WHATS SO BAD ABOUT HATE SPEECH? by Brian Roper

Posted: April 20, 2007 in The Roper Files

Is April Someone-Pissed-In-My-Post-Toasties Month? Don Imus was fired; now certain members of Congress are hinting at “hate speech” regulation. Republicans Tom DeLay and Mike Huckabee are attempting to expand the definition of “hate speech” to silence the 9/11 Truth movement.Letters to the editor in the local paper rant and rave about getting everyone else on TV or radio they don’t like fired. Possible campaigns to get Rosie O’Donnell and Howard Stern off the air. Freedom of speech is apparently in its last throes; it was nice while it lasted, though.

Way, way back in the Seventies I remember reading underground comics, HUSTLER, and National Lampoon, publications that weren’t afraid to offend. Since then underground comics have morphed into “adult graphic novels” Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton fled to France, and took a lot of the underground comics’ energy and drive with them. Hustler has since gone Hollywood and for that matter so did everyone involved with National Lampoon. 

 Humor has become so dull and generic these days. Can’t offend anyone. Saturday Night Live puts me to sleep. Going to the few newsstands that are left is almost pointless. No more National Lampoon…no more Psychotronic…no more Weirdo. Why bother?

Even online everyone’s afraid to offend. Say the wrong thing; you lose your advertisers. Your Web site can suddenly vanish. And Comedy Central (which has shown kids jacking off dogs on South Park, among many other such equally charming images) cuts up Blazing Saddles to the point of which I can’t stand to watch it. Thirty five years later no one can still figure out it’s called satire. Someone’s just kidding. They just may not be serious. But it just doesn’t matter. Was watching a black stand-up the other night who said the one single question white people asked him the most was why it was OK for blacks to use the N-word but not whites. His answer: ” I don’t know… this one nigger don’t make the rules!” And for the record, they “bleeped” him when he said the “N-word”

Flashback to 2000: I’m visiting my friends Baird and Susannah Blanton in Los Angeles. I wake up pre-dawn, down a cup of coffee and then pick up a leash and take their dog for a walk. Strolling down Pico Blvd. with the dog leading the way, we walk past an entire block plastered with posters for the new Spike Lee film BAMBOOZLED. For the length of the block the dog and I walk by a seemingly countless number of giant oversized grinning pickaninny faces. Looking at them I can’t help but marvel at the irony of this; only Spike Lee could get away with such a thing in a racially incendiary city like Los Angeles. Can you imagine a white film-maker using such advertising?

Of course when PULP FICTION came out eight years earlier, it was Spike Lee complaining about the language in the script. Samuel Jackson himself asked who was making the rules here.

QUOTE: ” To annouce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only un-patriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

What? What kind of hippie commie crap is this? Who said such a thing? Michael Moore? Cindy Sheehan?

Theodore Roosevelt, that’s who, you putz.

Freedom of speech applies to everyone. Skinheads. Black Muslims. And that includes the rest of us regular Joes too.

No one ever died from hearing hate speech. No one ever wound up in a wheelchair from hearing  it.  Lots of people have come home in boxes as a direct result of decision-making by people who found phrases like ” friendly fire” or “acceptable losses” proper speech on the other hand.

I personally have never ever called another person of another ethnicity any kind of racial epithet, at least to their face. This is partially due to my personal aversion to being beaten up, stabbed or shot, but also due to my sense of just plain common decency. I don’t personally believe in talking to other people that way, period. However, I’ve been called names that would corn-row your ear hair by people of other races I apparently offended by my mere presence.

But what exactly is so bad about hate speech? If anything it can be a great way to let off some steam; or you can just bottle it all up inside until you’re ready to go shoot up a college campus, or walk into a restaurant with guns a-blazing.

So when you’re alone in the privacy of your home, call a spade a spook.  E-mail your congressman and complain about the wetbacks. Hang a picture of Rev. Al Sharpton on the wall and ask him what Tawana Brawley’s up to these days.  Call ME a white devil if it gives you some verbal sense of revenge; believe me, I’ve been called worse. Much worse. And you know what? I’m still alive and well despite it.

Hate speech is a release valve we all need; otherwise our heads would explode. We’d bite our lips off. Chew up our tongues while drowning in a sea of political correctness.

If hate speech is to be outlawed, then don’t forget to outlaw the writings and speeches by NeoCon barf-bags like Ann Coulter and Michael Savage, two of the most hateful people I’ve ever seen in my 48 years. Let’s get CNN colostomy bag Bill O’Reilly off the air too; sitting up there spewing “I’m-going-to-get-you” threats like some NeoCon thug.

If people want Rosie O’Donnell, Don Imus and Howard Stern off the air, then these assholes should be gone too. They are nothing but offensive and hateful.

You can’t rightfully defend their right to free speech while attempting to selectively silence anyone else.

So let’s hear three cheers for hate speech! It’s as American as apple pie.

BR

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