SEARCH BLOG: FREEDOM
These days, we have ways around that; cities that refuse occupancy permits, protest groups that attempt to intimidate those with whom they disagree, laws against "hate crimes"... many ways.
But let's step back. Over the course of our nation's history, semantic prestidigitators have been able to differentiate between free speech and assault. We have now reached the point, in many situations, where "my words are free speech and your words are assault."
The other day, I ran a post about a group calling itself Code Pink. This should not be confused with the women's group trying to combat breast cancer that uses pink ribbons as their symbol, but I wouldn't be surprised it that was not part of Code Pink's strategy... another noble "pink" cause. Code Pink is an organization dedicated in its opposition to the military and war.
While I disagree with their position and logic, I acknowledge their Constitutional right to assemble and say what they want.However, I want you to notice just this one aspect of their peaceful assembly and free speech:
- Hate crime stirs outrage on campus.
- U.S. Attorney Calls Noose Display 'Hate Crime,' Explains Lack of Charges
By Darryl FearsWashington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 17, 2007; Page A07
Under a barrage of questions from House Judiciary Committee members, a federal prosecutor said yesterday that the hanging of nooses at a high school in Jena, La., constituted a hate crime but that charges were not brought because the students allegedly responsible were juveniles.
I attended a religious service at Qazwini's mosque that was anything but pro-American and peaceful. Dressed undercover as a Muslim woman, I watched invited speaker Louis Farrakhan preach hate and violence to a very receptive audience of over 1,000 primarily Arab Muslim-Americans.
It was chilling to watch their and Qazwini's frenzied applause and wild cheering as Farrakhan preached about how our government was occupied by "forces of evil" and "people in positions of power with a Satanic mentality" and urged, "We should perform a jihad (holy war). [They are] frightened, and we must frighten them even more." Qazwini and a man whom I believe to be Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab-American News, called Farrakhan "our dear brother," "a freedom fighter" and "a man of courage and sacrifice." (Siblani denies this and claims it was Nouhad El-Hajj, publisher of the Arab American Journal, but Siblani's publication openly praises Farrakhan and his sentiments.) [source]
It appears that free speech covers those who advocate murder as long as it is politically-based or religiously-based, but not if it is racially-based... unless you happen to have a racially-based religiously based speaker such Louis Farrakhan.
I guess the difference must be that hanging a noose is "hateful" while holding a sign advocating murder of U.S. troops is "protected speech."Personally, I find that all three examples are highly repugnant examples of "free speech." Still, if almost-seditious speech is protected as "free speech", what's the big deal about a noose... or name-calling? It's all just talk, right?
Hate is hate. If one form is not protected, all forms are not protected... and vice versa.Protect all or protect none.
Intimidation is intimidation. Drawing the line because it is racial in nature is illogical. Religions that use force and intimidation are no different from individuals who do the same. "Protesters" who do that are no different from individuals or religions that do the same... whether the targets are abortion clinics or Marine offices.