FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION

This article is written in response to The Pilot Newspaper's editorial referring to the spray-painting of graffiti at N.C. State University urging that President-Elect Barack Obama be killed, The Pilot wrote: "Free speech? Yes. Incitements to assassination? No."
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The Pilot's editorial, "Crossing the Line on Free Speech," was a condemnation of the values of Western civilization.

Freedom of Speech is at the pinnacle of civilized Western society. This ideal separates the United States from North Korea, Vietnam, China, Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, Saudi Arabia, Burma, Zimbabwe and Cuba. Any perceived disadvantage resulting from Freedom of Speech is overwhelmingly outweighed by its rewards.

The purpose of Freedom of Speech is to express and convey ideas without penalty of what others may not wish to learn. History teaches us that we either support this concept or we will suffer from its consequences, namely tyrannical rule by an oligarchy with a commensurate reduction in the standard of living and other basic freedoms.

Apparently, N.C. State Chancellor James Oblinger is the self-appointed hypocritical dictator of what others may say or write. He would sacrifice on the altar of political correctness this society's most cherished value, namely the ability to express and communicate one's feelings and beliefs without fear. "Do as I say and not as I do" is his motto. Oblinger is more concerned about his $390,835-per-year salary and perks rather than protecting basic freedoms.

Hypocrisy and censorship in all of its forms must be condemned because they are evil. In his commentary, Oblinger had the audacity to use the word "diversity." Apparently the four students' speech was too diverse for Oblinger.  He had no tolerance for their comments.

Regretfully, The Pilot supports Oblinger in his hateful comments regarding racist speech. Oblinger is saying as a tyrant that you cannot hate but I can. The hypocrisy is overwhelming. I hate disease, hate dishonesty, hate hypocrisy, hate fraud, hate filth, hate tyranny, hate censorship and hate corruption. There is nothing wrong with hate. Hypocrisy has got to be the worst of all human faults, because it has absolutely no redeeming characteristics.

One thing Socrates, Christ, Jon Hus, William Tyndale, Thomas More, Luther, Giordano Bruno, Galileo, Mary Queen of Scotts, Thomas Paine, John Hancock, et al. all had in common was that they suffered for their ideas and expressed speech. The common man was repressed by the suffocating ignorance of the times. How far can this society be from a revived Inquisition and book-burnings?

While the comments by some students at N.C. State were tasteless, I fully support their right to say them. They can put on a bill board, "Assassinate white cracker redneck Russell Walker" for all that I care. The further hypocrisy of Oblinger criticizing any expression on a so-called "Free Expression Tunnel" is beyond belief. The students need to be congratulated and not condemned for exposing the fraud and dishonesty of the university's administration. The North Carolina state motto, Esse Quam Videri, "To Be Rather Than to Seem," needs to be tattooed on Oblinger's hands so that he can be reminded of virtue every day. Actions speak louder than words.

The Pilot referred to a ruling regarding "shouting 'fire!' in a crowded theater" as justification for an abridgment of freedom of speech.  In 1919, Oliver Wendell Holmes coined this phrase and wrote one of the worst opinions in Schenck vs. United States.  If some idiot wants to panic because of what someone else says, that is his problem.  I don't believe everything that I hear -- do you?

Schenck was later modified by the 1969 case of Brandenburg vs. Ohio, which ruled that speech could only be banned when it was directed to and likely to incite imminent lawless action (e.g. a riot), the test which remains until this day. The Pilot needs to correct this and its many other erroneous opinions in this area.

A Supreme Court which is unable to define "pornography" is not qualified nor competent to put a limit on anyone else's speech.

New York Attorney William Kunstler said, "The remedy for the abuse of Freedom of Speech is more Freedom of Speech."


At least Kunstler had a response.

(1) First you control the speech, (2) then you control the mind, (3) then you control the body, and (4) finally you control society. Anyone who believes that this language suppression orgy does not have ulterior motives needs to think for themselves for a change.

We will either have Freedom of Speech and Expression or we will have Tyranny.  R. Walker


P.S. There is a park in downtown Hobart Tasmania dedicated to George Orwell. A plaque on a bench reads - Freedom of Speech is telling others what they do not want to hear!G. Orwell

Russell Walker

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