Saturday, September 24, 2016

Freedom of Speech for Me, Not for Thee

Seattle Mariners back up catcher suspended for the rest of the season without pay for tweeting that the Charlotte protesters ought to be locked up like animals.

Explain why Kaepernick's "freedom of speech" is important to protect versus this guy's.


Anonymous said...

An explanation (as requested) in 4 parts for you.

Part 1:

First Amendment - Religion and Expression. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Part 2:

The Seattle Mariners are an American professional baseball team based in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division.

Part 3:

Clevenger’s tweets read:

“Black people beating whites when a thug got shot holding a gun by a black officer haha (expletive) cracks me up! Keep kneeling for the anthem!

“BLM (Black Lives Matter) is pathetic again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone should be locked behind bars like animals!”

The Seattle Mariners, a privately-owned entertainment squad isn't Congress.

Clevenger can tweet whatever he wants to and then be suspended by the Mariners, and his right to free speech is still protected as outlined in the text of the Constitution. AMAZING!

Greg said...

So are the 49ers, the NFL, and all the TV networks who "support" Kap's right to express himself. Agreed, this isn't "technically" a free speech issue, yet the spirit of free speech and protest is being talked about and debated all day. Countless athletes, coaches, tv personalities, politicians, and twitters have rushed to support Kap's protest and his "right" to protest. Not a single prominent person has done the same with Clevenger.

My point: americans are in danger of supporting only speech they support, or find inoffensive, which really isn't supporting free speech at all.

Anonymous said...

So you'd rather hear from people who *support* racially-offensive comments from people who happen to have a heightened platform?

It's interesting to me that amongst the many controversial topics in our ever-widening national conversation about inclusiveness, you'd want to zero in on this particular story. Tell me, what's more dangerous to you: A society that accepts racially-derogatory, thinly-coded hate language as par for the course with no need to correct? Or one that works to keep it in check, perhaps even eliminate it? The Mariners actions were swift and likely unwelcome to a few... but who exactly would WANT to protect a bigot? Certainly not you....? Right?

Greg said...

I will try to respond to this last comment, although I'm having trouble understanding what is being said. Nevertheless...

My critique is with the hypocrisy of liberal america, of which I used to count myself. Liberals want to protect free speech only when then agree with the basic message, or find the basic message non-threatening. I consider this a huge problem and you should too, because it is the mealy-mouthed political correctness which is the cause of the Trump phenomenon. (and for the record, i think he will win the election).

What's dangerous to me is a society so oversensitive to language that every uncouth utterance out of people's mouths is cause for outrage and punishment. Grow up.

Separately, I find the Kaep protest ignorant and counter-productive. He is a fool.

And I don't believe in "hate" speech. I, like most, would like to see a more civil discourse, but I think the way toward it is more speech, not restricting what the majority (or a loud minority) calls hate speech. That is an illiberal idea and doomed to fail.

Liberals routinely defend his right to protest, but and absurd that liberals support

Anonymous said...

You kind of took a word-salad nosedive and trailed off there at the very end of your post, but let's go back to what you wrote here:

"And I don't believe in "hate" speech. I, like most, would like to see a more civil discourse, but I think the way toward it is more speech, not restricting what the majority (or a loud minority) calls hate speech. That is an illiberal idea and doomed to fail"

1. You don't believe in "hate" speech like one doesn't believe in the Loch Ness Monster? Or you don't believe it, meaning you don't practice it? I would agree that we need more civil discourse and fewer hurt fee-fees... but that also means understanding exactly WHY people are disagreeing with each other. WHY would someone NOT want offensive language to go unchecked or occur without a response? Just ignore it until it goes away?

Progress is slow and arduous, but it begins with response. Whether or not you disagree with the tactic is ultimately irrelevant. Kaep's protest may not fit the mold of what you consider an acceptable tactic. (As an aside, your opinion that he's behaving ignorantly is interesting, considering you yourself have admitted on this site that you are clueless about certain things.) I wonder how you would have felt about these guys:

Maybe one day you'll look back and see that you were on the wrong side of history. But most people pretend they were always on the right side. I expect the same from you.

2. Again, *no one restricted* what Clevenger tweeted. He's free to say (and type) whatever misguided, unpopular and/or ignorant opinion that dances through his head! However, he's not free from criticism and punishment from his employer... If you have a problem with his punishment (which will be over in a matter of weeks), that's an issue for the Seattle Mariners management... not "Liberal America" as you insist.

Anonymous said...

And by weeks, I mean TODAY! Whoops! :)

Greg said...

I think the designation of certain type of speech as "hate" is just a work around for censorship. "Hate" speech is a concept that's crept about in my lifetime and I believe, a problematic legal and cultural term.

It's perfectly acceptable to disagree and critique any position, offensive or not. That's the not argument offered by Clevenger opponents. Instead, they seek to silence him. They want his job. It's not enough to say his words are wrong. He IS wrong. He deserves punishment. There is a difference between criticizing the guy for offensive language and firing him, removing him from twitter, etc. And it's always this massive over response from the SJW/thought police types. You guys can't help yourselves -- all negative thoughts or negative utterances must be banished and punished to the maximum. This is a pattern happening across universities, workplaces, and in social situations across the country. And it's a tremendous problem, if you ask me. I say chill the f--- out and get more of a life.

