Posts tagged free speech
Posts tagged free speech
Sarah Palin, continuing her desperate last gasps of trying be relevant on Fox News.
Typically, I wouldn’t give her more attention. But I’ve heard this argument so many damn times over the few days, so let’s roll.
First, what Dan Cathy said IS anti-gay and he’s donated to anti-gay organizations — groups which have helped the efforts in Uganda to criminalize homosexuality and execute gay people, are listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and who have called for harmful “reparative therapy” to be standard treatment for gay people.
Plenty of folks have pointed out that this is not the way to spread a message of love thy neighbor. I would agree. As Suzette Standring wrote, “Jesus healed, socialized, walked, and ate with the marginalized and the flawed. Peter had anger management issues. Matthew was a hated tax collector. The Samaritan woman at the well was considered off limits to talk to for racial reasons. When an adulteress was about to be stoned, it was Jesus who challenged the sinless to cast the first stone. Her attackers left and when it was clear no one stayed to condemn her, Jesus said with great gentleness, ‘Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin’ (John 8:1-11)… If Jesus had harsh words for anyone, it was against those who saw themselves as the authorities of spiritual leadership. He criticized them publicly for hypocrisy, setting bad examples, and for perverting the word of God in order to maintain their own power.”
Second, I know this is difficult, but read this, plus this, this, this, and this. That’s why you’re 100% wrong about boycotts. Boycotts are free speech. Think about money as speech. Withholding money is also speech. It goes both ways. Please see
Less Than One Million Moms and their boycotts against JC Penney, Ellen DeGeneres, and the NBC show The New Normal.
Third, as Meghan McCain said, being anti-marriage equality IS being anti-gay. Is being anti-interracial marriage racist? You betcha.
Fourth, if a business owner gets political, even for religious reasons, expect a backlash. You don’t get to reel back and say, “Hey, no hard feelings, homos. Buy my chicken.” If your chicken gets political, we get political with your chicken. You dig?
In summary, go back to Alaska, snowbilly.
Okay, lets look at it this way. I open a business, and put out a sign saying “no redheads allowed”. Doesn’t it stand to reason minus government interference, minus the boycotts, minus the protests, the free market will make my business fail?
Maybe. Or your business might fail because your product sucks. Or maybe angry redheads will organize a boycott. Or maybe it’ll get hit by falling space debris that somehow didn’t burn up in the atmosphere. The free market is unpredictable, and to simply rely on the hope that it will make a business fail because reasons is honestly lazy. If you disagree with a business’ practices to the extent you’re willing to no longer patronize them, why not take the action of telling others? The business does not exist in an apathetic bubble.
And for those bitching about government interference, it’s called zoning. It’s why the government can regulate whether or not a Dildo Emporium can open next to a preschool or if it must exist outside the city limits. If a business wants to open and that business engages in practices that my town has a law against, say non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender, that could conceivably fall under a government’s right to deny business permits. Think about a bar wanting to open in a dry county.
mrpooscratch replied to your post: Dear Conservatives who think they grasp this Jesus thing:
Um, it’s about free speech and people not trying to destroy your business because they disagree with you, NOT homosexuality. Sorry you missed the point.
Nope, sorry. You’re missing the point here. Just as the CEO has his freedom of speech, we have the freedom of speech to boycott his establishments and spread the word about his business practices. In fact, a boycott is a form of free speech.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right to boycott in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. et al. 458 U.S. 886 (1982). The court held that the States have broad power to regulate general economic activities, but cannot prohibit peaceful political activity and organizing. This includes boycotts, which are protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments in regards to freedom of speech and association. Also, within the right to freely associate is the right to demonstrate and align one’s self with the ideals of the association or business — or not.
Also, individuals are not responsible for business losses due a non-violent boycott — even if a business fails. The First Amendment freedoms in a boycott trump the business owner’s success. Claiborne bears striking similarities to issues at the heart of the boycott of Chick-Fil-A. As the Court said in this case, petitioners, “through exercise of their First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association, and petition, rather than through riot or revolution… sought to change a social order that had consistently treated them as second-class citizens.”
