Last week, New York City approved a new directive making it illegal to threaten someone with a call to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or to use phrases like “go back to your own country” or “illegal alien” when motivated by hate.
New York City has made it illegal to threaten to call ICE based on a discriminatory motive or to tell someone “go back to your country.” Hate has no place here. pic.twitter.com/8PaIozjQty
— City of New York (@nycgov) September 26, 2019
The 29-page directive released by the New York City Commission on Human Rights includes numerous examples of acts or comments that would be prohibited under the law. Violators of so-called hate speech can be punished by fines up to $250,000 per offense.
According to one passage included in the directive, “The use of certain language, including ‘illegal alien’ and ‘illegals,’ with the intent to demean, humiliate, or offend a person or persons constitutes discrimination.”
The Commission openly admits that the directive is intended to be a rebuke of attempts by the federal government to crack down on illegal immigration, although as Daniel Horowitz repeatedly points out, no such crackdown by the Trump Administration exists. And while it’s tempting to dismiss the NYC directive as just the latest episode of “Leftists Gone Wild,” I think this could have long-term consequences on our liberty.
Right up front, the NYC directive is a clear violation of free speech rights. As recently as 2017, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that so-called hate speech is protected under the First Amendment. But putting free speech aside for a moment, the growing movement by the Far-Left to ban hate speech — and even criminalize it — could give them a foot-in-the-door toward dismantling the Second Amendment as well.
Before the impeachment circus began, Democrats — with assistance from Trump and the GOP — were pushing a batch of new legislation that would chip away at the right to keep and bear arms in response to recent gun violence. Included in Pelosi’s bucket list of “sensible gun control” measures is a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines and red flag laws.
But there’s been another piece of anti-Second Amendment legislation flying under the radar.
Named the Disarm Hate Act (DHA), this little-noticed bill would use hate crime laws to deny gun rights. Using similar laws already on the books in a few states as a template, the DHA would prohibit people convicted of certain “violent” hate crime misdemeanors from possessing a weapon. Currently, federal law only bans people convicted of felony hate crimes from gun ownership.
What is a violent misdemeanor hate crime? Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), co-sponsor of the Senate version of the DHA, describes it this way:
“Most commonly this category includes low-level assault, threats, harassment, and property damage.”