Tuesday, February 24, 2009

That Cartoon and Free Speech

Professor Richard Thompson Ford made a good point on Lou Dobbs tonight, on the relationship between the possible racist nature of the New York Post’s cartoon, depicting a shot chimpanzee which actually represented the Stimulus bill over all.

He mentioned that whether the cartoon was in bad taste or was meant as racism or not, things like these are protected by the 1st Amendment and no matter whom it offends, that right is there.

I agree with Professor Ford’s position, because once you start to trample over free speech, then you start to restrict and reduce that Right. The whole reason for the 1st amendment in our Country of the United States is to protect any and all free speech from regulation whether it is Government or it be some yahoo on the street who thinks their way is the only way and everyone else should fall in line.

Reverend Al Sharpton dully has the afforded Right to be offended by the cartoon since there is the possibility of racial intent, and the choice of the chimpanzee was definitely in poor taste. However Reverend Al Sharpton does not have the right to call for a Federal investigation by way of the FCC since it is protected free speech under the first amendment. As well he neither has the right to lump the cartoon free speech issue together with a person’s right to own and regulate one or many News outlets. These are two totally different issues that Reverend Sharpton seems to have an ulterior motive for attacking.

I personally agree with the New York Post that the cartoon Chimpanzee represents the Stimulus Bill which is out of control like a chimpanzee. However in light of the fact that most people in this Country refuse or haven’t let go of racism in general, the cartoon’s artist and the Post’s Editor should have been a little bit more sensitive to this fact. Yet in the end they spoke their mind in regards to free speech and I do not hold that point against them.

Reverend Al Sharpton though correct in his manner to be offended, should rethink his manner of outrage because racism comes in more than one color and form, and he frequently pursues courses that are unconstitutional in manner and I personally believe his actions are one of the main reasons we still are combating racism among many other famous personalities in this Country.

There are many in the United States who are perfectly willing to leave and throw away permanently the race issue/card, and many of us already have. Because it is neither productive nor is it even reasonable in this day in age. We, (the majority), all live and work in an inter-racial society here in the U.S., and have inter-racial friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.

It is groups such as the KKK, Weather Underground, Black Panthers, and People like Jessie Jackson and Reverend Al Sharpton who keep pressing the issue as if there were still race riots in the streets, far and wide bigotry in Public and Private places, and full and complete hatred and refusal to serve any of those that are not of some accepted perception.

This is simply just not true and it is unacceptable and inappropriate, this is not to say that there isn’t still racial crime and bigotry, however it means we just need to continue to educate each other on reality instead of immediately jumping on the Race bandwagon.

Bill Cosby probably said it best, that education is key. Whether it is the slums, the middle class or even multi-millionaire neighborhoods, everyone should be educated.

That everyone should go through a self empowerment course and learn that blaming others and making excuses neither serves yourself or those around you. That taking responsibility for yourself is key to being a successful participant in our society, and that jumping to racial conclusions is just as racial as what is supposedly causing the issue in the first place.

So to the New York Post I say, I understand that the cartoon was not meant in a racial proportion, however though it is not required, and being a well know conservative publication a little sensitivity could have been marked, that there are other animals out there that get the point across that markedly don’t have racial implications.

To Reverend Al Sharpton I say, I agree and understand the reasons you are outraged against the Post’s cartoon publication and you have every right to be, however your attack on the Post by trying to get the FCC involved is irresponsible on your part since your attack on the Post is a transparent and egregious effort to undermine the 1st Amendment, the same amendment that you yourself use on a daily basis to make outrageous claims and unconstitutional efforts.

The leader of the NAACP should also be a better Citizen and rethink this Racist and Socialist attack upon the Post and the 1st Amendment as well as Letitia James and all the others ramping up to try and Bring down the 1st Amendment by attacking the Post’s use of Free Speech and News Corps ability to own more than one News Publication.
Of which as I stated before are two totally different issues, and may I remind you all again that the reason for the 1st amendment and the supposed separation of Press and Government, is so that there is a freedom to say what one thinks without repercussions, whether what one says is offensive or not.

It is ones right to not read or view such things, as well as to create an opinion based on such, yet it is not your Right to try to involve the Federal Government of whom has no authority in this area on purpose as it would be an infringement of that Right.

It seems odd that someone like Reverend Al Sharpton who makes a living off of free speech and attacking the Caucasian element and any others who come under his line of site. Would in fact make such an effort to dissolve the Right he uses so freely.

R. William Holzkopf Jr.

Sources:
http://loudobbs.tv.cnn.com/

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-nypost236046660feb23,0,5909861.story

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/19/AR2009021903331.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/18/new-york-post-chimp-carto_n_167841.html

http://www.nypost.com/seven/02192009/postopinion/editorials/that_cartoon_155984.htm


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