You may have noticed our Facebook page was down for part of the day last Friday. Apparently, Facebook had received a number of complaints about a story we’d posted last March regarding the establishment of the Republican Party.In it we described how the Party had been established in 1854 to break the chains of slavery and ensure the unalienable rights endowed by the Creator of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would be for all Americans.
We also reported how the first black members of the US House and Senate were Republicans. The first civil rights legislation came from Republicans. But it was the Democrats who gave us the KKK, Jim Crow, lynchings, poll taxes, literacy tests, and failed policies like the “Great Society.”To drive home the point, we included a famous statement made by Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson as he confided with two like-minded governors on Air Force One regarding his underlying intentions for the “Great Society” programs. Interestingly, the original link we used for the quote was taken down, but you can still search for it. Fair warning: it includes a racial epithet.
Apparently, quoting the words of a U.S. president qualified as “hate speech” and so our page was blocked. We were not condoning the words – in fact the whole point was to expose them. But nonetheless, Facebook determined it was hateful.
According to their posted Community Standards, “Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.”But clearly Facebook has its own standards for what is hateful, serious or humorous — and what is not. Somewhat hypocritical standards, if you ask me.
For just days ago, a reader, Mr. D. Goodman, shared with me the results of his complaint to Facebook about “hate speech.” He complained about some pages, which gave a rather hateful suggestion to Jesus Christ and Christianity. As you can see below, Facebook had no problem with that at all.
Of course not. These days, Christians are fair game for everyone. It’s not hate speech, it’s just a “free expression of ideas.” Of course, if you express thoughts about Islam, for example, you may be barred from speaking at a university (as happened to Muslim women’s activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali), arrested (as happened to a British politician for quoting Winston Churchill) or murdered (the fate befalling Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh).
If the N-word is so heinous (and we clearly find it to be), then why is it celebrated culturally in rap music, sports locker rooms and motion pictures? Why is it acceptable to use it in those contexts, but not in the context of quoting a U.S. president? Perhaps because the president in question was a liberal progressive?Some may say these two examples are purely anecdotal, and we would love to have this theory disproved. But it certainly seems Facebook has its own hypocritical liberal agenda for controlling debate.
Are we wrong on this?
(And by the way, just in case Facebook once again takes umbrage with our posts, you can always sign up to receive our email updates here).