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Imus, Jessie, and Al; it's not racism, it's freedom of speech

A Column by the Editor

web posted April 16, 2007

COLUMN – With the recent firing of Don Imus by CBS and MSNBC for saying he thought members of a basketball team looked like “nappy-headed hos” I just had to ask myself, who owns speech? It seems right now Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton think they do. I hate to tell them, and the national media, no one owns speech – it is free and you do not have a “right” not to be offended. In fact, freedom of speech was to make sure some people were always offended, especially politicians. The FCC has even come out saying Imus did nothing wrong.

Most talk-show hosts and most Americans think the “I-man’s” comments might have been offensive, but say he has every right to voice his opinions. He certainly should not have been fired because Jessie and Al got offended. He probably should have gotten a raise for that.

Of course, if Jessie and Al get involved, it’s all about race. I don’t know if anyone bothered to tell the race-baiters that there are white women on the basketball team too, but somehow they do not matter. It was only the black players that they cared about. The only issue here is that the two need to feel important and they will take any issue and blow it way out of proportion in order to grow their own personal wealth. They could care less about the black race; they just want to exploit it, not help.

Somehow Jessie and Al have made this a race issue - it is not. It is a free speech issue. It is a matter of whether or not one man is allowed to speak his mind regardless of the content of that speech. The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has rightly supported the First Amendment throughout our history but some on the left care little for Constitutional rights.

A man wearing a T-shirt that read “(F-word) the War” during the Viet Nam War at a public meeting was arrested for refusing to take off the shirt. The Supreme Court ruled it was protected speech, especially at a public venue. You do not have to like the message, or support it, but the person has the right to say it. In fact, recent rulings have supported your right to cuss at politicians during public meetings. The sign on the Edgefield County Council Chamber door stating "no signs" is also unconstitutional and should be removed. Who named them the arbiters of free speech?

The free flow of ideas is what makes America great. If everyone I offended, or who offended me, had to stop speaking out no one would be able to say anything. That would make for a boring a totalitarian world.

And if some speech is okay and other speech is not, who gets to decide what is allowed? You, me, somebody else? Should it be the blacks, whites, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, conservatives, liberals, communists, socialists, skin heads, black panthers, the kkk, Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, southerners, yankees, movie stars, Japs, Jews, spiks, polocks, wetbacks, rednecks, wops, kikes, crackers, honkies, Christians, atheists, wiccans, gays, straights, bi-sexuals, poor, rich, middle class, muslim terrorists, nappy-headed hos, or the mentally retarded? If I left anyone out I am sorry for the omission.

I am a firm believer in the right to free speech. I don’t like hearing radios blasting so-called songs calling women, mainly black women, “bitches and hos”, while sitting at a traffic light, but I put up with it. Does it “offend” me? Yes, and it should. But you don’t see me running around calling for the person listening to it or playing it be arrested or fired from their job. That is ignorant, and the person playing or saying such things is ignorant as well in my opinion. But that is their right. You have the right to be as ignorant as you want to be.

The problem is not about what someone says it is about what no one wants to hear, the truth. Society was much better off before “political correctness” deemed special nonexistent rights to "certain" people and not others. Some schools actually do away with the Valedictorian at graduations because it might “hurt someone’s feelings”.  Who cares what some bed-wetting feel-good liberal thinks? If you don’t want your child to “feel bad” because they made bad grades, make them study.

I am sick of pandering to the lowest common denominator of mankind as the benchmark for everything. If you are stupid, do not be offended when someone calls you stupid. I think stupid people should have to wear bright yellow vests with the word STUPID written on it. That way when you see them doing something stupid you don’t have to worry and yell, “Hey! What are you doing? You're going to… Oh, you’re stupid, nevermind.” You can just avoid them and go on your merry way.

In the end, I could not care less about what some nappy-headed fool like Jessie Jackson says about some ignorant stringy-haired shock-jock like Imus in an effort to get him fired. I don't listen to any of them.

I do care about freedom of speech.

If they can shut one person up, they can shut all people up. Sounds like the book burnings of Nazi Germany to me. Why is it that the left always supports things that remind me of Nazis, promotes the defeat of America, is in support of Islamic terrorists, or is designed to stop a free debate of ideas?

If you are "offended" by this column, sound off on it in the Wandering Minds, send in a Guest Column, or write a Letter to the Editor. If you support censorship or the suppression of speech, I will not post your comments just to make you happy.

Not really, but think about how that made you feel when you read it. You never know, I might just end up being the "one" that gets to determine what can and cannot be said.

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