Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The First Amendment and the Continued Free Speech of Donald Douglas

In reply to: American Power: Libel Blogger David Hillman (Swash Zone) Workplace Harassment Fail, and in particular Donald's beliefs about what I said in a comment at The Swash Zone earlier today:
Donald Douglas: The Swash Zone community is actually struggling to devise even more crudely devious methods in their jihad to eviscerate my First Amendment rights to freedom of speech (with emphasis added):
repsac3: Where bigotry and other morally repugnant acts are concerned, I'm all for sunshine; publicize the nasty things that people say and do as much as possible -- which, by the way, is one of the reasons I'm opposed to moderating such things away. Sometimes it's good to confront and be offended by the things people say and do, and to see that as many other people as possible are offended right along with you. Rather than hide bigoted blog comments, I say highlight them, repeating them as many times as it takes for people to get good and pissed off at the people that post them. (In fact, if the lawyer's don't object, I'd suggest posting all of the threats and other nonsense received via e-mail, as well.) I'm all for blog posts, letters to local media--including the LBCC college newspaper--with full quotes and context, tweets, facebook posts, submissions to "Worst Person in the World" segments, and any other means that uses sunshine and/or moonglow to highlight the bad acts Donald Douglas and those like him engage in.

The only problem, of course, is that there are no "threats and other nonsense" or "racism" or "harassment," or whatever.


Dr. Douglas, I have no interest in silencing you. In fact--as you yourself quoted--I'm in favor of spreading your words far and wide. You are a good example of what is wrong with some on the right, and the more you speak, the more evident that becomes. So, I promise you, the last thing I want is for you to stop speaking out just as you have been. I believe you to be a bully and a bigot (politically, societally, and yes, racially, as well), and I'm all too glad to have people read what you post and see it for themselves.

As far as your first amendment rights, you should know as well as I do that none of the bloggers or enemies you mention in this post or any other have the power to threaten your free speech rights. The first amendment protects all US citizens from GOVERNMENT action against the things we write and say, not private action. You and I are free to post whatever we wish about each other, free from fear that the government will do anything to silence either of us.

I suppose you (or I) could harm the other's online reputation to the point that no one trusts me (or you) anymore, to the point that the injured party might just as well shut down their blog(s), but not only wouldn't that be a first amendment violation, everything the victor posted to destroy the reputation of the loser would be protected by it... which is just as it should be...

Other than accusing you of bad acts--which is something that I'm sure you find distasteful--exactly what part of the paragraph you quoted from my comment do you disagree with? Do you believe that people shouldn't draw attention to the bigoted or otherwise nasty things that others do and say in public, and ask that they explain and/or apologize for them? Is it wrong to write blog/twitter/facebook posts, or letters to news outlets about them? Leaving aside the fact that in this case, I'm trying to shine the bright, sunny spotlight on your bigoted comment, exactly what is it in my words that you disagree with, considering the fact that you do many of these same things to the people with whom you disagree, every day?

“Black heritage. Whoo hoo! That is teh awesome. I goin' be try'n escpe from de massa's house to be goin' to dis heah black her'tge trail. Y'sm sir!" - [Posted by Donald Douglas to THE SWASH ZONE: BLACK HERITAGE TRAIL, BOSTON, MASS. at 10:27 PM, February 17, 2010]

Submitted for moderator approval 2/23/2010, 12:59 AM (IM blog time)
As of 2/25/10, American Power Blogger Donald Douglas has not allowed this comment to appear.

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