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Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:08 PM

The Limits of Free Speech

The Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment would protect even the racist chant at the University of Oklahoma—but it shouldn't.
KENT GREENFIELDMAR 13 2015, 10:54 AM ET

Reuters
Members of a fraternity at the University of Oklahoma were recently filmed chanting that they’d rather see a black student lynched than as a member of their clan. The now viral video of dapper, privileged white men shouting, “There will never be a nigger at SAE, you can hang him from a tree” reminds us of our greatest national shame. The chant has been roundly condemned as abhorrent. But after university president David Boren announced the expulsion of two students leading the chants, prominent legal scholars from the right and left have come to their defense. The university is a public institution, they say, and punishing the students for what they said—no matter how vile—violates the First Amendment’s commitment to “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open” discourse.

Oklahoma could make a decent argument that the students’ chant created a hostile educational environment and was thus unprotected speech, but these scholars are likely correct as a predictive matter. If this situation were litigated before the current Supreme Court, the students would almost certainly win. The frat boys’ howls are reminiscent of the Westboro Baptist Church’s “God hates fags” protests near military funerals, which the Supreme Court protected a few years ago. And while public university hate-speech codes have never been litigated at the Supreme Court, they have been trounced in lower courts.

Yet is the slippery slope so slick that we cannot fathom any restrictions on the worst speech? Is the slope so steep that we cannot recognize the harms flowing from assertions of privileged hatred subjecting whole populations to fear of violence? Does it really risk tyranny to expel a couple of racist punks?

If that is what the First Amendment means, I dissent.


You can read the whole article here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/the-limits-of-free-speech/387718/

It's a good article posted on another thread by a poster who's intent was to defend racist speech. The article is a clear argument for why we shouldn't.

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Reply The Limits of Free Speech (Original post)
mountain grammy Mar 2015 OP
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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:15 PM

1. Sorry, but I disagree, racist speech is free speech, however offensive it is.

I may not like the speech, but I defend the right to say it.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:25 PM

4. The remedy for offensive speech if more speech. nt

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:27 PM

5. Absolutely correct. eom.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:19 AM

100. +1. Jefferson was right when he first said it.

And he's still right.

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Response to treestar (Reply #100)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:36 PM

176. It was actually Justice Louis Brandeis

 

who said it here, in his concurrence in the 1927 case Whitney v. California: “To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence. Only an emergency can justify repression.

(emphasis added).

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:52 PM

12. Correct

If free speech doesn't cover speech that you don't agree with, well then, it's pointless.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:57 PM

15. Same here.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:06 PM

19. Yes. n/t

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:10 PM

27. They are not arrested

or imprisoned for their speech. They violated university rules. The punishment fits the infraction. If it goes to the courts, it should stand.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #27)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:14 PM

29. The government (acting here as a State University) should not have the

power to punish speech, regardless of how objectionable you (or I) may find it to be. I don't think it will go to the courts but, if it were to I imagine it would not stand as a violation of the 1st Amendment.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #29)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:24 PM

35. Universities have plenty of power over their students.

there are lots of rules and policies to follow. Students that break rules are punished. These students broke the rules and were appropriately punished.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #35)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:26 PM

38. You can't have a rule that violates the First Amendment

if your're a government actor. A State university is a government actor. Private universities don't have the same issue.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #38)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:35 PM

39. The rules don't violate the first amendment..

the rules are there to create a safe and learning environment for students. Rules for fraternities are even stricter. Parents and students are aware of these rules when they enter the school.
Acting like an asshole may get you expelled, a racist fraternity should definitely be shut down. Life in the real world. Just like the Duck Dynasty jerk or Paula Dean.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #39)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:41 PM

40. Of course they do. The government cannot punish a person for

his/her speech except under extremely limited circumstances. This isn't one of those. As to "the rules", if the rules don't involve speech or if the university is not a governmental one, then it's between the university and the offenders. But that isn't the case here. The fact that students and parents may 'be aware of the rules when they enter school' is irrelevant when the rule itself violates the First Amendment.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #40)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 05:15 AM

53. The university is a government?

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Response to Major Hogwash (Reply #53)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:12 AM

65. It's a STATE university. As such, it is what in law is

called a State Actor. (First Amendment applies to actions of the States as well as to those of the Federal Government by virtue of the 14th Amendment). So yes, Constitutional prohibitions apply to this case

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #65)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:29 AM

76. the 14th amendment also applies, meaning that the university needs to ensure

 

that black students be granted full and equal access to the benefits of the university system, and part of that means each and every student who matriculates is bound by this obligation--they may not deny their fellow students the full enjoyment of the benefits of the system on the basis of race.

