The Nazi-punching debate has continued to rear its ugly head, again and again, this year. Yesterday, Captain America actor Chris Evans seemed to enter the fray.
And this seemed to contrast with certain tweets Captain America and Secret Empire writer Nick Spencer was making at the time.
But, apparently, no. The adage about how you can swing your fists wherever you like as long as they are no closer than an inch from your nose – or someone else's nose – seems to come into play on this one.
Though, unlike Chris, he's not planning to do it himself…
The argument, from some, is that hate speech is the equivalent of throwing a punch. That the adage of "sticks and stones will break my bones but words can never hurt me" no longer applies – and certainly has never been successfully argued in a libel trial. That hate speech does not count as free speech.
The counter is that no, hate speech is free speech. The only free speech worth defending is the speech that you find abhorrent. The US is based on an ideal of free speech embedded in the First Amendment that gives everyone the same right, no matter how much society condemns it.
But there are those who see unfettered free speech as leading to action, that people have to be stopped until it's too late and suddenly… Chechnya.
Which, ironically, may well be the plot of Secret Empire, starting this Wednesday.