Posted on November 24, 2023

TikTok, Bin Laden, and Free Speech

Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, November 24, 2023

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Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America” — especially a version published at The Guardian since 2002 — recently became wildly popular on TikTok. According to the New York Times, #lettertoamerica had 14.2 million views. You can’t check that hashtag now, because TikTok banned it. The Guardian also removed the letter itself, because it was being read “without its original context:” “Therefore we have decided to take it down and direct readers to the news article that originally contextualized it instead.” This is what media now do: lather us with “context” rather than give us facts. TikTok claims it is ”aggressively” removing content.

The letter had been up for decades and is still easy to find. Those of us who remember September 11, 2001, remember the letter very well; there’s nothing startling about your enemies giving reasons for what they do. However, it got a new reception because Bin Laden listed Palestinians as the first among America’s Muslim victims. “The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals,” he wrote. The war in Gaza gave this charge new relevance, but Bin Laden had other complaints, such as sanctions against Iraq and alleged American support for the Russian war in Chechnya and Indian control of Kashmir. Bin Laden also accused America of racism because “the freedom and democracy that you call us to is for yourselves and for [the] white race only.”

Such charges weren’t surprising then and are familiar to anyone who has gone to college. However, some on TikTok called it a revelation that shook their worldview. According to the Washington Post, journalist Yashar Ali sparked the frenzy with a post on X.

Mr. Ali is reportedly homosexual so it would be interesting to know what he and Generation Z make of some of Bin Laden’s other charges. He blasted America for fornication, drug use, homosexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, and gambling — complaints that are dismissed contemptuously on social media when Christians make them. The letter also blamed America for supporting governments that prevent “our people from establishing the Islamic Shariah.”

Last year, TikTok banned Christian accounts when Vice complained about them and, in at least one case, removed pro-life messages. TikTok also banned “deadnaming” and “misgendering” when media told it to.

While “Christian nationalism” is a media scare term, social media are reportedly driving progressive young women to convert to Islam. Fox News said they were sacrificing modern “freedoms,” but Fox won’t get any credit for posing as defenders of “liberalism.” One scholar said these women are converting to Islam in “rebellion against the West” — against “capitalism” and “colonialism.”

That’s more plausible. Media, academia, and politicians call Christianity the “Western” religion and the West is racist. Thus, people (especially young women) looking for deliverance will find it anywhere but in their own traditions. In Submission, Michel Houellebecq warned that Islam would not “conquer” the West, but that a spiritually exhausted civilization would embrace a foreign religion. No one with power — certainly not our rulers — defends traditional identity.

The Guardian said that Western converts are trying to adopt a religion long “vilified” in the West, but it’s not that simple. The September 11 attacks were the greatest catalyst for Islamic proselytization in American. President George W. Bush groveled before Islam (famously calling it a “religion of peace”), Muslim immigration soared, and our foreign policy virtually wiped out Middle-Eastern Christianity. In recent years, popes have apologized for the Crusades, for persecuting Jews, for the slave trade, and for Christian schools for Indians in Canada. The Southern Baptist Convention has been on an apology tour about slavery and racism. The Guardian may claim Islam has been “vilified,” but it would be “Islamophobic” to drag it through the mud the way Christianity so often is. It may even enjoy more respect and fear among Christian clergy than Christianity itself.

Working with his senior staff, President George W. Bush reviews the speech that he will deliver to the nation the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, from the Oval Office. Pictured from left are: Alberto Gonzales, Condoleezza Rice, Karen Hughes, Ari Fleischer, and Andy Card. Photo by Paul Morse, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

Censoring the Bin Laden letter is incoherent. The problem is that even though the West now has “values” rather than race or religion, few agree on what those “values” are. Thus, while there is a consensus that praising Osama Bin Laden is wrong, neither the Left nor Right knows what to do about it. Journalists and the White House seem to want more censorship while some Republicans blame China. Neither understands the vacuum within our own society.

“There is never a justification for spreading the repugnant, evil, and antisemitic lies that the leader of al Qaeda issued just after committing the worst terrorist attack in American history — highlighting them as his direct motivation,” said a White House spokesman. “No one should ever . . . [associate] themselves with the vile words of Osama bin Laden, particularly now, at a time of rising antisemitic violence in the world . . . .”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, used the Bin Laden boom to call for “media literacy tools” in public schools so students can “understand how to spot conspiracies, theories [sic] and misinformation, disinformation and online hate.” This, she said, will allow the government to “better inoculate them from hatred and the spread of it.” However, she said the government would not push political beliefs, merely “find out what’s driving hateful behavior and intervene early.” New York is considering weakening its graduation standards for high school because it can’t teach basic skills. The governor’s “inoculation” would be propaganda against views she doesn’t like. California is also requiring “media literacy” classes for K–12, with the legislation’s author saying this will help prevent everything “from climate denial to vaccine conspiracy theories to the January 6 attack on our nation’s Capitol.”

