a few Maryland players took a knee, which has occurred at other sporting events when student-athletes want to publicly protest something.”  Protest something?  Protest what, exactly?  Isn’t that central to the news story he’s writing here?  Does he even know what they’re protesting?  If not, why doesn’t he ask them?

And are we to accept that because this type of protest “has occurred at other sporting events” that it is beyond debate?  Or perhaps just part of the game, like the anthem itself?

What is he saying here?  Or, more precisely, what is he not saying?

Don’t worry your pretty little head about all that.  Ignore the niggling details, and just gradually absorb his message:  Protesting the American anthem is free speech.  And criticism of that speech is called hate speech.

Obviously.  After all, this is the thousandth article in the thousandth newspaper that has pointed that out, subtly or not-so-subtly.

This is what we’re up against.  Republicans can’t buy this type of publicity.  The Democrats get it for free.  And it’s absolutely everywhere.  This was not a political op-ed in The New York Times.  This was a story in the sports section of The Freemont Tribune.  You can’t even escape this stuff in a midwestern small-town sports section.  In a story about a volleyball game, for Pete’s sake…

And there were thousands of other little examples in little stories in various sections of other little newspapers all over America on this day, and on every other day.  It’s so ubiquitous that you don’t even notice it after a while.  It’s like the air we breathe.

And eventually, even such ridiculous things as this, which make no sense at all – they eventually become second nature to us.

It’s amazing that Republicans ever win an election anywhere.

Not all Democrat efforts to control elections occur at the ballot box.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 75 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The Husker players were hurt by the Maryland players being yelled at, so much so that Nebraska coach John Cook said some of the Husker players were crying during a timeout early in the match.

    First off, there’s not crying in volleyball. The first time a girl takes a spike to the face she learns to toughen up. 

    It’s putting judgment on the other team, and this is a volleyball match. We’re not here to do that.

    That’s exactly what fans are supposed to do. Are they there to give hugs to the opponents? 

    So I’m a little disappointed that happened. And our players apologized to the Maryland players after the match. There are other ways to express people’s opinions, but not right after ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and introductions.”

    After multiple sets of volleyball they’re all worked up over what happened in the pre-game? They should have shelved all of that as soon as the first serve sailed over the net. This is sports. 

     

    • #1
  2. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    It’s putting judgment on the other team, and this is a volleyball match. We’re not here to do that.

    That’s exactly what fans are supposed to do. Are they there to give hugs to the opponents? 

    So I’m a little disappointed that happened. And our players apologized to the Maryland players after the match. There are other ways to express people’s opinions, but not right after ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and introductions.”

     

    And as I read the point of the post, how can anyone complain about political comments made by the fans when those comments were clearly in response to political comments (by the physical act of kneeling) by the Maryland players? If the Nebraska coach thinks non-sports comments by the fans are inappropriate, then he has to also think the non-sports kneeling by the Maryland players are inappropriate. 

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans?

    How the hell did that happen?

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Percival (View Comment):

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans?

    How the hell did that happen?

    Maybe they were holding  a raffle for football tickets.

    • #4
  5. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Dr. Bastiat: And there were thousands of other little examples in little stories in various sections of other little newspapers all over America on this day, and on every other day.  It’s so ubiquitous that you don’t even notice it after a while.  It’s like the air we breathe.  

    Indeed, I find myself holding my breath a lot lately. But I haven’t stopped noticing. I just stop pointing it out to my wife every time I see it. Do you want more? Every major network series works wokism into the storyline at some point. Mostly, there is a major uprising of “rightwing Nationalists” doing dastardly deeds everywhere. Their victims are innocent and helpless progressive “angels” who wouldn’t harm a flea. They own the culture and they have been brainwashed since they went to kindergarten.

    • #5
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Percival (View Comment):

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans?

    How the hell did that happen?

    They have one of the best teams in the country, & pack their stadium for nearly every game. 

    Nebraska volleyball is big time…

    • #6
  7. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    Percival (View Comment):

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans?

    How the hell did that happen?

    Have you seen their football team? Not much to cheer for. Maybe their volleyball team is semi-competent. 

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    thelonious (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans?

    How the hell did that happen?

    Have you seen their football team? Not much to cheer for. Maybe their volleyball team is semi-competent.

    Yeah. I know.

