I doubt that Shakespeare, when he penned those words in The Tempest, was anticipating that one day there’d be an Internet platform called GAB, whose basic operating principle would be this: Free speech means you can offend, criticize, and make memes about any race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Sick and tired of the double standards for “acceptable speech” and “protected classes” on both the left and the right.
The boldface lettering is mine.
There is a huge difference, and one worth noting, between criticizing the acts of others and offending people you don’t like. Offense for the sake of offense should be considered unconscionable, though it passes for criticism in the age of Trump.
And “protected classes” is so loud a dogwhistle that even the dogs are blocking their ears. Who are those protected classes, after all, except every religious, ethnic, racial, and gender minority who continue to endure persecution, not only from rabid white supremacists, but also from garden-variety bigots like the president.
Donald Trump didn’t shoot anybody last Saturday, but he provided the consent, the license, his trademarked thumbs-up—provided the oxygen for Robert Bowers to gather his weapons and take them to a Pittsburgh synagogue on October 27, 2018.
In the three days since, Trump has continued his own personal attack on the protected classes—this time the caravan of displaced and impoverished Hondurans seeking asylum. As per Trump’s misuse of the military, 5200 soldiers will stop them. With guns, I presume.
Robert Bowers will never see the light of a free day again, but it would be foolish to think that there aren’t more like him, quietly taking their marching orders, not unlike those soldiers, from the leader of the free world.