am a Jew. It shouldn’t matter but since identity politics seem to be en vogue this year, I’ll get that out of the way now. I’m a Jew from a once sizeable Polish family that was exterminated at the hands of the Nazi regime in WWII, Poland. If not for my grandfather’s desperate efforts, I would not be here. I am named after my grandmother’s little brother who was only a child when he succumbed to the gas chambers. According to the skewed rules of identity politics, my sharing this identity information with you should qualify my opinion above the opinion of others who may oppose me with less obvious victimhood, and should render my thinking immune to any counter logic. However, I doubt that will be the case.

It’s relevant to establish that I am also a semi-practicing Jew, that knows his roots and has actively chosen not to turn his back on his Jewish identity. I say this to reinforce that I do not need the world’s righteous anger to remind me of what the Nazis did to my family and my people.  To be clear, the Neo-Nazis/White Supremacists of today represent some of the most rancid, insidious evil of humanity...and now by some deranged twist of fate, our world has descended into a an arena so convoluted and senile that I am compelled to speak on their behalf as nauseating as it makes me feel.

The Daily Stormer, an online publication at the forefront of the White Nationalist movement, makes it clear that they don’t like Jews or blacks; or liberals, or gays or an abundance of other people that aren’t them. Along with the “exterminate everyone” narrative they have adapted the less abrasive “don’t mix the races” mantra. They believe Jews to be the greatest of evil for manipulating global societies and intentionally perverting all decent European values and ways of life. Blacks are regarded as primitive beings incapable of civility.  They long for Hitler to finish what he started.

While we may find it hard to stomach, these hate mongers do have rights. Equal to that of every other American citizen. First Amendment rights that must be preserved beyond the reach of the law and practiced as a cultural norm within every facet of our society. Following the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the latest in the saga of angry people shouting in the streets, America sadly enters a new era.  One prophesized in Orwell’s 1984 and Bradury’s Fahrenheit 451, where sites with dissenting views, like The Daily Stormer are unitarily silenced.  In what might be the grandest unanimous display of false virtue signaling since the creation of the United Nations, mega-powerful companies like Godaddy, Airbnb, Google, PayPal, GoFundMe, Reddit, Facebook have now denied their services to The Daily Stormer. This act, despite the good intention fueling it, represents the disgraceful downfall of what this nation was founded upon. Escaping oppression. Freedom of thought guided the tenants that made the United States the land of liberty.. Those freedoms have now been compromised.

These entities reflect no courageous stance in the face of evil. Rather, what is on display is cowardice posturing by weak and feeble leadership caving to pressure for good publicity, regardless of right or wrong. No new charter was put in place by the KKK, white supremacists, or Neo-Nazis that didn’t exist before Charlottesville. These groups committed no crime. Quite literally nothing has changed from who they were prior to the protests at Charlottesville to who they are post-Charlottesville.  NO ONE, (especially not Google), can claim not to have known what these organizations were about beforehand. Their following was just as large. So does this suggest Google, GoDaddy, etc accepted wanting to kill Jews and blacks before Charlottesville, but now it’s much more publicly valuable to be against it? Now they were able to make a judgment on whether to be for or against Nazis? Shame on them.

The truth is, none of these companies should have denied their services to The Daily Stormer. Daily Stormer has the right to hate whomever they want. That’s what makes America the “land of the free”. And if we are going to stand for that ideal, and defend it, then we must always stand for that. Not only when we don’t like what’s being said.

Frighteningly, The Daily Stormer only represents the first sacrificial lamb of this new precedent of silencing. Soon others will follow. They already have. Right wing pundit Milo Yiannopolis, a homosexual Catholic of Jewish origin, has been banned from using Eventbrite’s services. Views which as of two years ago wouldn’t be controversial to most. Ann Coutler was violently stopped from speaking at Berkley. Ben Shapiro prevented from speaking at DePaul University. Black pastor Jesse Lee Peterson was banned from working out at his gym, Equinox.  Fanatics attempted to protest Dennis Prager from being allowed to conduct a fundraiser for the Santa Monica Symphony. Black conservative YouTube personalities Diamond and Silk join a growing list of YouTube channels that have been flagged and demonetized.  Commentator Lauren Southern was banned from making an income on Patreon. Psychology Professor Jordan B. Peterson was inexplicably banned by Google from using Gmail. These simply indicate the beginning of a pattern of behavior. Agree, or you disappear.

This has little to do with defending Nazis and everything to do with protecting our constitution.  The men who founded this country lived in a time where differing ideas were often punishable by death. That is why our founding fathers made freedom of speech not just any Amendment, but our first Amendment, as the guiding principle they felt most necessary to establish this nation. They had the incredible foresight to know how horrific a nation would be should it get into the habit of stifling free speech. But now, we’re expected to applaud these companies for doing just that?

Tolerance isn’t tolerating only ideas that you agree with. Tolerance more precisely involves tolerating the views you DON’T agree with. The ones that AREN’T popular. There is no need for tolerance otherwise. Intolerance of ideas that you do not agree with are the seeds of fascism.

There is a familiar adage, “with great power comes great responsibility”. It means that we aren’t all held to the same standard of responsibility because we don’t all have the same ability to negatively impact the lives of others. It means we must exercise caution. While an entity reaps the rewards of great power, it also reaps the burden of greater responsibility than those that have less of it. Power is quintessentially a principle of inequality. And those with less of it aren’t held to the same standard as those with it. Neo-Nazis and white supremacists yield far less power than the likes of Google or YouTube or PayPal. Google and its counterparts have been given the opportunity to lead by example by not behaving like the irrational mobs. They have failed miserably by silencing diverse perspectives and have set our incredible nation on a treacherous path.

In a time when more information is exchanged via the web than it is through books, YouTube and Google’s recent stance on silencing voices that differ from their own is reminiscent of a similar moment in time . A time when other great powers sought to rid the public of access to differing opinions. Back then, Nazi’s did it by burning books. Maoists destroyed historic monuments. All was done in the name of “good” in order to stop evil. Today Google/YouTube and its counterparts do so by controlling the electronic world we all live in.

I don’t fear Nazis taking over the United States. Their cause is hopeless. Limiting the flow of information to the masses strikes fear into me beyond the burning of crosses or the Sieg Hiels. Who will be silenced next?

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