“The right to free speech is a right I will defend to my grave. I understand why the US District Court is forcing Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, against their will, to run the ad equating Muslims to savages. These are rights, however, that come with great responsibility and I hope that Americans will always use them responsibly. The right to not support hate speech is also a right, which is why I encourage people to boycott, if possible, WMATA (and in other places, like NYC, where the ad is running) until the ad buys are finished. We do not have to support hate speech."
"Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have been a staunch proponent of civil rights and the right to free speech. I am also an unwavering opponent of hate speech and bullying perpetrated against all communities, regardless of creed, race, gender, sexuality, disability, country of origin, and immigration status. This is why I founded, and now chair, the first-ever Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, exercising my first amendment duty to speak out against bullying. The Metro ad’s timing is particularly poignant as October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month."
"I take hate speech very personally. During WWII, my family and I were interned with more than 120,000 other Japanese Americans. We experienced overwhelming racial discrimination, and hateful billboards and caricatures that equated Japanese Americans to savages were commonplace. We learn from history that hate speech and hysteria have dire consequences, the result of societal complacency, failed political leadership, and the lack of courage to stand up and speak out against hate."
"If we allow hate speech to penetrate public discourse and become normalized, we are creating an incredibly hostile and discriminatory environment for Muslim Americans – an environment that allows for discriminatory and questionable surveillance, much like I experienced. The American Freedom Defense Initiative, who sponsors the ad, is hiding behind their constitutional right to free speech, only to spread hate and disseminate ads that only serve to heighten tension and incite violence between Muslims and non-Muslims. The time to speak up, and to boycott, is now – because I know we can do better.”