It’s time to appoint a Kenesaw Mountain Landis of Social Media
WASHINGTON. CNN is rightly being mocked for its ridiculous story, Everyday words and phrases that have racist connotations , insisting Americans self-censor least they be confirmed as racists.
“The words and phrases permeate nearly every aspect of our society. ‘Master bedrooms’ in our homes. ‘Blacklists’ and ‘whitelists’ in computing. The idiom ‘sold down the river’ is our everyday speech… But some of these terms are directly rooted in the nation’s history with chattel slavery. Others now evoke racist notions about Black people.”
A rare Republican candidate says no to self-censorship
It’s reminiscent of that time during the presidential campaign of 2016. That’s when ABC’s Chief National Affairs Correspondent Tom Llamas insisted GOP candidate Donald Trump refrain from using the term “anchor baby” when discussing the issues of birth-right citizenship and chain migration.
“I’ll use the word anchor baby,” Trump defiantly shot back.
Trump made it clear that he, unlike his primary opponents, would choose his own words and not allow the media to coerce him into self-censoring. It was a defining moment in the campaign that served him well when he became the nation’s 45th president.
Saying “no” to Big Brother
And Trump’s use of Twitter allowed him to respond bluntly to his critics and encourage his supporters. All without the interference of the fake-news media’s dissembling filter. His expressions of free speech sent his enemies into a panic. Because, as Orwell observed in his novel “1984”:
“The purpose of Newspeak [approved language under Big Brother’s rule] was not only to provide a medium of expression for… [a] world-view and mental habits… but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”
New media flexes its muscle
But the alternative media expanded by the Internet destroyed what control the fake-news media had over the national conversation and its influence over the American mind. And so, the fight to control language fell to the vehicles used by alternative voices to disseminate their message – social media platforms.
As Andrew Marantz noted in The New York Times – and paraphrased ad nauseum by the left’s Twitter mobs:
“Using ‘free speech’ as a cop-out is just as intellectually dishonest and just as morally bankrupt. For one thing, the First Amendment doesn’t apply to private companies [Facebook and Twitter]. Even the most creative reader of the Constitution will not find a provision guaranteeing Richard Spencer a Twitter account. But even if you see social media platforms as something more akin to a public utility, not all speech is protected under the First Amendment anyway. Libel, incitement of violence and child p**nography are all forms of speech. Yet we censor all of them, and no one calls it the death knell of the Enlightenment.”
And so, political dissent expressed on such social media sites as Facebook and Twitter is branded “incitement of violence and child p**nography.” All in the guise of protecting so-called “Enlightenment.”
A government monopoly for gangsters
And the protections granted social media by Congress, which shields them from legal and civil liability despite user content – that we were told was to further free expression – has become a weapon in the hands of these monopolistic multinational corporations.
And with the bipartisan approval of Congress, these social media giants have taken control of the national conversation with the outright banning of users and censoring algorithms that erase user content. Tactics are reminiscent of the gangsters of old.
They remind me of Arnold Rothstein. He was a gentleman that hated violence. That’s to say, any unpleasantness that might dirty his hands. He’s the gangster who transformed the thuggish street gangs of early 20th century New York into thriving providers of illegal gambling, prostitution, and fixed sporting events. He brilliantly transformed unorganized crime into a transnational association run like a Fortune 500 corporation.
Rothstein lieutenant Meyer Lansky said his boss “had the most remarkable brain. He understood business instinctively, and I’m sure that if he’d been a legitimate financier he would have been just as rush as he became with his gambling and other rackets he ran.”
But he’s also credited with transforming the national pastime, baseball. After Rothstein fixed the outcome of the 1919 World Series, the public outcry forced Major League Baseball to form a commission to protect the game from fixing gangsters and keep it honest. After all, the institution is a monopoly that enjoys US government-sanction.
At its head sat newly inaugurated Base Ball Commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who said:
“Baseball is something more than a game to an American boy; it is his training field for life’s work. Destroy his faith in its squareness and honesty and you have destroyed something more; you have planted suspicion of all things in his heart.”
Squareness and honesty
The gangsters of the left have dishonestly fixed the political playing field that is social media. These platforms need a commissioner to ensure they protect free speech, profane and divine, or lose their protections. Protections not even afforded The New York Times.
Wrong-headed Republicans like Sen. Mike Lee of Utah need to hear from their constituents. Recently, he foolishly told Fox News Radio he doesn’t believe Congress should crackdown on social media platforms for their censorship policies.
“It’s just a terrible precedent long term. This stuff doesn’t belong to the government. It’s not the government’s tool to play with. We need to keep the two of them separated.”
But like baseball, social media is a government-sanctioned monopoly that is obliged to operate under certain rules to keep the public’s “faith in its squareness and honesty.”
Sites like Facebook and Twitter need a Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis… a lot sooner than later.
Top Image: Social media image via Wikipedia,
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