Thursday, May 1, 2014

DONALD STERLING AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THE USA?

Just listened to the Rush Limbaugh show, where he was discussing the latest in regard to Donald Sterling and his racist comments . There was a guy that called in. His name is Dimitri. He was born and raised in Russia. He told the story of how he grew up different from other kids around him, due to the fact that his mother taught him how communism was very bad and very wrong, and the atrocities that people like Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, etc., all socialists, nationalists, and communists, had committed.

One day in school, when he was about 7 years old, the teacher had the kids read a book that was telling the kids how great Stalin was. Dimitri raised his hand and said "But isn't Staling a bad man?"

All heck broke lose, when the teacher began getting after him and punishing him, and the children began treating him badly or ostracizing him. His mother received a phone call from the school as well, and he considers they were blessed and lucky that it didn't grow worse than that, as one of his classmates was the son of a KGB agent.

He used this story to show how in America he sees the same treatment by Democrats of anyone who disagrees with them. 

He stated it should be ok to disagree with someone in America, even publicly, and not be ostracized or "punished" for it, but instead, everyone jumps on the person who disagrees, and tries to "make them pay". They fire the person, they imprison the person, they ruin the person's reputation, and even keep them from finding other jobs. 



That all got me thinking. At first, my tendency is to agree. We should all be free to say whatever we want, and not have to suffer "consequences" for it. However, I turned to what the real intent of the Founders was, as described in the book The Making of America by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, and I was reminded of the truths inherit in "Freedom of Speech" and I was brought back to 'center' on the topic.

Here are my thoughts on the subject:

What Sterling said, he said privately. What he feels and thinks, though racist, he feels and thinks privately. It has not influenced nor affected, from what I can tell, his treatment of black men joining his team and playing.  Therefore, what he said and did privately, should not have public consequences, especially since he did not share it publicly.

However, there’s a very thin, almost invisible line, that was crossed. What he said privately, was then made to be heard publicly.

Some will argue that Sterling, then, needs to pay for those consequences, now that the world “heard” him. I argue that the person who made it public needs to pay those consequences, and in a very much more real sense, THAT person is the one who “said” those thing publicly, not Sterling. Regardless of that person's reasons for sharing such a thing, that person is the one who caused it to sound in the ears of the world. That is no different than actually being the one speaking it into the ears of the world.

I leave you with this quote, direct from The Making of America regarding the 216th provision in the Constitution, from the 1st Amendment. 

The Congress shall make NO law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

This provision gave the American people the RIGHT to have the federal government prohibited from exercising any legal authority over the freedom of speech or the freedom of the press.

The provision does not in any way imply that the freedom of speech and the freedom of press are absolute rights. Both must necessarily operate under reasonable restrictions. However, the Founders wanted these regulations and standards of propriety, to be established by the states, not the federal government.

On the state level it is necessary to prohibit freedom of speech in a number of ways. For example, it is not permissible to use freedom of speech to slander or libel another person. It is also unlawful to cry “Fire!” in a crowded auditorium or theater as a practical joke and thereby cause a panic. There are also restrictions on where free speech may be exercised if it will attract a crowd and impede the use of a public thoroughfare or park without prior permission.

Freedom of the press has been a difficult right to protect and preserve.

Almost from the moment that the art of printing began to be a significant cultural influence, efforts were exerted to gain control of its use by the king or the central government. For example, Henry VIII (1509-1547) took absolute control of the press, both as to who could print and what could be printed. When Cromwell ruled during the period of the Lone Parliament, the same control continued. By 1758, however, freedom of the press had been established to the point where Blackstone could say, “Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public. . . . But if he publishes what is improper, mischievous, or illegal, he must take the consequence of his temerity.” (Norton, Undermining the Constitution: A History of Lawless Government, p.199)

I’d like to know your thoughts on all that.

My thoughts are that Sterling does need consequences (though he DOES need to change his paradigm regarding blacks!)  I guess the only question in my mind at the moment, is the needed severity of those consequences, especially considering that he did not share any of this “racism” publicly himself.  We ARE allowed to hold to any evil thoughts we want in this life without any public/legal retaliation. If we share an evil thought with a friend, and either that friend or another makes that thought public knowledge, are we to be punished for it? Or should the person making it public knowledge be the one to be punished?



Folks, we desperately need, urgently need, to fully know the Constitution and Bill of Rights, backwards and forwards, and in its original intent if we want to preserve a free nation. That is not shared lightly. We are nearing the full demise our our Constitutional Republic, and it has been happening one incremental step at a time for the past 120 years.  We are witnessing the final implementations just prior to "the switch" being turned on, and our discovering that our liberties and freedoms truly have been chiseled away. However, by the time "the switch" is on, it will be too late.  So please, force yourself to MAKE THE TIME in your life to learn the Constitution and Bill of Rights. There are a couple of places I could recommend, but by far the one I trust the most is the National Center for Constitutional Studies. You can even take a FREE ONLINE COURSE that will "speed" you through the main principles and provisions. Please do this for your God, your nation, yourself, your family, and your children and grandchildren. Time is of the essence, and is about to run out.