Letter - Editor's column on free speech misses key point

The premise of your Oct. 26 commentary (“Want free speech? You’ll hear things you don’t like”) is at best flawed and misleading and at worst is a piece of propaganda. In this column, you do not distinguish between free speech, the right to speak our thoughts and opinions without government interference or retaliation, and unprotected speech, which includes threats and messages that transmit hatred and may provoke violence.

Since you did not distinguish between free speech and unprotected speech, you misled your readers into believing that businesses, donors and scholarship givers should not have the right to choose who benefits from their hiring or their generosity.

When the editor of The Hinsdalean hides the difference between free speech and unprotected speech to make her point, which is to protect anti-Semitic hate speech, when she thinks that chants of “gas the Jews” reverberating on the lips of anti-Semitic protesters is an exercise in one’s freedom of speech, when she does not see the disconnect in a sovereign nation’s right to protect its citizens from being brutally slaughtered and blames the nation of Israel (which was created by an act of the United Nations in 1948) for the terrorism that occurred on October 7, then the murder of 6 million Jews during World War II has taught her nothing about hatred. — Donald and Barbara Schardt and Dorothy (Schardt) Hoffman, Hinsdale