Re: history...this is why I started the blog. To check myself over time. I put in writing, so I'll know. But I predict Kap in 50 years will be more Muhammad Abdul Rauf and less Muhammad Ali. And for the record, my beef with Kap is more rooted in his idiocy as a football player (check the blog if you're interested why), and now it's spread to the NFL and the entire nation. We are being led into the abyss by a moron who can't even read defensive coverages!

I feel the same way about those who advocate black power as I do about those who advocate white power.

Anonymous said...

I can't speak to every single individual's use of these two slogans and their own personal intent behind them, but I can confidently say that the slogan "Black Power" originated from a movement that was justified and that the slogan "White Power" originated from a movement that was not justified (not to mention redundant).

However, your problematic comparison of the two phrases aside...

Let's go back to the main issue here that you brought up in your initial post. You take exception to the appearance that Clevenger's offensive tweet was universally condemned... (untrue, which your blog post helps to illustrate) while Kaepernick's protest has been universally accepted (also untrue).

Could it be that the reason all those people in the NFL and around the country supported Kaepernick's protest is because deep down, they agree with the underlying sentiment? That it's less about the messenger and more about the message?

And could it be that the reason why not too many people have stood up publicly against Clevenger's 10-day, unpaid suspension was because deep down they know he's in the wrong? That they can see his message is misinformed and harmful?

Is there room in your argument for morality?

The fact is, even with this unpaid suspension, Clevenger is FREE to say and do what he wants. He'll be back. Ten days won't kill him. But his words, and others like them, twisted through the wrong filters, enacted through misguided deeds may kill someone else. We've seen it happen before.

Greg said...

No room for "morality" (how you're using the word) when it comes free speech. Because who the hell determines what's "moral" speech? Look, I take your argument that this isn't a true "free speech" issue because we're talking about private orgs. BUT...the entire support base of Kap cites freedom of speech and expression as a principle reason why they support him kneeling. But if you support Kap kneeling on the basis of free speech, then you ought to also celebrate those who burn his jersey and tune out of NFL for exercising their free speech. If you point is that Kap is worth supporting only because his message is "moral" (as you put it), then make that argument and expect to be disagreed with strongly by intelligent people because his message is incoherent. And you'd also need to take up the issue of him wearing a Fidel Castro shirt and pig socks. Let's go there. Do you support these gestures based on their morality? Do you recognize Fidel Castro as an evil dictator who murdered many people who disagreed with his politics? Or do you support his "morality"? How would you feel if a football player wore a Stalin shirt? A Pol Pot shirt? A Hitler shirt? Is this free speech? Or if not, explain why a Fidel Castro shirt is legit whereas a Hitler shirt isn't? Along the same lines, so if it's cool to kneel at the national anthem? How would you feel if all the Republic members of Congress turned their backs or refused to clap for Pres Obama at the State of Union? Wouldn't they just be "exercising" their right to freedom of speech? Or would they just be rude? And ignorant?

For further reading -- check out Jason Whitlock on the issue. He's got the best take on the whole thing. IMO, the virtual world has gone a little batty with this police brutality thing and I believe Kap's "protest" is juvenile and uninformed. It's a twitter mob mentality with no basis in the real world. It's all a dumb, attention seeking pose. We've lost the ability to distinguish between meaningful protest against systematic injustice and personal depression/neuroticism finding a target in perceived political grievance.

Here's a thought about how to prevent police violence - if a cop pulls a gun and yells at you to stop or get out of the car - do it. If you're innocent, it will get cleared up. But don't run. Don't refuse to hand over weapons. I mean, isn't this just common sense? Does anyone really think cops WANT to shoot innocent people? You have to be insane. Even if an individual cop is racist, there's no benefit to a cop or the police department to shoot an innocent person. The cops in these positions perceive a threat and the people involved - if they want police to protect from crime - needs to figure out a way to communicate that they aren't a threat. I mean, put yourself in the shoes of a cop when you get a report a crazy dude is running around with a knife or a gun. What are they expected to do? Wait until the person uses it to confirm their intentions?

Steph! said...

Greg we need to talk in person.

Steph! said...

"Here's a thought about how to prevent police violence - if a cop pulls a gun and yells at you to stop or get out of the car - do it. If you're innocent, it will get cleared up."

The fact that you have typed this on the internet (in "permanent ink") shows that you haven't been paying ANY attention to anything that's happened over the past 50 years in this country.

And if you have been paying attention, it demonstrates a cognitive dissonance that no one, no matter how well-researched and explicitly-stated their argument or explanation of plain FACTS (which I've tried to do repeatedly), will EVER rid you of.

I've paid attention to you over the past ten years. I've read this blog. I've listened to your arguments. From Hurricane Katrina, to the Beer Summit, to Black Lives Matter, to campus protests, to OscarsSoWhite, to Colin Kaepernick... I've ingested and parsed your thoughts on these issues, hoping every time that you'll see the light.

And finally I realized something. What seems most apparent about you is that you don't understand why ANY Black person, ANYWHERE could ever be upset about racially-motivated, systemic injustice. (Something you denied existed as recently as last fall.) And furthermore, it seems like *you don't want to learn why.*

We've known each other for nearly 15 years. And I'm sorry to say that I've reached my limit. The kinds of arguments like the one you made above are the reason why people are dying in the streets. Your perspective betrays an ignorance that is unfathomable to me. Do some research and figure out why.

I hope for your sake that someday you will get it. But I'm not holding my breath for another 13 years.