- The recent mob that silenced former U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo at UNC-Chapel Hill seems unlikely to face any punishment from the university. I hope that the group that invited him, Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), will file civil right charges at both the state and federal level.
I am neither a member of YWC, nor a supporter. However, they paid for Tancredo's speech, they had the right to hear what he said, and no mob has the right to stop them.
- The Cartoon Controversy
Read this summary of the conflict, and ask yourself: have I ever seen those cartoons printed in a news article? Posted on a professor's door (as are anti-Bush cartoons)? Are they any worse than the many cartoons that have been published about other religious leaders? Were they worse than immersing a crucifix in urine?
Didn't think so.
- Can you be fired from a job because of your right to free speech or association?
Of course - it just depends on what the speech is.
Think you're OK when that speech isn't actually at work - think again, Rosebud.
A few states protect an employee's right to engage in political speech outside of work. Colorado, New York and North Dakota have laws that protect employees from being fired for personal expression, including political speech. California's laws prevent employers from firing employees for legal non-work expression, but the courts have interpreted that law narrowly.
Right of Assembly
As the Tancredo incident showed, the right of assembly is too often in jeopardy. Those who lose this right are often conservatives. And, they lose their right in the ugliest of ways, by mob action.
Why is this so important? If you disagree, try imagining a conservative mob disrupting an early Obama speech. Would you still think that the mob was right to close the student organization's paid-for event down?
The Tea Parties (rather well attended, for a middle of a work day) were ridiculed by network reporters and commentators as "tea bagging". What's the big deal?
Follow the link. Ask yourself, when is the last time that a serious protest of government policies was trashed in extremely vulgar, deliberately sexually-oriented terms, on a national network station?
Even when the protesters in anti-war rallies made crude jokes about "bush", the networks did NOT repeat the joke over and over and over again.
It was uncalled-for. It was undignified. It was biased.
In an effort to blunt the impact of the Tea Parties, liberal groups urged their members to show up with video cameras. Think of the effect if the early civil rights coordinators had been tracked with cameras by the opposition - would recruitment have suffered? In the early days of the Montgomery bus boycott, the NAACP went to court to keep the names of their members out of the hands of the opposition.
Those who joined the protest were labeled as "racists", by some in the media. What other reason could they have had to oppose the "stimulus"?