After finishing a movie, I just happened to turn on the news to find out that there was a bombing in London – specifically at the Glasgow Airport.
I am only doing a news post, as there is plenty of good coverage out there right now (and I couldn’t even being to do it justice) :
Sky News – Be United, Resolute and Strong
ABC News – Flaming SUV Rams airport, 4 arrested
Thanks to Hot Air for the top-notch coverage. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of the U.K., I hope it doesn’t get worse in the coming hours.
Here is a question – does freedom of speech truly exist, or is this a fallacy that has been propagated over the years? Mind you, I am not specifically talking about the First Amendment which states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The government already has shown that limitations exist on free speech such as in the case of Brandenburg v. Ohio which states, essentially that the government cannot restrict speech unless it is “inciting and likely to incite imminent lawless action”. Also, as we’ve recently seen, the First Amendment does not cover obscene material either.
What I am talking about is the ability to say what is on your mind, in a public setting, without the entire nation calling you a racist. For example, Universities have the ability to restrict speech if racial, ethnic or sexual slurs are used and there are a number of cases where companies have fired individuals for blogging.
I understand that, in some cases, laws may have been broken (a blogger posted company secrets, a direct verbal or written attack may have been made) but what about someone who is just speaking their mind – even if you don’t like what is being said? What exactly does this mean for freedom of speech?
The truth of the matter is, I believe, is that we as free individuals should have the ability say whatever we want. We should have the ability to say nigger, boogey, jig, jiggaboo, skinhead, moylie, molignon, schvotza, jungle bunny, greaser, greaseball, dago, guinea, wop, ginzo, kyke, zebe, hebe, yid, mockey, himey, mick, donkey, turkey, limey, frog, zip, zipperhead, squarehead, kraut, hiney, geri, hun, slope, slopehead, chink, gook, bush nigger, cabbie, towel head, sand nigger, camel jockey, honkey, cracker, olive nig, beef curtain, goombah, twinkie, cupcake if we want to without automatically being called a racist by someone (or some organization).
These words, in and of themselves, mean nothing – they are just words. It’s the context of how the words are use, the emotion and experience(s) connected to the words and the individuals that hear them is what causes a problem.
It seems to me that society has become more sensitive over time (call it overly PC if you well), has selective hearing when it comes to certain things, and is ready to attempted to restrict you ability to say what you want at the drop of a hat.
One time I was out at dinner with some friends and I was telling a story about a how someone in my family was called a “spear chucker”. As the couple next to us got up to leave, the female came up to my table and said that I was a racist because of my use of “spear chucker” and that she was going to complain to the manager of the restaurant.
Subsequently, the manager came to our table asking us to pay our bill and leave because of our actions. I attempted to explain the situation but my story was falling on deaf ears – that is until my parents came, just by chance, to the same establishment. Once the manager looked at my family, he understood the situation and was extremely apologetic.
The woman who came up to the table didn’t hear the entire conversation (ie – selective hearing) but assumed that my actions and speech were inappropriate based on her beliefs and biases. I should have the ability to say anything without being penalized by society as long as I am not “inciting and likely to incite imminent lawless action.”
This is a muted example, but what about someone who is racist? What about someone who says zipperhead and means it when talking? The same should be true – they should have the ability to say it without being attacked by others.
Slowly, it seems as if those “rights” to express views are being modified and limited. Society has swung to the point where it is overly governing it’s own actions. We need to be careful because, eventually, this behavior or self-censorship will creep into other things. (like hunting, going to certain types of movies, certain places to eat – what have you) If one chooses to use this language, we as a people, need to recognize the actions for what they are – ignorant, uneducated, or insensitive.
We should let the actions of others reflect who they truly are and we, I feel, should not attempted to restrict them from being ignorant, uneducated or insensitive. We just need to recognize their right to freedom of speech… and then we need to recognize our right to think that they are assholes.
Today was a VERY long day and I didn’t have the ability to get online for most of it. There are a few things I would like to touch on before heading off to bed…
1st – Jessie Davis –
kELLEY made a comment in one of the posts:
“HOWEVER, WHAT IS UP WITH A 5 MILLION DOLLAR BOND? EVEN OJ ONLY HAD 1 MIL?”