Governor Hochul isn’t alone in wanting more censorship. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue called for a social media clampdown, especially “during the ongoing conflict during which antisemitism and anti-Muslim sentiment has exponentially shot up.” Anti-white sentiment is, of course, never a problem. The war in Gaza prompted Sacha Baron Cohen — whose entire career in films is ethnic insults against groups he doesn’t like — to continue his “serious” activism. He’s campaigning against “hate” by accusing TikTok of “creating the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis.” The European Union is also telling TikTok and X to “step up” moderation of “hate speech.”

Our “verified hate” series never runs out of hateful material against whites. TikTok banned pro-white speech after the ADL and other groups complained about it. White nationalism, “white genocide theory,” and Identitarianism are all banned, as are certain words. However, “disenfranchised” groups, “such as the LGBTQ, Black, Jewish, Roma, and minority ethnic communities,” may use normally banned words in an “empowering” way. There’s plenty of anti-white hate and whites can’t reply.

Some room has opened on X, though Elon Musk’s supposed dedication to free speech isn’t principled. Jared Taylor and American Renaissance remain banned, along with Nick Fuentes, Kevin MacDonald, James Edwards,, and many others. Elon Musk just gave the ADL a new concession, promising to ban anyone who says “from the river to the sea.”

On the other hand, Mr. Musk recently said that the ADL “unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel” because “they cannot, by their own tenets, criticize the minority groups who are their primary threat.” This clarified an earlier post in which he praised a user who accused Jewish groups of “pushing the exact kind of dialectal hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”

The White House therefore accused Mr. Musk of the “promotion of antisemitic and racist hate.” Fox News aired a segment in which hosts seemed not to believe anyone was anti-white. The network also seemed to side with liberal activist group Media Matters, which Mr. Musk has sued. Media Matters claims that X was putting ads for major corporations next to “pro-Nazi” content, though the suit contends Media Matters deliberately rigged an account to make that happen. Several commentators have accused Mr. Musk of possibly causing a “chilling effect” with this lawsuit, a term that evidently doesn’t apply to the bullying and economic blackmail from countless NGOs such as Media Matters. Major companies promptly pulled their ads.

Conservatives have no stomach for a fight. Even the latest controversy about TikTok shows how weak they are. While progressives push censorship, some conservatives blame China. Nikki Haley wants to ban TikTok. She blasted Bin Laden’s sudden popularity but claimed, idiotically, “That’s not America doing that. That’s China doing that.” It’s the millions of non-whites America has imported since September 11 and young whites who have never been told they can be proud of themselves who are “doing that.”

Nikki Haley is not going to promote pro-white speech online. She also wants to ban people from posting anonymously or using a fake name. Her real name is Nimarata. Senator Josh Hawley also wants to ban TikTok, and Wired therefore accuses the “far right” of “weaponizing” the Bin Laden letter. That’s because TikTok promotes non-white identity politics and quashes pro-whites. It would be a tactical gain if conservatives banned it for silly reasons, but any domestic replacement would look the same.

That is because America no longer has an identity. Even conservatives won’t defend America as white or Christian (let alone a “white Christian” nation.) Why should non-whites admire traditional American heroes? What can blacks see in George Washington, Mexicans in James Polk, or Muslims in the Pilgrim Fathers? Blaming China for chaos our own rulers have imported is a cowardly dodge. There’s no foreign enemy that threatens the United States. The enemies are within.

Look at universities. The American Council of Education found that in 1996, “students of color” were just under 30 percent of American college students. By 2016, they were 45 percent. White men are rare at many top universities: just 16 percent at Princeton, 11 percent at Stanford, and 9 percent at Johns Hopkins. Many of them are Jewish; there are practically no white Christians.

The Supreme Court’s ruling against race-based admissions left a loophole for diversity statements, so these de facto ideological tests will become more important for both students and faculty. Affirmative-action students will become anti-white, anti-Western professors.

Censorship will get worse. In an increasingly non-white America, government and NGOs will try to make peace between warring tribes. Whites get no representation or concessions. There will be no change until we demand it, and we can’t demand it on social media without being banned. “Democracy” without free speech is a joke. If citizens are passive units to be programmed top-down, why let them vote? Why consider them people at all?

Originally, Twitter banned only: threats of violence, promoting illegal activity, copyright or trademark violations, impersonating people, or publicizing personal information. This should be the standard. If it ever returns, we win. That is why our opponents hate free speech. The problem is not China, or TikTok, or even biased algorithms. Osama bin Laden never tried to take away Americans’ fundamental right of free speech. It’s our rulers who are doing that.