Thursday, March 13, 2008

What I Can Say

"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."

This is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Please read it one more time.

It is the most commonly referred to amendment from the Constitution. It is also the most commonly misused amendment from the Constitution.

It's trotted out whenever somebody says something that sparks controversy. Racists, sexists and idiots use it to justify their despicable diatribes. Most people believe it provides them with blanket protection from any retaliation for their most hateful comments.

It does not.

The first amendment's elegant simplicity proves that no statement, no matter how explicitly it is stated, is safe from idiocy. The myths and lies surrounding this amendment's intent give witness to America's lifelong love affair with willful ignorance. Despite this amendment's observable obviousness, very few Americans seem to grasp its meaning.

I beg you to read it again.

Nowhere does this amendment grant citizens the right to say whatever they wish. Nowhere does this amendment grant people immunity from the consequences of their comments. It simply provides citizens with protection from government persecution and the opportunity to protest what they believe is an unjust action. It allows citizens to start any religion that suits their needs and to assemble to discuss any idea. That is all this amendment does.

People who cloak themselves in the first amendment to deflect criticism are mewling cowards. They fear taking responsibility for their actions and instead would prefer to stifle the speech of those who oppose them. They deserve no respect, they deserve nothing but contempt.

Do not allow the tyranny of these simple-minded cowards to prevent you from decrying injustice in all of its forms. Do not allow them to force your silence through asinine appeals to sniveling sycophants. Know what your rights as a citizen truly are and vehemently reject any attempts to limit those rights.

Understand what freedom really is.

(Footnote: Apparently, Al Gore was also black.


vicdamonejr said...

Does this mean any rapper who says anything about "free speech" needs to sit down and shut up? It reads as though we should ALSO be protecting people from the idiocy that is consistently spewed at them be it someone from Clinton's camp, Howard Dean or 50 Cent.

Good post ...

RBL, Thoughts?

Big Man said...

If the government isn't targeting the rapper, then they need to sit down and shut up.

Now, if the government is trying to censor them or prosecute them for what they say, which has happened, then they have a legitimate complaint.

But if regular folks protest concerts or try to boycott somebody's music, I think that's well within the lines. A citizen's right to free speech does not protect from having to deal with the consequences of their words. It does not say that anywhere in the Constitution.

dewfish said...

thank you. This is one of the most intelligent posts I have seen on any blog for a long time.

Raving Black Lunatic