Bail Hearing – As soon as possible following the indictment, the defendent should receive a formal bail hearing. A tentative bail is set by the judge on the arrest warrant; this gives the defendent an opportunity to contest the bail that is set while he or she awaits trial. To determine bail for a particular suspect, the judge takes into account
- Past criminal record
- Gravity of current charge(s)
- Flight risk
- Financial Situation
If the defendent poses little flight risk and the charges are not serious, the judge might release him or her ROR, (Released on Own Recognizance). This means that the defendent is not required to pay bail; the court feels that it is likely that he or she will return to stand trial. In the gravest cases, the judge might refuse bail, thereby forcing the defendent to await trial in jail
Every case is different – in this case, it seems as if the judge felt this number as appropriate.
2nd- R: London Terror
London was on alert after two bombs were found. I haven’t had a chance to read up fully on the situation, but there is a LOT of good coverage on the topic out there that I plan on reading tomorrow:
This just goes to remind us that it truly is a different world…
3rd – RE: iPhone –
In case you missed it, the iPhone came out today…. no, I did not get one.
4th, and final, RE- Comment by B on Jessie Davis
“B” had an outstanding comment to Mindy on the Jessie Davis story, as well as kept me in line with a point I was making – this is the email I sent to “B”
I just wanted to say you had an outstanding comments post at the site
today (I was away almost all day and I didn’t see it until now).
Also, thanks for questioning me on what Mindy said – I was referring
to the “cop” aspect of her comment, not that race was the cause.
Thanks for the feedback and input, I truly appreciate it.
Thanks for the posts, B, as well as keeping me honest!
I thought for a moment – asked myself if I was missing something – and then came to my senses. In doing so, I decided to search the news.google.com archive for the earliest stories on the case that I could find. Here is one from the AP (posted 6/21). Interesting, no mention of race at all in the coverage, but there was this:
“The little boy told investigators: “Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy’s in rug.””
“Authorities have repeatedly talked with and searched the home of the man who fathered Davis’ son, although investigators have said Canton police officer Bobby Cutts Jr. is not a suspect. Cutts, 30, says he had nothing to do with Davis’ disappearance. The woman’s family also says he is the father of Davis’ unborn baby.”
Did they say authorities have repeatedly talked with and search the home of the BLACK man who fathered Davis’ son? Nope, don’t think so.
Ok, so that is one story… what else is there? Cantonrep.com has a story about the surveillance tape of Cutts at sports bar seized. Here is what they say about Cutts:
“Cutts, a Canton police officer who was off-duty that day, came into Champs, a bar and restaurant on 30th Street NE, around 9:30 p.m. and didn’t leave until 12:30 a.m., according to bar owner John Shaheen.”
According the article was Cutts a BLACK police officer? No!
Now there are two random stories. Let’s take a third (just for shit and grins). This one comes from wkyc.com titled “Details emerge about boyfriend’s whereabouts in missing mom case”
“Early in the investigation, sheriff’s investigators said Davis’ boyfriend, Bobby Cutts Jr’s, alibi checked out. But when asked directly by a Canton newspaper reporter, Cutts would not speak of his whereabouts.”
Hmm…. No mention of Cutts being Davis’ BLACK boyfriend.
Mindy from the comment section put’s it best (spelling left as was originally posted):
interrational relationship has nothing to with the murder! I’m in a interrational marriage and have a mixed son just like Jessie Davis and my husband isn’t the sterotype rachel think he is. WHITE GIRLS get murdered every day while being pregnant or not by every race. Everyone is forgetting he is a police officer who killed his girl infront of his 2 year old son and then just left him to find for him self or maybe even die if no one found him.
Two out of the three stories do mention that Cutts is a police officer, one mentions the comments the son made… and NONE mention race.
Let me be very clear here. I DO think racial tension exists in the U.S., I just don’t think this case (as shown by the media when first reported) had anything to do with interracial sex. Sorry, Rachel, your claim that this is about interracial sex just doesn’t hold up. If there is anyone making this a racial story, it’s Rachel.
Update – please don’t complain that I didn’t take a random sample in my search for news stories. I did an ‘advanced search’ on google news with a date range from 5/19 to 6/23. The earlies stories came in on 6/21 and I pick three random from pages 1, 5 and 7.
So, Debbie over at Right Truth was having surgery today.
I wish her the best and hope all is well. The world needs more bloggers like her!