Ergo, they are not allowed to discriminate, nor are they allowed to create an atmosphere where black students are made to feel unsafe or harassed on the basis of their race.

They can't follow black students around with "n!gger go home" signs for example. Even though that's speech, that shit is not protected.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #76)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:32 AM

78. Interesting but hypothetical. The students didn't create an atmosphere

off any kind they were in a bus where no black students were present. And they weren't following black students around with "nigger go home" signs, although I would argue that that would also be protected speech.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #78)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:38 AM

80. So you think it's unconstitutional to forbid students from engaging in race-based

 

harassment, intimidation, and menacing of African-American students?

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #80)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:40 AM

81. No. But that's not what occurred here. You can't stretch

the facts of this to fit by using hyperbolic language. They weren't harassing, intimidating or menacing anyone.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #81)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:45 AM

85. No, there was illegal discrimination however. nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #85)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:00 AM

90. By the students who were expelled? Really?

Just how did the discriminate????

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #90)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:05 AM

94. " you can hang him from a tree, but he'll never sign with me"

 

They sang that, and encouraged others to sing it.

So, they were not only stating that they had discriminated and would continue to discriminate on the basis of race, they were encouraging their peers to also engage in such blatantly illegal discrimination.

At this point, you're on the border of playing dumb with this.

All-white fraternity with members boasting how they maliciously discriminated on the basis of race, specifically by excluding other university students because those students were black.

Those members participated in illegal discrimination. If they wanted to contest the expulsion, they could have, but didn't. Had they decided to contest it, they would have had their university email accounts examined by the university's legal team, and they would have had to testify, and their friends would have had to testify.





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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #94)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:23 PM

188. Now you're just making stuff up. These students are not 'stating that they had

discriminated' nor were they 'encouraging their peers to also engage'. That's not how the law works. Perhaps a fraternity whose members 'boasted how they maliciously discriminated on the basis of race' could be charged under some anti-discrimination statute but, once again that's not what's under discussion here. What is under discussion, plain and simple is that two university students were punished by a state-sponsored institution of higher learning for something they said. Nothing more. Since it is a state-sponsored institution it is legally the government for the purposes of First Amendment analysis. And the government punished them for things they said - not did. And that violates the First Amendment.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #188)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:31 PM

190. You are being willfully blind to what they said.

 

Since you are so determined to argue on behalf of these racist scumbags that you ignore the plain meaning of what they admitted when they said those words, this conversation is over.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #190)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:37 PM

192. I'm a lawyer with more than 25 years in practice. What I

have said (and repeated, ad nauseam is exactly what the law says. Furthermore, your contention notwithstanding there is no "admission" to anything in what they are reported to have said. They are being punished only for the words they said (sang). And that, whether you like it or not, and whether you choose to accept it or not, is where the law of the land was violated.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #192)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:42 PM

194. You are claiming racist frat boys chanting this little ditty:

 

“There will never be a n*gg*r in SAE.
There will never be a n*gg*r in SAE.
You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me
There will never be a n*gg*r in SAE.”


is not evidence that they are engaged in racial discrimination.

have you ever had any black clients?

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #194)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:43 PM

195. It's not 'evidence' of anything. And yes, lots of them.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #195)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:46 PM

197. Like you have black friends I'm sure.

 

As an actual lawyer, I can tell you that this kind of tape is not only evidence, it's a fucking smoking gun that lawyers dream about being able to put in front of a trier of fact.

Fact A: No blacks admitted since 2002.

Fact B: They joyfully chanted about how there will never be any blacks in their fraternity, citing lynchings with the line "he won't sign with me."

You really ought to read up on the concept of evidence. Maybe a CLE is required.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #197)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:04 PM

201. Thank you, Counselor. Please proceed to tell me just

what the tape is "evidence" of? If you were trying to make some half-assed case that SAE as a fraternity discriminated against blacks. this might make a fairly unimportant comment in a closing argument. It is certainly not a "smoking gun" (a term which, BTW real lawyers never use). But what you apparently refuse to recognize is that we're not talking about SAE here, only about two students who were pledging that fraternity. (In case you were never in a fraternity, a pledge is an aspiring member of an organization, not a full-fledged member and much less with any ability whatsoever to influence the actions of a local or national governing body.) So, to keep insisting that these two boys themselves discriminated solely by singing a stupid racist ditty as part of the asshole stunts one goes through when pledging doesn't even pass the laugh test.

