Trump-appointed U.S. attorney directly addresses white nationalists in blistering speech
First, Herdman made it clear that he was done talking to law enforcement and to the general public. Then he made sure to coddle the white nationalists a bit, reminding them that he’s familiar with the First Amendment.
And then the throwdown began.
Now let me speak generally to those who are advocates for white supremacy, or white nationalism. I am talking directly to you. The Constitution protects your right to speak, your right to think, and your right to believe. If you want to waste the blessings of liberty by going down a path of hatred and failed ideologies, that is your choice.
“Waste the blessings of liberty” is such a reproachful yet effective way to challenge these most vile of Americans while extolling fabled American values.
Herdman then reminds the nation’s hate groups that they can keep trying to convince Americans to join them in their tiki-torch-fueled chants and violent plots to destroy the country, but that this nation has heard this unoriginal song before and has fought back again and again—with its lives.
Democracy allows you to test those ideas in the public forum. If you want to submit your beliefs to the American people and get their reaction, please be my guest. Keep this in mind, though. Thousands and thousands of young Americans already voted with their lives to ensure that this same message of intolerance, death, and destruction would not prevail – you can count their ballots by visiting any American cemetery in North Africa, Italy, France, or Belgium and tallying the white headstones. You can also recite the many names of civil rights advocates who bled and died in opposing supporters of those same ideologies of hatred. Their voices may be distant, but they can still be heard.
Herdman echoes a common retort to grunts of “freedom of speech,” and turns similar shrieks about “inalienable rights” on their head.
Go ahead and make your case for Nazism, a white nation, and racial superiority. The Constitution may give you a voice, but it doesn’t guarantee you a receptive audience.
Your right to free speech does not automatically mean that people will agree with you. In fact, you have an absolute God-given and inalienable right to be on the losing end of this argument.
After reminding the nation’s Neo-Nazis of their rights, Herdman then tells them what rights they lack in the face of the rights of others.
What you don’t have, though, is the right to take out your frustration at failure in the political arena by resorting to violence. You don’t have any right to threaten the lives and well-being of our neighbors. They have an absolute God-given and inalienable right to live peacefully, to worship as they please, to be free from fear that they might become a target simply because of the color of their skin, the country of their birth, or the form of their prayer.