By: Mark Hyman
Look at this cartoon that appeared in the Sacramento Bee newspaper.
Boston Mayor Tom Menino says “Business is booming in Boston.” In the next panel — an explosion.
This cartoon is in bad taste and inappropriate. Three people died and more than 200 were injured in the Boston bombing.
However, I support the First Amendment right of the Sacramento Bee to publish such a cartoon – no matter how offensive and tasteless. The First Amendment is about protecting unpopular speech.
Now, let me come clean. This is the original cartoon. Instead of Boston, it featured Texas. In the West, Texas explosion, 15 people died and more than 200 were injured.
I did this to prove a point. There would have been a media uproar if the cartoon featured Boston. But for Texas – silence.
It’s politically acceptable to name-call, insult, demean and devalue certain groups: Poor whites. Christians. Southerners. And farmers. They’re white trash. Trailer trash. Crackers. Bible thumpers. Red necks.
But don’t you dare use a term that is not politically correct to describe other groups.
I’m not saying it should open-season on name-calling.
Nor should groups over-react to every insult – real or imagined.
The Sacramento Bee finds humor in Texans dying. [Other liberal groups such as left-wing bloggers find the attack on the deaths of Texans to be perfectly acceptable.] Doubtful they found the Boston bombing funny.
The First Amendment protects their speech. Even if it’s offensive and wrong.
Mark Hyman hosts "Behind the Headlines," a commentary program for Sinclair Broadcast Group.