Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee has proposed a truly disastrous bill that would make it a federal crime for white people to criticize any non-white person or group, even if they’re speaking out against injustice. This proposed legislation is so convoluted and overbroad that it puts anyone who may express an opinion, regardless of their race, at risk of being convicted of a federal crime.
What’s even more concerning is the fact that the bill does not take into account the distinction between valid criticism and hate speech. Under this measure, everything from posting about Shelia Jackson Lee’s abuse of her staff to expressing disagreement with the Black Lives Matter organization could be considered “vilification” and thus become punishable in court. The inclusion of “or” in section (B) is also troubling as it gives prosecutors the power to interpret arguably any remark as “vilifying”.
Furthermore, this law could be used to silence political dissidents by claiming that their comments incited “white supremacy inspired hate crimes”. This means there’s no requirement for prosecutors to prove any real connection between these two people, leaving many open to unjust prosecution for simply having opposing views. Given all this, it seems clear that this bill has less to do with justice and more to do with controlling certain forms of speech by stifling free expression and political discourse.
It’s outrageous that Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee would propose such an authoritarian measure which tramples on our Constitutional right to free speech. Americans should not have their First Amendment rights taken away in order satisfy someone’s totalitarian agenda under the guise of protecting minorities from hate speech. This proposal must be rejected by Congress so that we can continue our discussion on injustices without fear of criminal repercussions.
This is not how we bring our country together. This causes nothing but division.