Justice John Paul Stevens, who delivered the majority opinion, wrote:
“The boycott of white merchants at issue in this case took many forms. The boycott was launched at a meeting of a local branch of the NAACP attended by several hundred persons. Its acknowledged purpose was to secure compliance by both civic and business leaders with a lengthy list of demands for equality and racial justice. The boycott was supported by speeches and nonviolent picketing. Participants repeatedly encouraged others to join in its cause. Each of these elements of the boycott is a form of speech or conduct that is ordinarily entitled to protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”
Also, in Organization for a Better Austin v. Keefe, 402 U.S. 415 (1971), Chief Justice Warren Burger stated:
“The claim that the expressions were intended to exercise a coercive impact on respondent does not remove them from the reach of the First Amendment. Petitioners plainly intended to influence respondent’s conduct by their activities; this is not fundamentally different from the function of a newspaper. Petitioners were engaged openly and vigorously in making the public aware of respondent’s real estate practices. Those practices were offensive to them, as the views and practices of petitioners are no doubt offensive to others. But so long as the means are peaceful, the communication need not meet standards of acceptability.” [citations omitted]
In other words, even if the goal of the boycott is coercive action against a business entity, the boycott is protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments as long as it remains non-violent.
Now, beyond the constitutionality of the boycott, isn’t this how the free market is supposed to work? For example, I don’t like the business practices or views of Shop X, and they refuse to change their practices — say, puppy punching for the lulz. I hate puppy punching because it’s hurtful and unnecessary for the business to function. So I organize a boycott. Shop X refuses to quit punching puppies, and eventually closes because others decided of their own volition to stop patronizing the shop.
Diner Y’s owner holds racist beliefs which he voices on community radio. So I organize a boycott. Diner Y closes because people refuse to eat at a place that endorses bigotry.
Chick-Fil-A’s owner actively supports discrimination against GLBTQ people via his free speech (his words and money). So I organize a boycott. The free market has yet to decide on Chick-Fil-A’s fate.
The U.S. Constitution is a beautiful thing.
The blackout will last from 8 AM-8 PM EST
Why is SOPA so bad?
If that video was copyrighted, and SOPA passed, my site could be blocked for linking to the copyrighted content. Write your congressman here.
A well-known attorney said the police in Denver are going too far in their response to the Occupy Denver protests.
David Lane said that includes one man who was cited for honking his car horn in a show of support for the protesters.
Protesters told CBS4 Stan Bush they believe police in Denver are starting to take the protest personally. They claim officers are focusing on minor issues because of a grudge.
Lane is a great attorney and a champion of civil liberties. I should know - he was my attorney in my suit against the University of Wyoming. Here’s details and a copy of the filing on behalf of Occupy Denver. Lane’s taking a broader approach than just the honking:
In contrast, he feels he has plenty of options in regard to filing an injunction. Over the weekend, the Denver Post reported that Lane’s actions were spurred by TV station pieces about ticketing for honks in support of Occupy Denver - items that followed Westword staffer Kelsey Whipple’s coverage of that subject and a previous offering about citations for people who pull over to drop off donations. But Lane’s efforts are broader than that.
“We’re going after three, and possibly four, issues in this lawsuit,” he reveals. “One is honking. One is ticketing people who stop to give money, food or clothing. The third is going after people who put any items down on the sidewalk in this five-foot swath that the police say has to be completely clear. And we’re looking into whether or not we can go after the curfew in the park. It’s absurd that after 11 p.m., if anyone sets one foot in the park, they get arrested and everyone’s got to stay on the sidewalk at that point.”
In addition, Lane has a strong point of view on the question of whether or not the Occupy Denver tents banned by the DPD constitute speech. “If you look back through this country’s history, back to the bonus army that marched on Washington in the Depression era, tents have long been part of protest,” he notes. “A tent is a symbol that ‘we’re in this for the duration. We’re not going away.’ So it is a form of speech.”
I wish Occupy Denver and the attorneys of Killmer, Lane, & Newman the best and thank them for their dedication to free speech. I’ll be following this case closely.