    • #8
  9. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    It’s putting judgment on the other team, and this is a volleyball match. We’re not here to do that.

    That’s exactly what fans are supposed to do. Are they there to give hugs to the opponents?

    So I’m a little disappointed that happened. And our players apologized to the Maryland players after the match. There are other ways to express people’s opinions, but not right after ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and introductions.”

     

    And as I read the point of the post, how can anyone complain about political comments made by the fans when those comments were clearly in response to political comments (by the physical act of kneeling) by the Maryland players? If the Nebraska coach thinks non-sports comments by the fans are inappropriate, then he has to also think the non-sports kneeling by the Maryland players are inappropriate.

    Only if one is looking for consistency.

    • #9
  10. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    thelonious (View Comment):
    Have you seen their football team?

    Hands down, the best 3-7 team in the country.

    • #10
  11. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans?

    How the hell did that happen?

    They have one of the best teams in the country, & pack their stadium for nearly every game.

    Nebraska volleyball is big time…

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has a stadium?

    How the hell did that happen?

    • #11
  12. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    John H. (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans?

    How the hell did that happen?

    They have one of the best teams in the country, & pack their stadium for nearly every game.

    Nebraska volleyball is big time…

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has a stadium?

    How the hell did that happen?

    So does Duke Women’s Basketball.  Cameron Indoor Stadium.

    • #12
  13. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    John H. (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans?

    How the hell did that happen?

    They have one of the best teams in the country, & pack their stadium for nearly every game.

    Nebraska volleyball is big time…

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has a stadium?

    How the hell did that happen?

    The old Coliseum would hold only about 4,000, so when the new arena was built the old Devaney sports complex was remodeled for volleyball and seats around 8,100. Matches are sold out. 

    • #13
  14. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    Dr. Bastiat:

    This was a story in the sports section of The Freemont Tribune. You can’t even escape this stuff in a midwestern small town sports section. In a story about a volleyball game, for Pete’s sake…

    There are also some local politics going on. The two leading Republican candidates for Governor are waging a fight over the University. One candidate currently sits on the Board of Regents, and is backed by Governor Ricketts, the other by President Trump. So everything that happens at the University is under a microscope. I suspect some coaches are going to learn that there is a difference between being a tenured professor and an employee.

    The point of the OP stands on its own, notwithstanding.

     

    • #14
  15. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler (View Comment):

    John H. (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans?

    How the hell did that happen?

    They have one of the best teams in the country, & pack their stadium for nearly every game.

    Nebraska volleyball is big time…

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has a stadium?

    How the hell did that happen?

    The old Coliseum would hold only about 4,000, so when the new arena was built the old Devaney sports complex was remodeled for volleyball and seats around 8,100. Matches are sold out.

    Just a brief brag – my youngest daughter was recruited by the Nebraska volleyball team.  I didn’t speak to Coach Cook, but his assistant coach could not have been more professional or more pleasant to work with.  My kid went to Georgetown just because the school is so great.  How is their volleyball team?  Um, never mind… 

    • #15
  16. DonG (CAGW is a hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a hoax)
    @DonG

    I hate communism and really hate Marxism, so my speech about those things is usually hateful. 

    • #16
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):
    That’s exactly what fans are supposed to do. Are they there to give hugs to the opponents? 

    Well, it is GIRLS’ volleyball…

    • #17
  18. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    It’s putting judgment on the other team, and this is a volleyball match. We’re not here to do that.

    That’s exactly what fans are supposed to do. Are they there to give hugs to the opponents?

    So I’m a little disappointed that happened. And our players apologized to the Maryland players after the match. There are other ways to express people’s opinions, but not right after ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and introductions.”

     

    And as I read the point of the post, how can anyone complain about political comments made by the fans when those comments were clearly in response to political comments (by the physical act of kneeling) by the Maryland players? If the Nebraska coach thinks non-sports comments by the fans are inappropriate, then he has to also think the non-sports kneeling by the Maryland players are inappropriate.

    Only if one is looking for consistency.

    Yeah, as a lawyer with an engineering education I do tend to look for consistency. I realize with frequent frustration that seeking of consistency unfortunately puts me at odds with much of modern culture. 

    • #18
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Someone needs to explain a few things to these young ladies.

