America Is A â€œFree Speech Zoneâ€
By: J.J. Jackson
Sometimes it amazes me how often that regardless of whatever article I have written for a given week, by Tuesday or Wednesday I find something else that causes me to rush back to my keyboard and pound out something new. I guess I should be thankful for the plethora of idiocy that exists in the world because I could easily go on vacation for the next three months and still have articles to send out to publishers each week just from my existing backlog.
So what was it this week? What was so idiotic that I just had to scrap an already written article for something new at 6:00PM on Wednesday? And who was responsible for this problem? None other than our official pointy headed dullard of the week – Professor James South.
Mr. South is chairman of the philosophy department at Marquette University and he has decided that â€œFree Speechâ€ can only exist in certain places. Due to â€œcomplaintsâ€ he decided to remove an â€œoffensiveâ€ quote from the door of a Ph.D. student.
What was the quote? Was it something like â€œKill the Jews!â€, â€œRape women â€“ they really like it!â€ or maybe â€œDeath to George Bush!â€? Nope. The offensive quote was one by popular columnist Dave Barry saying merely “as Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer of course to the federal government.”
Dave Barry is in good company with such opinions; company such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and many, many other founding fathers that expressed the exact same warning over two hundred years ago. Apparently however some liberals, who get hard-ons every time government sticks its hands down their pants, do not like those types of dangerous opinions and complained. To a liberal after all government power is the greatest thing since sliced bread. They cannot live their lives without it and how dare someone imply that excessive government power should be feared! Silence that man!
I do guess however that Mr. South is just taking his cue from the federal government itself. Congress created â€œfree speechâ€ and â€œnon free speechâ€ zones when it determined when one can and cannot engage in political speech. You might recall McCain-Feingold? Campaign Finance Reform created a â€œfree speech zoneâ€ and a â€œno free speech zoneâ€ in America when it dictated that citizens could not engage in certain types of political speech for no other reason than there was an election a certain number of days away.
President Bush even signed it. The Supreme Court even upheld it when it was challenged. It must be true!
So Mr. South is just doing what he thinks the government wants him to do. I am sure Marquette University receives copious amounts of federal funds through research grants and student loans. Sure they are unconstitutional government expenditures but that is another story. Mr. South is just making sure that as a de facto employee of the federal government at a de facto government institution he is implementing the policy of the government which is to arbitrarily enforce when and where free speech may be practiced.
In an email explaining his actions Mr. South opined: â€œWhile I am a strong supporter of academic freedom, I’m afraid that hallways and office doors are not ‘free-speech zones.â€™â€ So now â€œacademic freedomâ€ is only allowed to be practiced where according to Mr. South? Behind locked doors? Correct me if I am wrong but is that not some sort of bastardization of the concept of â€œfreedomâ€?
My question is how will Mr. South act when his own standard is upheld against him? The next time he engages in â€œfree speechâ€ in the hallway perhaps he should be â€œremovedâ€. Iâ€™m sure he does this rather often so I expect to see him gone from the university within the week. That is, unless he never talks to anyone ever again. Which may not be a bad thing considering the idiocy that comes spewing from his mouth.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts The Right Things. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.