You keep desperately trying to dodge the real issue here, i.e. the punishment of these two boys for what they said, not anything they did by conflating punishment for speaking with acts of racial discrimination. If you have some case law that says that this type of speech is racial discrimination please cite to it. However, unless you're prepared to provide some real evidence (as opposed to your opinion what you think the law should be) or that these two students either engaged in or were directly responsible for some type of illegalconduct, let's stop beating that dead horse.

And thanks for the suggestion but I really don't need any refresher course on Evidence. Been doing this a long, long time.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #201)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:22 PM

204. The two students who stated their intent to discriminate against blacks by singing

 

that song, and encouraging others to do the same? That is more than enough to justify expulsion.

Moreover, there was a bus full of these racist shitheads. Most lucky enough to be facing away from the camera.

Moreover, they have said they were taught this song (obviously). Given that it's an SAE-specific song and they are SAE pledges, a sensible person can infer where they learned it.

The national fraternity has confirmed this, stating that:

Our investigation has found very likely that the men learned the song from fellow chapter members, which reiterates why Sigma Alpha Epsilon did not hesitate to close the chapter completely because of the culture that may have been fostered in the group.


Combine that with a decade of no black pledges, and they'd be very, very, very hard pressed to make a showing they weren't engaged in discrimination.

You are free to maintain that the only victims here are the rich white trash caught on video. Good luck with that.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #204)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:25 PM

206. Now you have convinced me.

You're not really a lawyer. Stick a fork in me. I'm done. Bye.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #206)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:28 PM

208. Toodles. And by the way yes plaintiffs' lawyers

 

use the term "smoking gun." Not in front of a court, but in prep certainly.

Also, just because someone isn't reflexively inclined to see racist rich white trash is the victim doesn't mean they're not a lawyer.

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-03-11/oklahoma-s-right-to-expel-frat-boys

discrimination, however, is generally protected.

But Boren’s explanation for the expulsion rests on a different theory. He said specifically that the students were being expelled for their “leadership role in leading a racist and exclusionary chant, which has created a hostile educational environment for others.”

The important words here are “hostile educational environment.” Under federal anti-discrimination law, as interpreted by the Department of Education, a university has an affirmative duty to guarantee students an educational environment in which they are free of hostility based on race or sex.

You may have heard about this principle in connection with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. The law has similarly been interpreted by Education Department to require universities to protect students against a hostile educational environment based on sex discrimination, including sexual harassment.1

In the business context, the analogy would be to an employer’s obligation to protect against a hostile workplace environment.

So Boren was saying that the students are being expelled not for their opinions per se, but because their speech was a form of discriminatory conduct that would create a hostile educational environment for black students. Given that the speech was literally designed to inculcate the value of racial discrimination by making pledges recite their commitment never to admit a black member to the fraternity, this conclusion seems plausible. Removing the chant leaders from campus is aimed to fulfill the educational goal of creating a nonhostile educational environment.


Too bad your side lost this debate.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #208)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:30 PM

210. Bullshit. nt

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #78)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:59 PM

179. So what do you think about laws against hate speech?

Curious.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #179)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:09 PM

184. In general terms I'm opposed to them. 'Hate speech' is a

very malleable concept and that bothers me. The day after tomorrow with a Rethuglican President, Congress and Supreme Court (not a forgone possibility!) who knows what could be criminalized as 'hate speech'? Certainly a lot of what I read posted on DU could conceivably fit that bill. I'm a great believer that there's no right not to be offended by someone else's speech. Instead, the remedy for objectionable speech is more speech, not shutting it down.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #179)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 05:53 PM

226. In the United States they would be fundamentally unconstitutional, because among other things,

"hate speech" is a subjective and arbitrary definition.

