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Freedom of speech for me, but not for thee

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From the Associated Press:

DALLAS — Southern Methodist University shut down a bake sale Wednesday in which cookies were offered for sale at different prices, depending on the buyer’s race or gender.

The sale was organized by the Young Conservatives of Texas, who said it was intended as a protest of affirmative action.

A sign said white males had to pay $1 for a cookie. The price was 75 cents for white women, 50 cents for Hispanics and 25 cents for blacks.

Pinko leftists are essentially fascists and hypocrites, as this story underlines. They believe in freedom of speech for me, but not for thee. The authoritarian or fascist nature of this jumps right out at ya, don’t it? Then there is the lying hypocrisy.

Speaking of lying liars:

A black student filed a complaint with SMU, saying the sale was offensive. SMU officials said they halted the event after 45 minutes because it created a potentially unsafe situation.

“This was not an issue about free speech,” Tim Moore, director of the SMU student center, said in a story for Thursday’s edition of The Dallas Morning News. “It was really an issue where we had a hostile environment being created.”

Getting shut down had NOTHING to do with the content of the speech, see. It was just a safety hazard to have this hostile environment being created. Mr. President, I smell a big fat commie rat. If it was even a fairly extreme fringe left wing speech or demonstration, I bet they’d have had the governor calling out the National Guard before they would have squelched pinko speech.

Name me even one incident where even the cheesiest anti-war protest, say, was shut down by police. “Conservatives might get mad” is not considered a legitimate reason to limit free speech- nor should it be, nor would any conservative expect it to be. If some right wingers were out destroying a press run from the Ball State Daily News, I’d be back at the ol’ alma mater myself with a baseball bat to give the fools an attitude adjustment. If the shoe were on the other foot, however, I’d simply be commiting a “hate crime.”

What are they saying here with this “hostile situation” business anyway? Obviously the right wingers were not violent. Were they saying that the blacks or Latinos would be expected to become uncontrollably agitated or violent? What’s their beef? They were the ones getting the super-discounted cookies.

That’s pretty ugly, but would come close to some kind of reference point with reality. There have been pretty numerous instances in recent years of various left wing and minority groups being horribly uncivil, shouting down speakers they don’t like or engaging in serious vandalism, especially and least excusably on college campuses.

The NAACP sponsored Maryland gubernatorial debate last year springs to mind. No kind of right of center group would be tolerated in engaging in such behavior as went on there- nor should they be. Such a demonstration would be widely reported as a scandal, and denounced heartily and rightly by folks all across the political spectrum. Yet this ugly incident, nationally broadcast on C-Span, was not even considered a story.

Left wing types are known for shouting down conservative speakers on college campuses. At least one or two college newspapers had their papers stolen and destroyed wholesale in an organized manner for daring to accept a paid advertisement from David Horowitz’ group arguing against reparations, for example.

Affirmative action isn’t even the point here. Personally, I think the campus conservative groups who have sponsored these bake sales have a pretty strong point. Perhaps, though, you could have a discussion, with some liberals explaining why this bake sale does not make a good comparison to affirmative action. Then the conservatives could answer with their own argument.

Well, no they can’t, cause they’ve been shut down by The Man.

I don’t much appreciate when right wing types occasionally go on censorship drives, usually against pornography. They are at least being consistent with their stated principles, though. Further, going after smut peddlers might be seen as the start of a slippery slope, but it’s still only on the edge. These kind of thug left wing tactics, however, are a straight shot at substantive political expression- the main central point of our whole idea of free speech.

Now, if the expression of your incorrect thoughts is determined to be “offensive” by the subjective whim of an Officially Oppressed Person, then you may just be screwed.

Somebody stop me before I offend again.

Oops- too late.

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  • Name me even one incident where even the cheesiest anti-war protest, say, was shut down by police.

    Kent State.

  • Eric Olsen

    Jackson State, Chicago Democratic Convention, but I assume Al meant recently.

  • These kind of thug left wing tactics, however, are a straight shot at substantive political expression- the main central point of our whole idea of free speech.

    yes, very much like the right-wing thuggery on full display during the dixie chicks don’tbadmouthourpresidentduringwartimefromanotherlandyoubitches…


  • Granted that some of the reaction to the Dixie Chicks was overblown, but cussing them a little ain’t thuggish. That’s OUR free speech. No one tried to have the cops shut them down, or stop them from speaking. There may have been some petty vandalism, but that’s just dumb criminality that no one would support.

