Thursday, December 19, 2013

Freedom is a rather messy thing


All Americans have the constitutional guarantee to freedom of speech.  This allows the KKK to march on public streets.  It allows that dreadful woman from Alaska to publish her inane ramblings in books.  It guarantees my right to any bumper sticker I want on my car and to say anything I please on my own blog or facebook page.  It allows that kook pastor in Florida to burn any Koran he owns.  And yes it allows creepy stars on reality TV to express their views.

BUT . . . . .

That reality show is a privately owned company.  And capitalism working the way it does, that company has every right to tell said star that they won't tolerate such words on their channel.    No one said he can't state his views, no one is accusing him of a crime.  Nobody says he can't write a book, or a blog, or letters to the editor.  But the folks that own A&E feel his words will hurt their bottom line, so out he goes, and THAT my friends is free speech and capitalism, all rolled up in one.  And sometimes that sandwich ain't tasty.

If I'm a waiter and I tell some customers they're fat and lazy for eating out, and really shouldn't be ordering the french fries, I'd probably be fired, agreed?  I exercised my right to free speech, meaning I did not commit a crime, but I will most definitely lose my job.  The firing is NOT an infringement of my free speech.

Remember how the right wing media and conservative voters were ready to tar and feather the Dixie Chicks for speaking THEIR views at their very own concert???  And how some country radio stations refused to play their music??  Where was their outrage over the Dixie Chicks' rights to free speech?  The Dixie Chicks suffered public backlash and a loss of commercial revenue because of their words.  And that is the very same capitalism/free speech shit sandwich.

Have your views, state them loud, but be a grown up and face the commercial consequences.  Freedom isn't always neat and pretty.

 


1 comment:

kathryn burke said...

Free Speech is a b*tch when you do not agree with the views?
Ain't it?

Free Speech is for everyone and you are correct that it is a messy process.

I hope we can stand together in our differences of opinion, and not tear each other's personhood down.

Respectfully,
A sometime reader