There are no "laws against hate speech" in the US. There are specific additional punishments for crimes deemed 'hate crimes', but that is different- the speech itself cannot be a crime.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #179)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:22 PM

243. Fuck.such.laws. The answer to bad speech is good speech, not authoritarian censorship.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #76)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:33 AM

79. In addition, full enjoyment of the benefits of the system

does not include joining a fraternity.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #79)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:40 AM

82. Incorrect. The fraternity is university-sanctioned student group and is part of the

 

university system. Just like every university-recognized student group is.

It is illegal for any fraternity on a public university to discriminate on the basis of race.

Flat out illegal.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #82)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:02 AM

92. It's not the fraternity that's being charged with anything.

It's two students, based on their individualm speech. And there is no "RIGHT" you or I have to belong to any private group.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #92)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:09 AM

95. there is a RIGHT to not be discriminated against.

 

There is no right to a specific job, but there is a RIGHT to not be excluded from that job because one is black.

Are you seriously disputing that? if so, you are essentially denying that civil rights for black people exist.


Fraternities on public campuses are notprivate organizations that retain full constitutional rights--they waive a great many of them by being formally associated with the university. While truly private organizations can discriminate on who they let join, fraternities on public campuses do not have that right. Quite the contrary, they have an affirmative obligation to ensure they're not discriminating.

And universities have an affirmative obligation to prevent discrimination by fraternities.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=888&dat=19650619&id=P-Y0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=8nwDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6590,4700038

And, individual students who carry out racial discrimination policies within the fraternity are personally liable for their own conduct, which here was in violation of the student code.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #95)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:18 PM

186. You are doing your damndest to be outraged and, as such

aren't keeping your eye on the ball. First of all, prohibiting discriminating in hiring does not violate any provision of the Constitution. Prohibiting speech does. Neither fraternities nor their members waive their constitutional rights when they establish chapters at universities and, if they were required to do so, that action would rapidly be found to be unconstitutional. We're not talking about discrimination in this example - we're talking about free speech.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #186)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:38 PM

193. Zzzzxx. The song referred explicitly

 

to a policy of excluding African-Americans.

If you don't see that as evidence of racial discrimination, there's no hope for you.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #82)


Response to Name removed (Reply #110)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:37 AM

111. not every illegal act is punishable by a criminal sentence.

 

Discrimination on the basis of race for fraternity membership has been illegal for 61 years.

The remedy is that the school loses federal funding if it allows the illegal conduct to continue.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #111)


Response to Name removed (Reply #114)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:46 AM

118. The university punished those engaged

 

in the illegal conduct, ergo they cured the violation.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #118)


Response to Name removed (Reply #124)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:57 AM

130. Sure they can

If a code of conduct says you can get expelled for smoking dope in the dorms, the University's punishment (expulsion) is separate from criminal prosecution.

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Response to cyberswede (Reply #130)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:58 AM

133. Good lord. Next thing you'll be saying DU can punish posters by banning them for not following its

terms of service.

WHERE will it ever stop??????

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #133)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:00 AM

134. as long as racist white guys continue to feel sorry for themselves because

 

they can't try to make the lives of racial minorities and women miserable

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #134)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 06:09 PM

232. Yep

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #133)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:00 AM

136. WHAT?!?!!11

Say it isn't so!

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #133)


Response to Name removed (Reply #124)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:57 AM

131. Yes, they do. Welcome to DU.

 



P.S. if a student is an axe murderer, a school can expel them. Duh.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #131)


Response to Name removed (Reply #159)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:39 AM

160. No, just that it is an appropriate one nt

 

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #40)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:42 PM

177. An officially recognized student group singing songs abour racially lynching other students

isn't a special circumstance? Holy crap, is there any speech the university could take action over? Can a fraternity sing songs about raping girls?

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #177)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:11 PM

185. To answer your question, in my legal opinion

the answer to your question is "No". But let me qualify that by saying that this only applies in the case of a state-funded institution. Private institutions are legally free (a bad idea, IMO) to punish any type of speech they deem inappropriate at any given moment. The First Amendment only applies to the government regulating speech, not private entities.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #185)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:25 PM

207. I think "You can hang 'em from a tree" crossed a line.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #207)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:29 PM

209. What line, legally speaking? It's your opinion that

singing that stupid song crossed "a line", but "that line" is subjective, in this case reflecting your own likes and dislikes. That's not how the 1st Amendment works. The law does not permit the government to punish you for stupid or offensive speech. The categories of speech that are not protected by law are extremely limited. This isn't one of them.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #209)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 03:02 PM

211. The "line" between protected speech and a threat of violence.

The courts have ruled that "true threats" do not receive First Amendment protection. They've struggled in the past over where to draw the line between protected speech and threats of criminal violence. I think this is closer to the line than you might.