  • Doc

    SMU is a private university…how does the first ammendment apply to what they did?

    As usual, another wacked conservative nutbag gets cranked when anything happens that stops white christian right wingers from doing whatever the hell they want. Cheers, mate. 🙂

  • debbie

    “cheesiest anti-war protest”

    Oh, Puhleese! Are you really comparing a riot to a bake sale??????

  • debbie

    Al, you know better, if you are a Republican you are not allowed to have free speech. All of your positions are “hate speech” and because of that are not allowed to be voiced!!

    If people got upset with the Dixie Chicks and decided to voice their complaint with the radio stations and with their checkbooks, that is “hate speech”, we are not allowed to do that!!! How dare we make up our own minds and boycott something, we have to buy their drivel or we will be called “hate mongers”. It is really amazing how upset the Dems get when we use their tactics…you know the whole boycott thing.

    As for the horrible bake sale….to hold a bake sale to point out how rediculous and wrong racial preferrences are in this day and age is just “hateful”, instead they should be doing what the cheesiest anti-war protesters did to get shut down by the police….you know, have a riot…throw mozeltof cocktails at human beings, destroy property, overturn police cars, throw rocks, break windows, burn, loot…. That would make it legitimate in the Democrats eyes.

  • i never complained, not once, about people saying they disagreed with the chicks…that they should be boycotted, etc. those comments are well within their rigts.

    what i think is pathetic, and also pretty much 180degrees reversed from our freedom of speech principles…is the idea, screamed from the conservative mountaintops…that the chicks:

    a) had no right to say what they did
    b) that somehow, they are anti-american
    c) if they think that way, they don’t deserve to live here and should get out.

    dissent is an important thing…i think it’s what it means to be patriotic…i posted a quote from Theodore Roosevelt during all of this mess, and what did i hear from the conservatives?


    crickets on a summer evening.

  • bhw

    A couple of comments.

    First, the big problem with the Dixie Chicks scenario wasn’t the consumer reaction. It was the reaction of the corporations that own the radio stations: the wholesale banning of artists who dared to voice dissent by powerful corporations. Consumers should boycott whatever or whomever they want. Corporations shouldn’t try to ruin a career because the artist dared disagree with their buddies in the White House.

    Second, the bake sale should have been protected by the school. It does no good to stifle a protest, *especially* when you don’t like the message the protesters are sending. People who disagreed with the bake sale were free to express that disagreement.

    And third, I find the message of the bake sale very interesting. White male students seem to be complaining that there are different standards for admission at SMU. They focused on race, and to some extent, gender. Well, what about other differing standards, like those for athletes. Everyone knows that many athletes on scholarship at big schools got in even though their test scores and h.s. grades were, let’s just say, not up to par. Are those white kids with good grades complaining about the athletes who got in? Do they boycott sporting events? Is it okay to admit a black student with low test scores to school [and pay his way, too] as long as he scores lots of touchdowns?


  • …are any of the white guys ‘legacy’ students?

  • Poor, poor damned Dixie Chicks. Whining pinkos need to give it a frickin’ rest. They were not censored, nor did anyone propose such. No one was trying to shout them down at their own concerts. No one was stealing crates of their CDs to keep other people from hearing what they had to say. No cops were called in to shut them down.

    The Big Corporations don’t have to play anyone on their stations that they don’t want.

    However, it’s not even a question of what they want, but of what the listening audience wants. Clear Channel could give a rat’s ass about the Dixie Chicks political beliefs, but a good portion of their audience was (rightly or wrongly) highly pissed with the DC. At least for a minute there, some portion of the audience would have been motivated to absolutely turn the dial when they came on- which is the main #1 thing the corporation can’t abide.

    Conversely, if the audience was hot to hear them, the Corporate Masters would not deny them. They don’t want their audience turning the dial to look for the DC somewhere else, whether or not the Corporate Masters agree or disagree with the sophisticated political thought of Miss Natalie.

    Does someone really think that Clear Channel bosses were sending down word to knock out the act that everyone wants to hear because the word has come down from the Bush administration? Puh-lease. As if Dubya gave a rat’s ass about these silly, inconsequential fools. Do you think they’re willing to wreck their business over nothing?

