OUTRAGEOUS IMPRISONMENT: Two Britons — Simon Sheppard, a writer and behavioral scientist, and Stephen Whittle, a freelance writer and satirist — languished a year in American jails though they committed no crimes whatever under American law. They fled to the U.S. seeking asylum because they fell afoul of tyrannical anti-free-speech laws in Britain and faced imprisonment merely for expressing their ideas and publishing the ideas of others — such as Robert Crumb cartoons! — on a Web page. If anyone deserves asylum here, they do. The pair, dubbed the Heretical Two, are prime examples of our abandonment of our once-proud tradition of freedom of expression. They’ve now been forcibly returned to Britain, where they face sentencing for their “crimes” on July 10. Before we cast stones at Iran, we need to examine our own societies.
by Kevin Alfred Strom
SOME PEOPLE — most notably lobbyists for the world’s wealthiest ethnic group — would like to see “speech codes,” which make it a punishable offense to criticize persons who belong to certain “protected classes,” enacted into law in the United States.
These pressure groups have already gotten their way in many European countries, and people have gone to jail and had their lives ruined and their families devastated merely for telling the truth as they saw it — for saying that some racial groups commit a disproportionate amount of crime, for example; or for suggesting that some wartime propaganda stories might be exaggerated.
by Kevin Alfred Strom (pictured)
Free Speech magazine, December 1995
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This publication corrects some typographical errors and omissions which have been present since this article’s first appearance on the Internet in the 1990s. I would also add that the term “separatist” has become, in the intervening years, an opprobrious media smear word almost as frightening to two-legged rabbits as “supremacist.” The word “compound,” referring to someone’s rural house or business or intentional community, is another coöpted word which has been given newly-negative implications. – K.A.S., January 26, 2009
I RECEIVED an electronic mail message a while back accusing me of being a “White supremacist.” I won’t give the name of the person who wrote me with this comment, even though he left the message, including his name, in a public forum on a computer network that can be accessed by anyone. I won’t give his name because he didn’t give me permission to do so. I had left a message on the computer network, asking everyone who read the message to tune into American Dissident Voices, and giving our latest radio schedule.
NIETZSCHE QUOTE BANNED: At Temple College in Texas the philosopher Nietzsche’s words — Gott ist tot (“God is dead”) — have been ordered removed from literature Professor’s Kerry Laird’s office door because they were called “offensive” by a complainant. As Inside Higher Ed comments, “If quotes that some find offensive can’t be displayed, how many philosophers would be safe to quote on a door at Temple?”