Freedom of speech???

freedom of speech 3Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire commented that a reportedly racist ‘chant’ caught on a privately made video at a large Oklahoma university fraternity has resulted in closure of the offending SAE fraternity on campus and expulsion of two drunken student ‘chanters’ a couple of months ago.  This seemingly extreme action by the University of Oklahoma raises many questions….such as how does freedom of speech enter into this equation?

Speech, regardless of how repugnant, is generally protected by the constitution after all.  Does the fact that alcohol was involved have any relevance?  I am told folks are disinhibited by alcohol, they may even have sex, is sex a crime between two consensual but drunken adults? The fact that the chant occurred in a private setting, is that important?  Geez.  Private.  Can’t folks do most anything in private so long as it hurts no one?

Amazing how every remark about recently hypersensitized blacks, even slightly negative ones, are scrutinized by the racism police.  Where are the rap police?  The lyrics of much rap music condones rape, even incest, and encourages liberal use of the “N” word, yet rap and rap artists somehow escape most any level of scrutiny.  Those who are so bold as to portray the Obamas as characters from the Planet of the Apes are hunted down as criminals, yet no such effort was engaged when millions circulated objectionable (but admittedly kind of amusing) images of George W. Busch evolving from a primitive ape.  Why wasn’t that criminal if a private video is?  Seems speech crime is somewhat arbitrary, to be carted out and punished when it extends a political agenda.  Hmmm.

Freedom of speech…

Don SterlingThe NBA, its esteemed commissioner Silver, the great multitude of professional basketball players, Hollywood icons, the media, the potential buyers of the LA Clippers, and yes our very own President, all directed venom and contempt at the Clippers’ owner, Donald Sterling, following his racist remarks – remarks that were secretly taped and sought to disparage his girlfriend from entertaining black jocks in public.  Crazy remarks considering that Sterling lives in a world of black athletes, many of whom work for him, and this year, win for him. Nevertheless, he admitted to making the comments, again, made in private.  But they were words.  WORDS. Let’s grow up America….sticks and stones… we all know the saying.

Sterling was a crazy man for saying these things.  He was a stupid man for thinking the things that made him say these words.  But he can’t be too crazy and stupid to have amassed a fortune, and put together a playoff NBA team and premier franchise.  He has done nothing criminal.  People are entitled to think stupid crazy things.  It is a constitutional right.  Believing himself in need of proving his worth and newly appointed power, Commissioner Silver has passed judgment, fines, bans and has said he wishes to convince other franchise owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers .  If the commish does this, this bruhaha will result in something more than a frothy war of words, a lawsuit that Sterling will win.

Racist, crazy, stupid…and on the right side of the Constitution.  Few thinking people embrace racism, but this action will not help expunge it.  Let Sterling’s ignorant actions cause him such embarrassment and discomfit in public that he sentences himself and slink into obscurity on his own.  Otherwise, in court he will rightly clean the clock of the NBA, and demonstrate what we all know, freedom of speech is at the heart of our country and Democracy.