Be Quiet, They Are Listening

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Blacklisted Series, #3

Disclaimer: Our living history programs are not political. We have been forced to discuss First Amendment Issues because Cancel Culture is threatening our livelihood.


Bad ideas can get you eaten

Literally.  That’s why freedom of expression — the power to ridicule and counter bad ideas — is so important.  That’s why you shouldn’t lose your employment with the state, or your vendor status, for engaging in political ridicule.  No, the state does not have the right to boycott your business because they don’t like your political speechNo, the state does not have that freedom.

Wait. How can bad ideas get you eaten?

Watch the 2019 film Mr. Jones tonight.  It’s based on a true story, set in 1933, about Stalin’s “Holodomor,” a socialist man-made disaster that left millions of Ukranians dead of starvation.  At the time, the respectable purveyor of news, the New York Times, via Pulitzer prize winning Walter Duranty, was running cover for Stalin’s brutality.  When Welsh journalist, Gareth Jones arrives in Moscow he registers a spooky silence among the Moscow press corps.  No one is talking because too many of Stalin’s men are listening, and they can’t talk about a horror so gargantuan that it would be easy to disbelieve: Stalin is killing millions of his own people through forced starvation.

The story has a triumphant ending, primarily because Western Civilization values a debate. If you lived through that time, however, “respectable” American leftists were defending Stalin in the name of the “workers paradise.”  The New York Times would have scoffed at your “paranoia,” even as 12 million Ukranians were being killed — many of them eaten for supper.  Yes.

Am I being dramatic?  Maybe, but a few of you defend university administrators who ban conservative speakers.  Many of you defend Claremont Unified School District’s decision to blacklist my business for my own personal, political speech. Many of you don’t appear to understand where that could lead.  First, they ban an NRA supporting businessman like me.  Next, they ban anyone who forgets to use the right pronouns.  Pretty soon there is a very dangerous orthodoxy that could get you fired for making the wrong joke.  This kind of thought crime fundamentalism gets more and more legalistic, and pretty soon even the well-meaning progressives who initiated the “pure-think” start to fight with themselves, and they consolidate power to avoid mission drift.

Do we really believe Americans are eternally protected against the sort of totalitarianism the Chinese and the Russians and the Cubans and the Cambodians and the Venezuelans have had to endure?

First Amendment liberty — even if it ends up offending you — is your best protection against political tyranny.

Our lawsuit will encourage the state to apply an even standard — or face massive penaltiesWill you help me put fear in these two-faced jackals?  I want to raise $10,000 in the next 72 hours.


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This post was written by Jim Riley

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