    Overall, pinkos hold far too high an opinion of their own import. The random dumb opinion of the Dixie Chicks was not of any consequence in the larger picture of public affairs. Some country music fans were pissy for a minute, but it’s ridiculous to imagine that the White House even cared one way or the other.

  • pinkos?

    you got a handy dictionary of stereotypes leaned up against your thesaurus or somethin’?

  • I wish I had noticed this entry sooner, but better late than never. Here is a look at the anti-affirmative action bake sell from a legal perspective.

  • A bake sale is a hostile environment? That’s great–just label anything that you find disagreeable as “hostile” to justify coercive censorship–and relieve yourself of the burden of having to debate the merits.

    If the conclusory opinion piece to which you link is supposed to be from a “legal perspective,” where are the citations and specific discussions of case facts and reasoning? Talk about false advertising.

  • Gee, Chris Arabia read a blog entry not written by a fellow conservative. I’m flabbergasted!

    And, yes, a bake sell, particularly along with other activity that singles out minority students for abuse, can be part of a hostile environment. I believe that is what SMU officials are trying to avoid.

  • First off, welcome to the party, Ms. Diva. Glad to hear from you. Also, the column to which you link was, surprisingly enough, fairly honest in intent, and actually addressed the free speech issues involved- particularly considering that the site appears to be another pseudonym for Yourself- not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    However, “J”‘s analysis appears to be utterly arbitrary. You can just declare anything controversial to be “incitement.” That point is obvious, as Chris has pointed out.

    The interesting point to me here, however, comes from your spin on these types of arguments. Here as elsewhere, you refer to things from a “legal perspective.” You may somewhat have a legitimate point that someone might be able to get away with using some of the arguments you offer in order to justify gross violations of people’s liberties.

    However, this serves more as an indictment of our legal system than as an argument against bake sales or for reparations. You are not really even attempting to argue to a point of defending the justice, practicality, majority support or constitutionality of these positions. All you’re saying is that you think it plausible that some judge might be persuaded to support your position.

    This helps explain why the pinkos are so set on their extraordinary ruthlessness in controlling the judiciary, where their plans would be sunk if there were plain old legitimate judges content with simply applying the laws rather than making up their own.

  • “Gee, Chris Arabia read a blog entry not written by a fellow conservative. I’m flabbergasted!”

    mac, i take the time to read your sources and you respond by ignoring my arguments and insulting me? oh yeah, you are an intellectual giant.

    funny, i don’t remember being dimissed as a conservative ignoramus when you were endorsing my proposed resolution of another race issue, the confederate mascot situation.

    now that i have committed the crime of disagreeing with you, you resort to cheap insults and demonization. and you fail to address the substance of my arguments–again. this performance hardly distinguishes you.

    because you constantly proclaim your intellectual superiority: it’s “bake sale,” not “bake sell.” you have made that error more than once–otherwise i wouldn’t point it out.

    i’m curious–isn’t the bake sale treating minorities much the way the university itself treats them, i.e. lowering the requirements to obtain a benefit (a cookie as opposed to admission). wouldn’t that make the university a hostile environment?

    is that a poor comparison? it might be. i guess we’ll never know, because people like mac have confused the need to confront differing views with actual hostility.

    it’s a bake sale!

  • Eric Olsen

    The “spirit” of the sale was one of parody, which is “art,” but this parody was carried out in real life, which is another matter entirely. This was performance art – the point was not to sell cookies, but to make a point about affirmative action on campus, which conceivably could have been construed as creating a hostile environment.

    The way around this would have been to declare it performance art in advance, or to hold the sale from a stage.

  • One could even argue that the instead of complaining that the bake sale was shut down, it was actually the final act that they needed to make this a big deal. If the sale is carried off without any problems and everyone ignores them, then what kind of message do they get to send/deliver? Shutting it down was kind of like the final act which makes the play worthwhile.

  • Also, I don’t want to pile on in a name-calling accusing way, but I noticed on the last long thread involving Mac that you did in fact spend an awful lot of time with singling out people and insulting them. You obviously have a lot to say, just kind of send it in a different package so it doesn’t make me cringe.

