Friday, February 19, 2021

First Amendment, Right?

Arguing that the Proud Boys have a right to express themselves or that Parler is a site that should be sanctioned and carried by Amazon is like saying that Al Capone had the right to perpetrate the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Which brings up the question of the Second Amendment. Does having the right to bear arms include semi-automatic weapons? Within the context of the Insurrection of the capital, there's the question of the time between Trump’s inflammatory utterances and the attack of what had essentially become a lynch mob (who’d actually come equipped with a gallows). But let’s look at some other examples of free speech. What about Clarence Thomas talking about “Long Dong Silver” to Anita Hill? In theory you could say that’s not different than what Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt did in their magazines. However, the difference was that neither of these pornographers had a captive audience who they were able to coerce by virtue of seniority. Back when they were being published, you went to the newsstand and bought your
 Hustler or Playboy and you might even have hidden it in a brown paper bag. For many years the publication of Mein Kampf was forbidden by the state of Bavaria, which was the copyright holder. Free expression was an issue in the Charlottesville riots. Why didn’t Virginians have the right to display Confederate monuments? Well, let’s say you were a Holocaust survivor, what would you think about a bust of Hitler being displayed outside your synagogue? Gets complicated. Remember the ACLU's defense of neo-Nazis parading through Skokie? Does freedom of speech include threatening to execute a political opponent, as Marjorie Taylor Greene has done? Were the Mob’s rights violated when they were silenced by The Untouchables?

Read "White Meat, Breasts" by Francis Levy, The Evergreen Review

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