Friday, April 28, 2017

Pikeville passes law to appease racist rally

I get it. Free speech. I know city officials in Pikeville, Kentucky, can't legally stop a white supremacist group from Michigan from stampeding into town to hold a rally tomorrow.

Yet - strangely - free speech doesn't seem to apply to antiracists who oppose the rally's message. The city has just passed an emergency ordinance banning the wearing of masks. The law is targeted at antiracists who often wear masks while rallying against right-wing events.

Pikeville officials fell over themselves to show what First Amendment champions they are by allowing the rally - yet they won't allow counterprotesters to wear masks? The Lexington Herald-Leader reports there's "a concern in Pikeville because there has been information circulating on social media that anti-racists will protest the white nationalist rally." Shouldn't the concern be the trouble started by the racists, not their opponents? Indeed, a group called Anti-Racist Action reports that their members wear masks because racists had been photographing them so they could later hunt them down and attack them.

This is a classic case of "free speech for me, not for thee", but I'm shocked that city officials would be so flagrant about favoring organizations that are openly racist.


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