Monday, June 13, 2011

A lesson in free speech

There was a KKK get together near here recently, I hesitate to call it a rally since so few KKK people showed up for it. They got together and shouted their same old tired bullshit, they love and are proud of their white heritage and blacks are inferior to whites blah blah blah. It's the same old shit with fewer and fewer people out in support of their sad hateful views.

Of course once word spread that the Klan was coming more word went out for the inevitable counter KKK protest. And of course more counter protesters showed up than KKK supporters did. And of course they shouted the Klan down like they always do. At this point it's all become kabuki theatre, all ritual and no substance. The KKK puffs out their chest and says, "At least we got to call spades spades and show how great we whites is." And the counter protesters puff out their many chests and say, "We stood firm against hate and the small minds of the KKK."

And then someone always says, "Why do we let the Klan have a demonstration anyways? They're a hate group, shouldn't they kept from taking to the streets to spread their message?" At this point is where I always pipe up and remind people that we should let the Klan take to the streets to spread their message. We should let Westboro Baptist and other homophobic Christians take to the streets to spread their hateful version of the gospel. We should let fundamentalist Muslims, Jews, Christians, Santeria, and whoever else wants to have a go take to the streets, the airwaves, to the internet, to billboards, to whatever to spread their message. Because if we don't and we start to tell people who can and who can't speak in public then we all lose our free speech. I hate most everything that the people on right wing hate talk radio say but they've got a right to say it. If we take away the right of the American Nazi party or the Delaware Free Love League to speak then where does it stop? Free speech means even people you disagree with get to speak. It doesn't mean you have to listen to them, or that you have to argue with them. It also doesn't mean that you have to invite them into you home, your business, onto your blog or your Facebook page to spread their hateful speech. The deal is, they get to say shit but you don't have to listen and you can actively ignore them and or mock them.

I want teabaggers to demonstrate. I want the KKK to hold rallies. I want the Nazi party to speak out. I want the labor unions to march and to strike. I want social justice organizations to hold street fairs and have marches. I want Greenpeace and PETA to hit the bricks and the airwaves. I want everyone of all political and social stripe to have their say. I'm not going to listen to all of it and most likely, I'm going to ignore a lot of what is said because I disagree with it. But I'm not about to tell someone they can't say something because I disagree with it.

9 comments:

Mnmom said...

I agree 100%. Even though they make me sick, the idea that someone can decided who speaks and who doesn't makes me sicker. As long as no one gets hurt - physically I mean.

Ole Phat Stu said...

Except Voltaire of course, everyone agrees he shouldn't be allowed to speak ;-)

John Shuck said...

Well said.

dguzman said...

Amen, Monkey. It's tough to hear the hate, the idiocy, and everything else, but I'd rather allow it than have anyone's speech stifled. That's the deal.

Lsamsa said...

I totally agree...it's one of the freedoms that the U.S. was founded on.
It's never a bad thing to bring to light & be aware of those who hate & would undermine those very freedoms.

Professor Chaos said...

Hey, this posting has been linked to by Crokks & Liars. You're famous!

Professor Chaos said...

Sorry, that should say CROOKS & Liars. http://crooksandliars.com/

harmfulguy said...

I'm perfectly happy to have the KKK and such groups reminding people how vile they are.

Batocchio said...

No disagreement here. Well said.