"You can...hang them" directly prescribes murder.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #211)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 03:46 PM

213. For a threat to be actionable it must be clear and inciting

imminent action. Singing "you can hang them" is not clearly a threat and certainly not an incitement to any imminent action.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #213)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 04:19 PM

215. Free speech limits cases are rarely clear or simple.

And the definition of a "true threat" is far more muddled than you suggest.

Furthermore, if this case were to go to court, the court would almost certainly consider the specific case in its specific context, that is, the context of a university president expelling students for making threatening and hostile speech.

Multiple court rulings have proposed tests for threatening speech. Sandra Day O'Connor weighed in in 2003

‘True threats’ encompass those statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals. The speaker need not actually intend to carry out the threat. Rather, a prohibition on true threats protect[s] individuals from the fear of violence and from the disruption that fear engenders, in addition to protecting people from the possibility that the threatened violence will occur.” - Sandra Day O'Connor. Virginia v Black (2003)

(EDIT: the context could also include actual violence that has taken place on university campuses, as well as a university president's obligation to create a safe environment.)

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #215)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 05:25 PM

222. It's not muddled, it's nuanced.

And Sandra Day's dicta notwithstanding, how do you get to a "serious expression of 1) an intent (and that's the key word here to commit 2) an act of unlawful violence-

What proof of "serious intent to commit" an act of unlawful violence?
What "act of violence" was actually being threatened?

Where do you find a serious intent of anything from a couple of drunk 19 year olds singing a stupid, racist fraternity ditty? And, what was the "act of unlawful violence - specifically - that these two were intended to commit then and there on a particular group of individuals?

Those are key facts must proved in order to even get to the threshold of punishing otherwise protected speech. And I at least have seen absolutely zero facts that prove either of these two conditions

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #222)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 06:30 PM

235. What makes you certain they weren't serious?

Is it because they were a bunch of well-heeled white kids. Is that why you're certain that they weren't expressing any serious intent? All of them? Was there one or more in the bunch with especially intense hostility toward "niggers"? How many acts of racial violence have been committed nationwide by students like these fraternity boys? Do you know? I don't have the exact answer, but I can say with confidence that it ain't zero.

What about the university president? Do you suggest he or she should just check with you whenever they need to gauge the seriousness of a threat of racial violence?

The court, if it comes to that, will consider the obligation of a university president, specifically, to address student behavior that expresses generalized hostility and threats of violence.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #235)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 11:27 PM

248. What makes you certain that they were?

Facts please, not opinions or personal conclusions.

I don't know if “there [was] one or more in the bunch with especially intense hostility toward "niggers" and, even if I did, that question is irrelevant to the case against these two students. Likewise I don't know how many acts of violence have been committed nationwide by fraternity boys but, once again, the question is legally irrelevant. You cannot convict these boys based on vague accusations and supposed acts of some people perhaps similarly situated to them. The only issue is what have these two boys themselves done that merits the severe punishment of expulsion. And so far, the only honest, factual answer is that they sang a stupid, offensive racist song in the confines of a bus and only in the presence of other members of their fraternity, none of whom were African American.

As to Boren, you will see that he is already backing water (after listening to his attorneys) and is ow trying to dress his illegal action up with a new, pseudo-justification of 'racial discrimination'. This is undoubtedly because his attorneys told him that his actions violated the First Amendment. And, just to once again be clear about it, you have so far pointed to absolutely NO actual, tangible threat of racial violence made by these boys. To suggest that there is based on the facts as they have been reported up to now is just dishonest.


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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #213)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 04:26 PM

216. FWIW I agree with you

I don't post much, but I've been here since the beginning. I like to try to defend free speech. I must say that this topic does get most of my limited posts, and I will say that overwhelmingly I am continually disappointed that most always there is a lack of free speech advocacy here. This is but an example.

People continue to see speech they don't like and will twist anything to get it banned.

Which disappoints me greatly.


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Response to Saboburns (Reply #216)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 05:30 PM

223. It always depends on whose ox is being gored.

My speech is fine but I'm not so sure about yours. And if you say something that really grates on me, well, maybe you shouldn't be allowed to say that.