  • interesting take, eric, but i must differ thusly: it was political expression above all, and i fear that if the bake sale = hostile, then pretty much any protest that offends anyone = hostile. that’s WAY too much discretion for the authorities. when in doubt, let them speak!

    and craig makes an interesting point that reminds me of the skokie-nazi case (note for morons–this is a procedural point, NOT substantive). the nazis chose skokie because it was the only municipality to bother responding to their permit request. this bake sale case made national headlines because of the pc police banning speech–absent that, it would have been just another obscure protest.

    btw, “smug prick” — hilarity!

  • Chris, I have a question. Who are the “authorities” in this situation? SMU is a private institution right?

  • SMU is private. but i find this point to be a diversion in an evening gown.

    in a general sense, if smu wants to be a university that does not observe the first amendment, i suppose i’d let them live with that. but if they are going to use first amendment law rationalizations for their censorship, they should expect first-amendment based criticisms.

    the campus police will bring in the real police, and there is the threat of coercion and arrest even with private univ police, which means a reasonable fear of state power used to chill expression, which i think is a much stronger argument than this bogus “hostile” nonsense. if the SMU people didn’t disperse, they’d get arrested, eventually, and therein would be a violation–unless you want to go with a disturbing the peace line, which misses the point, much as it would if you had clubbed the lunch counter people for disturbing the peace.

    SMU receives federal funds. if they want to forego the federal funds and worship enver hoxha, fine.

    what i find disturbing is that a side of the debate famed for its history of protest in the face of tough odds now wants to use the same tactics that once endangered them. as if thuggery itself is okay, as long as the right people are the thugs. do they think racism is okay, as long as the right people are racist?

    open debate. let the proselytizers proselytize, let the idiots idiotize.

  • Taloran

    According to yesterday’s edition of USA Today, which I happened to read while waiting for a plane, the officials at SMU are now retreating from ever having stopped the bake sale in the first place. They say they “suggested” that the organizers stop the sale, and the organizers “acquiesced.”

    Typical revisionist history.

  • Jason Stuart

    First I would like to go back to comment made early on by Al in regards to the dixie chicks thing. He said “cussing them a little ain’t thuggish. That’s OUR free speech.” In determining expression not deserving of constitutional protection, lewd, profane, defamatory, insulting, or “fighting” words are not considered under first amendment protection. It is considered worthless speech. You can probably thank Zechariah Chafee for that.

    In the issue of bake sales I would say that the individual has the right to voice their opinion and even to protest affirmative action, but the question is whether the bake sale itself is or should be a protected form of said expression.

    One aspect of this is whether the bake sale is to be considered speech or action, symbolic or crossing the line into physical reality.

    It is also important to mark a difference between public and private universities. The precadent for understanding this difference was set up in the speaker ban, wherein it was established that campus visitors coming to speak could not be denied based on their politcs, except that private institutions could. This is why I appreciate that the issue of private unviersities spending federal funds has been made an arguing point.

    I would also like to point out how the educational institutions in their statements about banning the bake sales seem to refer to a potential for hostility, etc. This falls into outdated reasoning that is not longer used in the courts to determine free speech cases. The reasoning of the schools takes no heed of Bradenburg v. Ohio. And I have trouble seeing how a case could be made for bake sales falling under incitement, though I haven’t completely ruled it out as a possibility yet. As far as I can tell it doesn’t seem like they are provoking anyone to any specific action. But on the other hand, they don’t seem simply satisfied with intellectual ascent, but the bake sale looks to have the intent of stirring people up in its design.

    But, in regards to the bake sale, maybe you could make grounds against it on the aspect of balancing. If you manage to come up with an outlook that makes a seriously valid case for the concerns of the society/community that could out weight the freedom of speech, then you could have a chance for banning bake sales. I personally think this is the place to make the strongest case against bake sales.

    In my opinion, bake sales seem a bit too provacative, and also holding too a high potential for the harm others. I do beleive though that the views expressed should be discussed openly, but just in a different forum–one a little less inflamitory.

  • Mr Stuart, thank you for your thoughtful comments, but I must question this statement: “In determining expression not deserving of constitutional protection, lewd, profane, defamatory, insulting, or “fighting” words are not considered under first amendment protection.”

    You’re lumping a whole bunch of things in there. Where did you get this list, and when did which of these lose their protected status? Was there a constitutional amendment lately that I’ve missed?

    Are you saying that my suggestion that the Dixie Chick could “hide her bitch ass under the bed” if she found Dubya scary might not be an example of constitutionally protected free speech?