Tag Archives: Freedom of Speech

It’s Not What You Say

We all remember that from our moms, right?

It’s not what you say, but how you say it.  It may be true to some extent, but as the divide between the left and the right seemingly gets wider, it is also about what you say.

Before I got sidetracked by the whole Duck Dynasty fiasco, I had started writing about how a seemingly unimportant topic can morph into a hate fest.  How our opinions can no longer be discussed in a civil manner, and hatred has replaced understanding.  It is almost impossible to respectfully disagree with someone without being branded as “the enemy.”

Where has common sense gone?

What started me down this path of thinking was a Facebook post.  It was about this picture of our President.

creepy obama

To be honest, I thought the story was stupid.  Somehow it was trying to state that the photo was proof of Obama’s communist intentions.  I didn’t get it, but if you would like to read the entire short article, you can find it here:

http://conservativebyte.com/2013/12/creepiest-obama-story-yet/

But it wasn’t the story that really got me thinking, it was the comments that followed the story.  Although the section right above the comments stated that the website had “no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior,” right below that the first comment contained almost all of those things, minus the all caps.

billwhit1357

Arrogant Narcisstist Homosexual Penis Gobbling Muslim Pig is what Obama truly is! I truly wish he would be giving a speech on National TV and his head explode in a red spray of hair, teeth, and eyeballs! That would be a true Blessing upon our Nation! In fact, I would even dance in the street like a pig muslim on 9/11, while singing “The Wicked Witch of the East is Dead”!

I did not edit this.  That is exactly how it appears on the site.

Let’s jump forward to that whole freedom of speech thing we have been hearing so much about over the past two days.  Is this protected speech? I guess,  but it could also be taken as a threat against the President.  Which by the way is a federal offence.  Even worse than the comment itself, twenty-six people “liked” the comment.

But this was not an isolated offense.  From the same comment section:

094870 

I would love to have one so I can take it to the range also. I used saddam husein pic. at the range and filled his face with 15 holes from a 9mm two months ago and it gave me such a rush. I know how to shoot well.

Do you see a pattern starting here?

There were plenty of comparisons to dictators past and present, but there were also a number of comments like this:

MoDeVille
Barack is a gay communist jerkawff.

or this:

vietnamvet1971
Alah, Alah, this Evil Muslim, Homosexual, Pervert, Lying, piece of Trash, is a Jerk.

All this hatred and intolerance from a dumb story about an over-sized picture hanging in an embassy in London.  Where does this come from?

And that brings us back to our old friend Phil Robertson.  Yes Phil, you do have the right to say what you like and to express your opinion.  And so do you billwhit1357, 094870, MoDeVille and vietnamvet1971.  But it also gives me the right to call you what you really are:

Hatemongers.

I have a number of friends that have opinions that are different than my own.  Hell, I have members of my own family that are politically opposite from myself.  Yet somehow, we all manage to get along just fine.  We can have conversations and exchange ideas, and no one has to resort to name calling or blowing someones head off.

Maybe it time we all took one more piece of advise from mom.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

The Free Speech Dynasty – or – The Real Reason Phil Robertson is No Longer on TV

The end of Phil Robertson’s Dynasty has nothing to do with free speech.  Before we all get our panties in a wad, let’s start with some basic facts.  The Duck Dynasty star did not get put on hiatus because he spoke an opinion that he felt homosexuality was a sin.  That is simplifying the facts way too much.  Phil Robertson was put on hiatus for saying this:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

It is probably very possible that part of the reason he was suspended was also because he said this:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

But don’t just take my word for it.  Read the whole article for yourself.

http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson#ixzz2nxWwbOMt

duck-dynasty-gq-magazine-january-2014-01

Now, back to those wadded up panties.

Before we all start screaming and shouting about Freedom of Speech, let’s look at the actual text of the First Amendment:

“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.”

What law did the Government make that caused Mr. Robertson to lose his job?  None.  The Government, the First Amendment, and Freedom of Speech do not apply here at all.  Big, bad Barack Obama did not slap Phil on the wrist in this case, a privately owned company did.  No one stopped Phil Robertson from saying the things he did.  His rights were not infringed upon.  And the company he works for was also within its rights to protect their image by taking action when he spoke in a way that they felt tarnished their network.

Character clauses exist with most contracts, and I have a feeling there was probably one in place here.  Most companies have a code of conduct.  This covers everything from dress codes to requesting days off.  It most often will also cover conduct outside or away from the job. In my own job, we have rules about social media and the public image of the organization.  I myself can be suspended or fired for something I say in a public forum.  This does not in any way infringe on my rights.  I am aware of the risk, and I know that the things I write and say could affect my job.  If I choose to write something here in this blog that is restricted by my company, I must also be ready to face the consequences.

Phil Robertson’s rights have not been infringed upon, no matter what the usual group of alarmist will say about this situation.  No one stopped him from saying what he did, and more importantly, no government body or law stood in his way.  If you don’t like the way Phil was treated by A&E, you can boycott the network or write a blog of your own.  You can even leave a reply here, but remember, I have the right to delete a comment if I feel it is inappropriate.  And the people who run this website also have the right to edit or remove content that violates their terms of service.

None of these things violate the First Amendment or our Right to Free Speech.

The most powerful part of Free Speech, is knowing when not to say something even though you can.

duck panties