The Pro-Hamas Protest Outside the White House Got Out of Hand

Did you know that many jurisdictions have laws against wearing masks that disguise a person’s identity, especially in circumstances where a person could legitimately feel intimidated?

You know, like at protests where people are shouting aggressively, committing illegal acts like vandalism, pushing people around, shouting violent slogans, and suchlike.

The laws vary by jurisdiction, and some have been validated by the courts and others have been struck, but they are common enough. New York, for instance, had an anti-mask law that was repealed during the pandemic, but a State Assemblyman has proposed reinstating it.

I, for one, think it is an excellent idea. 

Most mask laws were passed to deal with precisely the problem we are faced with today: people who, under the guise of political protest, break laws and use their anonymity to commit acts of violence and intimidation against some disfavored individuals and groups. 

The Klan was the target of many of these laws. Klansmen didn’t wear those masks because they liked to look like children pretending to be ghosts. They did so because the anonymity the masks provided them gave them license to do things that would get them in deep trouble if their faces were exposed. 

 The same holds true today, and everybody knows it. It is shocking to me that so many otherwise “empathetic” people can tolerate or even support the protesters at all, given not just their behavior but the extraordinary lengths to which they go to remain anonymous as they commit crimes and shout epithets at innocent people just because they are Jewish. 

Antiwar protesters have not, as a rule, been so ashamed of their opinions or behavior that they hide behind Keffiyahs and other masks. They have political opinions, make them clear, and stand behind their opinions. It is a much more effective measure of persuasion, for one thing. 

But persuasion is not the point; intimidation is, at least for the most part. The persuasion part of the propaganda equation takes place before our eyes as mainstream media mouthpieces repeat Hamas propaganda endlessly; the intimidation phase takes place on the street as masked thugs imitating brownshirts destroy things and intimidate Jews and anybody who supports them. 

I am a strong defender of anonymous writing and posting on social media. Words on paper or on screens don’t hit people, and unless the words are actual incitement, they are clearly protected speech. 

Intimidation isn’t speech and anonymous people shouting at you, getting in your space, using bullhorns to harm your hearing, and grabbing cameras isn’t speech and would be almost impossible to do if people weren’t anonymous. 

Legal protests, even for offensive ideas, should be defended. Speech should be rebutted with speech, not suppressed. 

But c’mon, man. These people are masked for a reason, and it has nothing to do with getting an idea across. It is to allow them to commit crimes without consequence, and in almost every case it works. Very few people who have committed crimes during these protests have been arrested or punished. 

As with the Klan in the bad old days, we should rip the masks off these fascists. Not because we want to dox them, but because they are using their anonymity to commit crimes. It is why Antifa wears masks, and why these awful criminals do. 

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