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Wendy Robinson: Criticizes Jay Fleitman’s column on freedom of speech

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Sunday, September 10, 2017
Criticizes columnist’s view on freedom of speech

This is a response to Jay Fleitman’s Sept. 5 column (“Freedom of speech under assault”).

He rails against the “shadowy group” antifa (which isn’t an organized group but a small grassroots movement) saying that it is “responsible for much of the mob violence that has occurred during this summer of political unease.”

This is ludicrous. Any Google search will reveal that pro-Nazi and white supremacist groups are responsible for the overwhelming majority of violence, both recently and in the past.

Fleitman further says, “Freedom of speech is clearly under assault in the United States,” and predictably blames “our universities” for being the “epicenter of this effort.” Somehow he seems to have missed the fact that “free speech” has become a far-right code word for legitimizing hate speech. This seems to me to be the real danger, especially in a time when our president has gone out of his way to normalize hate groups.

It is a shame that Dr. Fleitman is the only conservative (so-called) columnist the Gazette can find. I for one would welcome rational and informative discussion of conservative ideas. Dr. Fleitman’s overblown and misleading rants do not serve the community.

Wendy Robinson

Northampton