The State of California is prosecuting Mark Feigin, 41, for posting insulting comments on the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC)’s Facebook page.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra maintains that Feigin does not have the protection of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment free speech right because his insults are in violation of Cal. Penal Code § 653m(b), which says:
Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact by means of an electronic communication device … to another person is … guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith or during the ordinary course and scope of business.
According to People of the State of California v. Mark Lucian Feigin, between Sept. 17 and Sept. 25, 2016, Feigin posted five insulting comments on ICSC’s Facebook page, before ICSC banned him from commenting further:
- “THE TERROR HIKE … SOUNDS LIKE FUN” (written in response to the ICSC’s “Sunset Hike” announcement).
- “THE MORE MUSLIMS WE ALLOW INTO AMERICA THE MORE TERROR WE WILL SEE.”
- “PRACTICING ISLAM CAN SLOW OR EVEN REVERSE THE PROCESS OF HUMAN EVOLUTION.”
- “Islam is dangerous – fact: the more muslim savages we allow into america – the more terror we will see -this is a fact which is undeniable.”
- “Filthy muslim shit has no place in western civilization.”
Becerra maintains that:
- Feigin’s insults violated Cal. Penal Code § 653m(b) because his intent was to annoy and harass:
- “his repeated annoying and harassing posts on the ICSC Facebook page were made with the specific intent to annoy and harass the members of the ICSC”.
- “Rather than attempt to engage in discussion or debate, Defendant’s posts are cruel and pointedly aimed at dismissing an entire religion and those who practice it.”
- Having violated Cal. Penal Code § 653m(b), Feigin is no longer protected by the First Amendment right of free speech — “It is unlikely that a person could engage in the proscribed conduct and still enjoy constitutional protection.”
- Furthermore, while Feigin “can post whatever he pleases on his own Facebook page,” his First Amendment right of free speech does not extend to him going “go to another Facebook page and post whatever he likes, free of consequence for his actions.”
Becerra concludes: “Protected speech? Political speech? Defendant’s posts on the ICSC Facebook page are neither of those things.”
It’s not just California’s attorney general who’s hostile to free speech.
InfoWars points out that a 2017 survey by the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies found that a majority of registered voters in California (46%) believed that “We have gone too far in allowing” demonstrations by white nationalists, whereas 43% still believed that “the right to demonstrate should not be restricted”.
Although, not surprisingly, Democrats (53%) and Liberals (49% of “very liberal” and 58% of liberals) are more hostile to white nationalists’ right to demonstrate, as much as 42% of Californian Republicans and 43% of Conservatives also believe that white nationalists should not be allowed to demonstrate.
And although, as expected, non-whites are more inclined to restrict white nationalists’ right to demonstrate, as many as 40% of non-Hispanic white Californians also believe that white nationalists should not have the free speech right that the Constitution accords to everyone.