On Memorial Day, fittingly, the mayor of Portland issued a statement about the brutal attack on the MAX train Friday evening. The three heroes, two of whom lost their lives that day, who stood against Nazi terrorist Jeremy Joseph Christian as he menaced a pair of young Muslim girls, will forever be remembered in Portland as an example of the kind of decent human beings we must all strive to be. Mayor Ted Wheeler posted the following to Facebook Monday morning:
Although the ACLU has issued a statement saying that “censorship” is not the answer, the events being planned are certain to rub salt in the all-too-fresh wounds of a grieving city. Ironically, with the growing anti-fascist movement that has developed in response to the very real danger these modern day Nazis pose, it may be in their best interests to stay away, as the mayor suggests.
There is a sentiment that has been circulating about stifling these monsters’ right to free speech. That somehow Nazism is a set of beliefs, rather than an agenda that ends in genocide for those that don’t look like them. I would remind any reader here and all those who think this is “censorship” that not all speech is free speech.
Seventy-five years ago, the United States Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Walter Chaplinsky for “breach of the peace.” Foreshadowing today almost satirically, Chaplinsky was tried and found guilty after calling a city official a “damned fascist.” The Supreme Court found that the speech was not protected by the First Amendment, because it served no purpose other than to threaten and harass.
No one will argue, however, that the mayor’s idea for eternally memorializing Rick, Taliesin, and Micah is anything but perfect, especially announced on Memorial Day. While only Rick Best was a veteran, surely we can consider the battle against Nazis a war for the soul of our country.
Featured image via Facebook