How private property destroys free speech

December 1, 2017 - 2 minutes

A message to my conservative countrymen

When we worry about the liberals, and democrats trying to strip away free speech by calling it hate speech, we need to consider carefully the means by which speech can be suppressed, considering outside elements other than the first amendment, which makes free speech exist on paper. To depend on the first amendment alone to respect our freedom of speech would be naive and foolish.

How does private property do this?

The most common case I have seen is removing someone from a private property, for espousing opinions the owner does not like. An example would be when a man in New York was evicted for displaying the confederate flag on his window. I know that conservatives normally are in favor of property rights, but I would ask if this is worth your first amendment rights. Should wealthy (and mostly liberal) landowners be able to tell you what you can/cannot say in public? Even in most cases, you cannot enter a public, government owned building and protest. If I went to the capitol building in St. Paul and protested and yelled, I would be removed from the building. So I find myself asking if free speech exists in reality, or just on paper here in the United States.

In most cases when I visit a smaller town, all the property as far as the eye can see is privately owned, so if this is the case that you cannot say things the land owner doesn’t like without being forcefully removed, then we can say the downtown areas of mostly everywhere don’t have free speech, that the only people wielding free speech are those on private property they own. For me, this is far too limited for speech, free speech should equally exist whether I be in my bedroom, or the middle of downtown Minneapolis.

So I ask my conservative friends, are you willing to put up with this? Or are we going to keep losing our free speech rights to land owners? Yes, we will have to be inconvenienced, and we will have to listen to things we don’t want to hear; but one day you will be the person trying to talk, and those who want convenience will try to shut you down.