Letters to the Editor

The limits of free speech and antifa

Demonstrators march during a free speech rally last Sunday in Berkeley.
Demonstrators march during a free speech rally last Sunday in Berkeley. AP

Free speech fears

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, once a free speech advocate, has successfully stopped a free speech demonstration in San Francisco with her words. The kind of speech that she decried as hateful is exactly what the First Amendment protects. I abhor hateful, bigoted, racist speech, but I fear acceptance of the new black shirts who deny First Amendment rights far more.

Pat Whittington,

Citrus Heights

Antifa and the KKK

Re “How Trump and his supporters learned to love militant liberals” (Marcos Breton, Aug. 29): The KKK and antifa are flip sides of the same despicable coin. But because antifa has not been around as long as the KKK, you believe they should not be regarded as equally loathsome. Armed, masked, violent thugs who attack people for what they say are not “misguided,” they are evil. The president was absolutely right.

Paul Greisen, Sacramento

Free speech, hate

Re “Deadly online rap battle prompts Sacramento to move forward on controversial gang program” (sacbee.com, Aug. 29): Does “free speech” include fomenting violence against another person or against the property of others? I doubt the Founding Fathers saw this as an element of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court should interpret free speech in such a way that citizens can project their displeasure, but not overtly cause conflict or harm as a result.

Eileen Glaholt, Sacramento

The harm of antifa

Re “How Trump and his supporters learned to love militant liberals” (Marcos Breton, Aug. 29): Although correct in his critique of the president’s waffling on neo-Nazis and the KKK, Marcos Breton fails to fully address the damage done by antifa. They alienate moderate voters. And although the espoused goals of anarchists and leftist radicals exclude racism, the same was true of Bolsheviks and Maoists. Yet both killed with the same abandon as the Nazis. Radicals care more about their own power fantasies than improvements in society.

William Vizzard,

Sacramento

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