Hate speech is not protected speech


To the editor:

(re: “Why does Alinsky get so much ink?” Nov. 9)

Here’s a suggestion to assist our neighborhood and nation out of the Trump era nastiness: As long as Mr. Alvin Gordon issues personal ad hominem attacks in his letters to The Riverdale Press, The Press should politely decline to give voice to such utter vitriol.

To you, Mr. Gordon, a clear example from the letter The Press unfortunately published Nov. 9:

“… he doesn’t have the brains or the arguments to do so …”

Or later, “… of these radical, liberal low-lifes …”

There is no market for this type of personal hatred in Riverdale, New York City, or this country. That is the voice we heard Election Day. How about you do your part, Riverdale Press, and help us clean up the dialogue? 

Mr. Gordon can edit these nasty hate-filled remarks out of his regular rants and continue to have The Riverdale Press publish his otherwise less-than-cogent remarks.

Many who read him do what we do when we hear the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., attempt to compose a full sentence: We tune them out. But the vitriol, the ad hominem attacks are out of place in our civilized society.

They are as much free speech as carrying attack weapons and wearing swastikas were in Charlottesville — they are not and should not be protected speech.

Mr. Gordon’s personal hatreds should no longer be condoned, nor encouraged, by giving public voice to them.

With so much to point out about local problems, Mr. Gordon, may I politely suggest, sir, that you focus on traffic issues, parking issues, street tear-ups with no notice, retail vacancies, Manhattan College student parties — all that need your loud voice to be heard.

Right now, I imagine most of our tolerant, accepting neighborhood just tunes you out, sir.

As they should.

Adam Stoler

Adam Stoler,