“The City’s top job is public safety, and they are failing. Yesterday’s tragic murder is the most recent example.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted this firm statement on January 4, 2020 after a homeless man with a criminal history of violence murdered a restaurant employee Friday morning in south Austin.
You are exactly right.
I’m not attacking homelessness.
The City’s top job is public safety and they are failing.
Yesterday’s tragic murder is the most recent example. https://t.co/PMtGOmoYBM
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 4, 2020
Abbott took the Austin City Council to task for their controversial homeless policies that have created significant public safety risks.
“I’m not attacking homelessness. I’m criticizing the lawlessness promoted by the City of Austin,” Abbott tweeted. “The City of Austin must ensure its homeless policy doesn’t endanger the lives of innocent people—and the lives of the homeless.”
As Jacob Asmussen of Texas Scorecard noted, this entire controversy started back in June when the Austin City Council legalized the ability for vagrants to camp in public spaces across the city. In the blink of an eye, Austin residents witnessed their streets, sidewalks, and highways filled with campsites, trash, and tent cities.
This decision was met with fierce pushback from the public, which motivated law enforcement and elected officials to criticize the policy. Further, 55,000 citizens signed a petition demanding city council to repeal this ordinance. During the summer, citizens vigorously protested at townhalls, with some “ testifying to the harmful consequences of the law and angry that registered sex offenders were among those now allowed to sleep directly next to apartments and elementary schools.”
After fourth months of public backlash and a public warning from Abbott over public safety risks, the council reconvened in October and amended their policy, but they only ended up lifting a few parts of it.
Abbott was annoyed by the Austin City Council’s inaction and proceeded to send Texas Department of Transportation agents to clean up encampments under highways and help get homeless individuals sent off to nonprofits for immediate assistance.
The city of Austin is starting to set a series of bad precedents in terms of governance.
Although it has grown considerably thanks to its robust tech sector, its progressivism has clouded the judgment of its policymakers.
If it doesn’t take action to reign in the homeless situation, it will only beget further problems down the line.
A Week After Getting Kicked Off YouTube, Stefan Molyneux Gets Booted from Twitter
On July 7, 2020, right wing social media philosopher Stefan Molyneux received a suspension from Twitter, a week following his ban from YouTube. This move comes at a time when many people are questioning Big Tech’s influence on political discussion on the Internet
The ban was implemented without even so much as a warning, according to a report by RT. Molyneux explained the situation during a livestream. “It’s nice to see that Twitter is talking to tech journalists before they would talk to me,” he commented. The right-wing pundit asserted that he was suspended from the platform following the promotion of a new essay that details his values and beliefs. “It’s not hard to understand why powerful people might not want you to read what I wrote below,” Molyneux wrote in a note detailing his suspension from Twitter.
Molyneux is of the opinion that the campaign to deplatform conservative influences has begun to “energize” conservatives. He believes that his ban shows “who has the power and who doesn’t have the power.”
Twitter disputed the idea that he was kicked off for ideological reasons. Twitter provided a statement to CNN in which it contended that Molyneux “was suspended for spam and platform manipulation, specifically operating fake accounts.”
But others condemned Twitter’s decision and warned of a growing assault on free speech, expecting “the purge” to “accelerate.”
Fellow commentators such as Mike Cernovich were critical of this decision. He took it a step further by predicting that the group of renowned public figures who recently signed on to an open letter calling out cancel culture would not bother to defend Molyneux.
Cernovich tweeted,”The Venn diagram of people who just signed that Against Cancel Culture letter and those who will mention Stefan Molyneux being banned will be two wholly non-intersecting circles.”
The Venn diagram of people who just signed that Against Cancel Culture letter and those who will mention Stefan Molyneux being banned will be two wholly non-intersecting circles.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 8, 2020
Molyneux is the host of Freedomain Radio and was permanently unpersoned from YouTube on June 29 after supposedly being in violation of the site’s “hate speech” policies.
Molyneux’s removal comes at a time when Big Tech is putting the clamps on all forms of right-wing dissent.
As the 2020 elections approach, this kind of censorship will likely increase against figures who actually stir the pot.
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