The Headline is a direct quote from an ultra-left leaning student at Evergreen State College in the picture on your left. Let me shift into my droning monotone for these young ladies. "Freedom of Speech, in America, is guaranteed under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution."
This picture is ripped from the Video at the end of this article. The reason the sentiment, in this case, is so dangerous, is because they aren't being flippant. They are not speaking off the record, there are no hidden cameras. They are stating their case, for a news report, in relationship to LGBTQ rights and race relations.
Let's start with LGBTQ rights. This is not my, nor Beacon of Speech's area of expertise, so we'll defer to the experts. Head on over to equaldex.com: They have a cool map of LGBTQ activity across the world and a cool spectrum analysis of LGBTQ laws by country. Equaldex is an American Website. Run by an American, out of California, with a panel of moderators across North America and Europe (and Trinidad and Tobago). When I first watched this story, I thought "let's transfer these young snowflakes to a Russian or Chinese University. Let's see how their world view changes."
Then the rational part of me took hold and I realized that this is a teachable moment. Straight from Dr. Fredrick E. Hunt, I am going to give you 3 examples you can learn from if you have your listening ears on.
About 20 Beacon of Speech episodes ago, I used some hyperbole and said "we should kill all the eagles." Ted laughed, then I yelled at him that I wasn't joking. He stopped and said "Fred, do you really think we should kill all the eagles?" I said Yes, but I wasn't being serious. Ted joked off the air that that segment may have crossed the line. My response was, "Ted, no one is listening." In a nation of free speakers, sometimes things can be taken out of context. In Ted's defense, he was worried that out of the 100 hours of content that we had produced, we would be known as the Eagle Killers. FOR THE RECORD - I was joking about the eagles. The point is, maybe the ladies were taken out of context, or they were goaded on by the production crew. The last thing I need are the ladies above to take a screen shot of Ted and I then write a scathing article about the hatemongers at Beacon of Speech on the Evergreen State College Blog.
Driving home today, I saw a Confederate Flag waving about 3 miles from my house. The home was a decent looking residence, not one of those redneck mansions (you know, trailer home on 2 acres of land with a heated garage and delapidated barn in the back) you're used to seeing flying the flag. I hate the Confederate Flag. #1, I live in the North. My cousins fly that flag and they live in suburban Detroit. If you live in the North, and you fly the Confederate Flag, you are an idiot. BUT you have the right to fly that flag. It makes me angry, but as a citizen of America, a flag is free speech. If you ban the Confederate Flag, then you've got to ban the rainbow flag. If you asked me which flag Americans dislike more, I would speculate the latter. (I looked it up. I am wrong, but not by much.) I say ban neither. If you live in the South and you fly the Confederate Flag, well, you're still an idiot, but at least I understand the rationale of your <ahem> "heritage." I understand why the Confederate Flag shouldn't be at a statehouse, but other than that, again, if we banned everything we didn't like, ughh, might as well be livin' in Saudi Arabia.
Let me be clear. As I get older, the more I'm convinced that the Constitution of the United States of America is the only difference between freedom and a repressive regime. Germany is awesome now, not so much during the 40's. Maybe I'm naive, so I looked up the Human Freedom Index and found America in the Top 20. Now you could be yelling at the computer that we, as Americans, could be doing better, and that's true. But many, if not all, countries ahead of America are from infinately smaller, non-diverse nations, population wise. Absolutely there's work to be done, but for God's sake, you don't start improving your freedoms by taking away free speech. For 200+ years the Constitution has protected America while other countries rose and fell. How many countries have consistently stood for freedom for 200 years? Now is America perfect? Heck no, bunch of dumb rednecks flyin' the Confederate Flag around. But let's use another example, shall we? I don't like guns. There are too many shootings in America. How do you solve that problem? Good question. If you take away the guns there are 2 problems. First, I firmly believe that 2 seconds after they take away your gun, they take away your speech. And secondly, the second America isn't loaded to the gills with guns, 1 billion Chinese are marching down your street. Now countries like Iran, or North Korea, or Syria are nusances, they will never be able to take over America. But in the future, countries with a billion people plus just need the right mix of technology, led by a cult of personality, and a disregard for human life, to be a real threat to America. Larger countries taking over smaller, richer countries is a tale as old as time. The founders understood the importance of an armed citizenry. When my friends and I did the movie Blasphemers, I believe the whole crew, minus one, were all gunowners. Again, just because I don't like guns, doesn't mean I should scream until the government takes away your gun.
If you are truly upset, and believe your cause is just and fair, the constitution allows for changes. Go ahead and set up a Constitutional Convention. It'll be fun, and you'll be remembered for ages.
If you protect the constitution, the constitution will protect you.
Seriously though, this is dangerous stuff here, people.
Thanks to Vice News for bringing this topic to our attention. Thanks to Reason.com for shining some light on this corner of Oregon and publicizing the problem.