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Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Etched in bronze on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” perfectly encapsulates the ethos of America. For those seeking refuge, America is the beacon that shines brighter than all.
Although the U.S. is currently undergoing a cultural panic over how to proceed with immigration from certain areas, or how to properly handle a potential crisis at their Southern border, the fact of the matter is the U.S. takes in more immigrants than any other country in the world, and it’s not even close.
To leftists in America, President Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric solidifies him as a bonafide racist. Open borders, an idea that was not regularly spouted by the mainstream left until Trump’s presidency, aimed to crack down on irregular migrants from Mexico. For those that need help and are fleeing danger, for those that need a voice, many on the left believe that they should be able to call America their home, regardless of documentation.
But as it clearly turns out, all of this is political fodder. Although we keep our arms open to those from other countries, those same ideologues have decided that there are people in their own country who should be purged from society.
Social media giants, namely Facebook and Google, have recently gone out of their way to ban prominent provocateurs such as Alex Jones, Laura Loomer, Gavin McInnes, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, and Louis Farrakhan.
Let there be no confusion, this is censorship, plain and simple. Companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook have a worrying about of influence over public discourse. When these companies can decide that someone’s words are too controversial, and that their platform should be taken away, there is a massive problem.
There is no real alternative to these platforms. It’s fair to say that Facebook, Google, and Twitter form a sort of modern equivalency to a public square. Where people’s voices can be heard, and opinions can be formed.
Though of course there are other social media platforms, say MySpace for example, the tech giants that control our conversations own a monopoly on discussion. Other websites exist, but no one actually uses them. Not to any meaningful or impactful extent. If someone were to be banned from the three aforementioned platforms, they are taking away their voice.
Not only can they no longer speak online, their reputation as someone who is deemed too dangerous for Facebook can prevent them from speaking at Universities, or other similar events. Events that would generate income, allowing them to have a livelihood. Would any sane person hire someone too “dangerous” for the internet? It’s a major risk most would not be willing to take.
What’s most frightening is that the decision to silence provocateurs has been celebrated by many. Not only have the people themselves been silenced, but conversations that paint the exiled as anything less than a criminal is also banned. To speak positively of the banished now makes you banishable.
Though the left continue to keep their arms open to people of colour seeking refuge from overseas, they have also decided to purge their own nation of “people of colour-ful language.” Provocateurs and merchants of outrage are not undeserving of their own place to speak, are they?
Who is there to accept the tired, the poor, and the exiled? Those who yearn to breathe, and speak freely? We cannot let this become the new normal. As virtuous as these companies try to appear, it feels as though something more malicious is at play here.
Unelected, unknown figures are in control of our conversation. Who is there to keep them in line? Who is there to ensure their decisions are balanced and represent their platform’s view? Who watches these watchmen?