    • For speech to be free, it has to include speech you don’t like.
    • The Maryland team, by choosing to make a statement, invited rebuttal.
    • They got some. Get over it.
    • #19
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Dr. Bastiat:

    There are other ways to express people’s opinions, but not right after ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and introductions.”

    Apparently, opinions are best expressed during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’. 

    • #20
  21. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    thelonious (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans?

    How the hell did that happen?

    Have you seen their football team? Not much to cheer for. Maybe their volleyball team is semi-competent.

    Do you know what the N on the Nebraska football team helmets stands for?

    ‘Nowledge.   [This joke works better verbally than when written down]

     

    • #21
  22. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Percival (View Comment): Nebraska Women’s Volleyball has fans? How the hell did that happen?

    Actually, speaking for the two long time football season ticket holders (since the early 1970s) I am quite close to, not long after being pushed out of their 35-yardline seats of 30+ years my relatives became frequent attendees of the volleyball games. They don’t seem to regret the trade at all at this point.

    Dr. Bastiat: This was a story in the sports section of The Freemont Tribune.  You can’t even escape this stuff in a midwestern small-town sports section.

    For what it’s worth, when I was growing up not far from there, Freemont was considered one of the bigger towns…it had a McDonalds, traffic lights, and an actual surfaced track that beat the hell out of running on that old cinder track we had. 
     

    • #22
  23. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    It’s putting judgment on the other team, and this is a volleyball match. We’re not here to do that.

    That’s exactly what fans are supposed to do. Are they there to give hugs to the opponents?

    So I’m a little disappointed that happened. And our players apologized to the Maryland players after the match. There are other ways to express people’s opinions, but not right after ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and introductions.”

     

    And as I read the point of the post, how can anyone complain about political comments made by the fans when those comments were clearly in response to political comments (by the physical act of kneeling) by the Maryland players? If the Nebraska coach thinks non-sports comments by the fans are inappropriate, then he has to also think the non-sports kneeling by the Maryland players are inappropriate.

    The left seeks to make everything political, and then gets angry when it gets political responses. (And the fact that the left sees such responses as illegitimate betrays the totalitarian nature of the left.)

    • #23
  24. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    It’s putting judgment on the other team, and this is a volleyball match. We’re not here to do that.

    That’s exactly what fans are supposed to do. Are they there to give hugs to the opponents?

    So I’m a little disappointed that happened. And our players apologized to the Maryland players after the match. There are other ways to express people’s opinions, but not right after ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and introductions.”

     

    And as I read the point of the post, how can anyone complain about political comments made by the fans when those comments were clearly in response to political comments (by the physical act of kneeling) by the Maryland players? If the Nebraska coach thinks non-sports comments by the fans are inappropriate, then he has to also think the non-sports kneeling by the Maryland players are inappropriate.

    The left seeks to make everything political, and then gets angry when it gets political responses. (And the fact that the left sees such responses as illegitimate betrays the totalitarian nature of the left.)

    Yes. It is acceptable, even commendable, to “protest” at any time in any place. But it is never acceptable to at any time criticize the protesters; that is hate speech.

    • #24
  25. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    It’s putting judgment on the other team, and this is a volleyball match. We’re not here to do that.

    That’s exactly what fans are supposed to do. Are they there to give hugs to the opponents?

    So I’m a little disappointed that happened. And our players apologized to the Maryland players after the match. There are other ways to express people’s opinions, but not right after ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and introductions.”

     

    And as I read the point of the post, how can anyone complain about political comments made by the fans when those comments were clearly in response to political comments (by the physical act of kneeling) by the Maryland players? If the Nebraska coach thinks non-sports comments by the fans are inappropriate, then he has to also think the non-sports kneeling by the Maryland players are inappropriate.

    The left seeks to make everything political, and then gets angry when it gets political responses. (And the fact that the left sees such responses as illegitimate betrays the totalitarian nature of the left.)

    Yes. It is acceptable, even commendable, for lefties to “protest” at any time in any place. But it is never acceptable to at any time criticize the lefty protesters; that is hate speech.

    There you go.

    • #25
  26. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Leftists can’t understand that they are leftists. To them leftism is goodness and reason itself and everything else is superstition and bigotry.

    To conservatives, ultimate goodness can be judged by G-d. To leftists, ultimate goodness can easily be judged by them.

    • #26
  27. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Leftists can’t understand that they are leftists. To them leftism is goodness and reason itself and everything else is superstition and bigotry.

