Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Free Speech

I keep reading and hearing people defending Don Imus's right to free speech. Why are we attacking his right to free speech? We're not. We're attacking what he said, not his right to say it. He can say it all he wants. But I don't want to support it, and I don't want it spewing into my home every day. So I'm speaking out.

This dispute over Imus's remarks is the epitome of free speech. Free speech is about the marketplace of ideas. Everyone gets the right to speak. But then that speech is evaluated by the community.

Imus spoke and expressed his opinion. He placed his speech out there into the marketplace, and we are exercising our right to free speech by complaining about what he said. He can say as much sexist and racist crap as he wants. And WE have every right to say to his employer, We won't watch your programs any more if you continue to employ this hater. And WE have every right to say to his sponsors, We won't buy your products any more if you continue to place your ads on this hater's program. And we can say to the FCC, This speech has no place on the public airwaves, because it does not respect all people.

Don Imus can say all he wants to. And we as a community, we as a people, we get to speak out about what he said. And if that means that he doesn't get paid millions of dollars to speak, so be it. In the marketplace of ideas, I think his opinions are worth about two cents. He can say all he wants to. And I'll continue to exercise my right to free speech to say his speech is hateful.

Or to quote Coach Stringer: "racist and sexist remarks [] are deplorable, despicable, abominable and unconscionable."

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