In my now forty years I have honestly never met a person left, right or in-between who did not claim to be a staunch defender of Civil Liberties. With that said I have also never met a person who is honestly a true defender of Civil Liberties. To those who are currently gasping in outrage please continue reading and you may understand my point… maybe, but probably not. For those easily offended be warned, there is incredibly foul and offensive language in this blog posting… oddly enough something protected as free speech. Printing foul language is something rare for me I know but you will understand why.
Do you support Civil Liberties? Why yes I do is the typical response from people without taking a single moment to think about it. An easy way to find out is to ask them if Paula Deen should be fired. The typical answer is yes. Then if you ask why you will get a response that she should not use the “n-word”. Never mind that she claims to have used it thirty years ago and after having a criminal point a loaded gun to her temple. Never mind that it was long before she went to work for the Food Network. Now the “libertarian” response is that the Food Network is justified as it is a private organization which I agree it is legally able to do so but ethically? To the libertarians I ask if they were fired for saying something 30 years ago and not on the job would they feel the same way? How about if they were fired by their liberal boss for saying that Obama should be impeach? Not the same thing?! Actually yes it is. There are some people who think that me calling Obama a Socialist is offensive. In fact I have actually been told that by not supporting Obama I am clearly a racist. So the word Socialist has been elevated to the same level as the word Nigger. So if Paula Deen can loose her job for saying one word that a person or group of people find offensive then why can’t I loose mine for saying Socialist?
You have heard of the Sunshine Patriot, well most are also Sunshine Civil Libertarians. Unfortunately the reality being that most people are for civil liberties so long as they are the popularly protected civil liberties such as the bastardized civil rights movement we have today or something that does not offend their own sensibilities. In fact I would be willing to wager a large sum of money that someone will read this and declare me a racist as soon as it his Twitter and Facebook. There will be calls to shut down my accounts. This is all a part of the current civil rights movement that is no longer about civil rights but rather providing preferential treatment for certain groups over others, a perceived freedom from being offended, getting free stuff from people you don’t like, receiving unearned money and etc.
Any movement that no longer pushes for equality but for a group or groups to be elevated above another is not honestly for civil rights. The current civil rights movement, as in the Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton version, now pushes to discriminate against people like me for the crimes of our great, great grandfathers without actually knowing if I have any racists in my family tree. Frankly the Louis Farrakhan’s of the world have every right to advocate for whatever they want as did Klansman Robert Byrd. Both have every right to be who they are and since evidence clearly indicates that they both advocate for racial superiority for their own race well… Two sides of the same coin.
Back to Paula Deen who is also being sued for an exorbitant amount of money by a white woman who was offended when she heard 3rd hand that Paula Deen admittedly used the “n-word” 30 years ago. I recently had a group of young white men call me a racist and attack me for defending a person who was being bullied for talking about an old collection of “African-American folk stories” the Bre’er Rabbit. With that said, the term African-American is, in my humble opinion, moronic… you are either an American or you are not so loose the silly hyphen and be American. You have a right to self-segregate using such terms, but I also have a right to say it is stupid to do so. Offended by that? Too damned bad I have a Constitutionally protected right to free speech. I don’t call myself an Irish-American because some folks I never met either jumped or were dragged onto a boat from Ireland a century or three ago. Back to the bullies… they, in their ignorance, automatically assumed he was a racist without understanding what the book was, it’s history or the fact it is a group of tales based upon African and Cherokee folk stories. Is the guy a racist? Heck if I know, but to presume guilt is frankly un-American and contrary to the Right To Free Speech and the Presumption of Innocence. Both have the person talking about Bre’er Rabbit and those who attacked him verbally have their right to their opinions but that does not mean they have the right to forcibly dominating the other as was this case. Using your free speech to silence the speech of another is… not only anti-civil liberties but is down right Fascistic.
So does Paula Deen have the right to use the word Nigger? Frankly yes. Freedom of Speech protects her and if you do not defend her right, the right to say a word that outrages you then you are not truly a Civil Libertarian.
The same goes for Kanye West using the very same word. Nigger, Honkey, Spic, Faggot, Queer, Breeder, Cracker and etc. are all words that are rightfully outrageous and unethical to use but are protected as free speech. After all, what good is a protected right if it is not equally protected for all… wait equal protection under the law is also a Civil Liberty. In fact one of our Founding Fathers, in what must be the most clear example of true civil libertarianism occurred in Boston MA before the Bill of Rights was even imagined, stood up to defend a group of men that no other lawyer would dream of defending because he believed that every person deserves the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. Defending Paula Deens right to say Nigger, Louis Farrakhans right to claim that Conservatives have allowed our country to be taken over by “the synagogue of Satan”? Well that is exactly the same thing as what John Adams did over two centuries ago.
On another front… Take David Gregory’s question about whether some Journalists should be prosecuted because of publishing information from the Edward Snowden leaks as well as the politicians calling for his head. Numerous members of the current Administration who used words for Bradley Manning a hero now call Snowden a traitor and want him to be prosecuted for Espionage which holds the possible death penalty. In the case of Snowden some of the very people who defended journalists in the Manning case are calling for prosecuting journalists in the Snowden case. What is the biggest different between the two stances? Well in the Manning case the guy in the White House had an R behind his name. Freedom of the Press must be protected so long as it helps the political party you support? Not protecting Civil Liberties. Now to the best of our knowledge Manning actually leaked military information which has been alleged to cost lives while Snowden leaked information telling us just how wide spread our Federal government is spying on us. One leaked the information to a foreign blogger while the other leaked to the American press. Manning is also alleged to have leaked much more in both volume and severity than Snowden. Is Manning a traitor? Well based on what I have read I suspect he is. Is Snowden a traitor? I’m not sure but I am glad to know just how wide spread our government is crushing our civil liberties.
On with defending civil liberties. A woman supposedly has a constitutional right to an abortion which, oddly enough, is not actually in the Constitution or any other of our founding documents unlike Right to Life, Right to Bear Arms, Freedom to Assemble and etc. which are all now under assault by people who claim to be pro-civil rights. So how can pro-Abortion activists claim to be for civil liberties while many of them also deny the Right to Life, Right to Bear Arms and etc? Well they are full of crap. If you claim to be pro-civil rights then how can you defend or deny the targeting of Conservative and pro-Israel groups via the IRS, disarming Americans and etc? You can’t, at least you can’t if you are being honest about who you are.
If you believe in the protections against people being offended then how can you claim you support the right to free speech which is inherently offensive? If you are unwilling to protect the rights that offend you and scare you then why do you think your rights deserve defense? The same goes for things like flag burning and flying an inverted flag. Those are forms of political speech and are also protected by the first amendment even though seeing the flag on fire thoroughly pisses me off. Well, I know that flying the Gadsden Flag thoroughly pisses off many Liberals in the exact same way.
If you truly wish to claim that you are a defender of Civil Liberties you must identify what they are, not difficult to do, I’ll gladly provide anyone with a copy of the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence if they just ask. Then you must defend ALL civil liberties even if it means defending someone you despise who is saying or doing something that really offends you… like standing on public property screaming “God Hates Fags”. Also be ready to defend those who ride very loud motorcycles and fly large American flags to shield the families from seeing the “hateful” signs. Both are opposite sides of the exact same civil liberty.
If you are still uncertain about your ability to defend all civil rights including the right to be offensive consider this classic idiom and treat all civil liberties the same:
Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.