    To conservatives, ultimate goodness can be judged by G-d. To leftists, ultimate goodness can easily be judged by them.

    And ONLY by them.

    • #27
  28. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Dr. Bastiat: This is what we’re up against.  Republicans can’t buy this type of publicity.  The Democrats get it for free.  And it’s absolutely everywhere.  This was not a political op-ed in The New York Times.  This was a story in the sports section of The Freemont Tribune.

    This isn’t publicity. It’s propaganda. As in a new religion’s version of the Roman Catholic Church’s missionary apparatus, the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (or simply the Propaganda Fide).

    Jan Jekielec recently interviewed Leftist populist journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon about her new book, Bad News: How Woke Media is Undermining Democracy for his series American Thought Leaders. She describes how wokism came to dominate academia and journalism. She uses a typical Left class analysis, which has some bearing in this case.

    The Amazon blurb:

    Something is wrong with American journalism. Long before “fake news” became the calling card of the Right, Americans had lost faith in their news media. But lately, the feeling that something is off has become impossible to ignore. That’s because the majority of our mainstream news is no longer just liberal; it’s woke. Today’s newsrooms are propagating radical ideas that were fringe as recently as a decade ago, including “antiracism,” intersectionality, open borders, and critical race theory. How did this come to be?

    It all has to do with who our news media is written by―and who it is written for. In Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy, Batya Ungar-Sargon reveals how American journalism underwent a status revolution over the twentieth century―from a blue-collar trade to an elite profession. As a result, journalists shifted their focus away from the working class and toward the concerns of their affluent, highly educated peers. With the rise of the Internet and the implosion of local news, America’s elite news media became nationalized and its journalists affluent and ideological. And where once business concerns provided a countervailing force to push back against journalists’ worst tendencies, the pressures of the digital media landscape now align corporate incentives with newsroom crusades.

    The truth is, the moral panic around race, encouraged by today’s elite newsrooms, does little more than consolidate the power of liberal elites and protect their economic interests. And in abandoning the working class by creating a culture war around identity, our national media is undermining American democracy. . . .

    Wokism and CRT are deliberately divisive, and deliberately destructive of what Ungar-Sargon quaintly describes as “democracy.”

    I think the italicized passage is very perceptive, as is her analysis of the media landscape today. I’d pay money to hear her talk to Steve Bannon, but I’m not sure she’s ready to burn the bridges that would set on fire.

     

     

    • #28
  29. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    It’s putting judgment on the other team, and this is a volleyball match. We’re not here to do that.

    That’s exactly what fans are supposed to do. Are they there to give hugs to the opponents?

    So I’m a little disappointed that happened. And our players apologized to the Maryland players after the match. There are other ways to express people’s opinions, but not right after ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and introductions.”

     

    And as I read the point of the post, how can anyone complain about political comments made by the fans when those comments were clearly in response to political comments (by the physical act of kneeling) by the Maryland players? If the Nebraska coach thinks non-sports comments by the fans are inappropriate, then he has to also think the non-sports kneeling by the Maryland players are inappropriate.

    The left seeks to make everything political, and then gets angry when it gets political responses. (And the fact that the left sees such responses as illegitimate betrays the totalitarian nature of the left.)

    Yes. It is acceptable, even commendable, to “protest” at any time in any place. But it is never acceptable to at any time criticize the protesters; that is hate speech.

    Indeed: The left believes it is commendable to use tactics of disruption and violence to silence those it disagrees with. “The left’s violence is speech. The right’s speech is violence.”

    • #29
  30. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    . . .It all has to do with who our news media is written by―and who it is written for. In Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy, Batya Ungar-Sargon reveals how American journalism underwent a status revolution over the twentieth century―from a blue-collar trade to an elite profession. As a result, journalists shifted their focus away from the working class and toward the concerns of their affluent, highly educated peers. With the rise of the Internet and the implosion of local news, America’s elite news media became nationalized and its journalists affluent and ideological. And where once business concerns provided a countervailing force to push back against journalists’ worst tendencies, the pressures of the digital media landscape now align corporate incentives with newsroom crusades.

    Did you notice Michael Moore’s comment, some years ago, that he preferred large corporations over small businesses? And liked to see small businesses get destroyed? Because small business owners were likely to hold opinions he disapproved of?

    • #30