The law does not protect people from rude, crude, or offensive speech. The whole "hate speech" issue is like trying to nail Jello to a tree. But when a college kid gets buzzed and, trying to curry favor from his 'superiors' while desperately trying to get accepted into a club sings a stupid racist ditty that's probably been around since his Grandfather was in short pants it becomes a case not for some reasonable punishment but Ground Zero expulsion, no questions asked. The University's problem here was that it's a State school so it's a government actor and therefore constrained in actions like this by the protections of the First Amendment. If it had been Harvard, they could have tossed the boys without a fare-thee-well.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #223)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 06:01 PM

230. As an aside, shouldn't there at least have been a hearing before they were expelled??

I would think there are due process problems as well here. Maybe there was a hearing but I am not aware of one.

But as this applies to Free Speech; I, too, believe that OU as a Public Institution, is limited from acting on this issue. I believe that in the near future some enterprising lawyers will talk with these ex-students, and that this will be a case to which I will pay very close attention.

Hell yes what they sang was racist, hell yes it was offensive.

Which is why it should never be banned by any agency representing the State.

I'll say it again, for a Left-Leaning Message Board, there is a real dearth of First Amendment Supporters around here.

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Response to Saboburns (Reply #230)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:30 PM

237. They had a right to appeal the decision before it went into effect.

 

The letter notifying them of the decision gave them precise details on how to appeal. Presumably they waived that hearing, which will likely be lethal to any litigation.

engaging in illegal racial discrimination and pushing others to do so is conduct, not mere speech.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #237)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:06 PM

238. er, um

You have the hearing first, then if desired an appeal.

If they did not get a hearing, and I'm not certain if they did, it'd going to be a BIG problem.. They may have waived it, but I don't know one way or another.

But the important thing is that Due Process is followed for everybody, no matter what they've done.

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Response to Saboburns (Reply #238)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:18 PM

239. They were given a right to a swift hearing, accompanied by counsel if they wished.

 

Before the expulsion went into effect.

http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/griffin/NEWS9/PDF/0603/OUExpulsion.pdf

They did not avail themselves of that opportunity. Which means they waived it.

Which was wise, as their position was untenable. They 'd have been forced to rat out whoever taught them the song as well as every person who was on the bus, as well as testifying why they felt comfortable dropping the n-bomb on a full charter bus full of their frat brothers.

While keeping themselves in the spotlight.

And then they still would have been expelled.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #239)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:44 PM

240. Good

It looks like Due Process was followed.

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Response to Saboburns (Reply #230)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 11:40 PM

249. I agree that they should have had some type of a

hearing before lowering the boom on them but Boren is first, last and always a politician whose gut instinct was to get out in front of a very embarrassing episode for his university. So he threw due process out the window and here we are. And you are absolutely right that OU as a Public Institution is constrained in limiting its students speech by the First Amendment. I have no idea if the students or their families will later choose to sue OU. I suppose it depends on who they listen to the most. They may want to just ignore it and get on with their lives but, if this starts having repercussions on the boys' lives (i.e. not being accepted at other universities because of this) that could change. And you are as right as rain that the government has no business trying to suppress songs students sing, whether they are patriotic, religious, political or just downright offensive to everyone and his brother. Speech should only be banned in the extremely limited circumstances that have been determined over two plus centuries of U.S. jurisprudence and never except under those limited circumstances.

The real proof of a genuine DU'er, at least to my way of thinking, is one who so respects the First Amendment of the Constitution that (s)he is willing to support what it says even when in cases where the speech in question is horribly offensive, shocking and enraging to them personally. There does seem to be a dearth of those posting on the subject.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #35)


Response to Name removed (Reply #107)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 11:35 AM

163. Of course I read the article, the entire article..

it goes on to say:

No one with a frontal lobe would mistake this drunken anthem for part of an uninhibited and robust debate about race relations. The chant was a spew of hatred, a promise to discriminate, a celebration of privilege, and an assertion of the right to violence–all wrapped up in a catchy ditty. If the First Amendment has become so bloated, so ham-fisted, that it cannot distinguish between such filth and earnest public debate about race, then it is time we rethink what it means.

The way we interpret the First Amendment need not be simplistic and empty of nuance, and was not always so. The Supreme Court unanimously held over eighty years ago that “those words which by their very utterance inflict injury … are no essential part of any exposition of ideas.” And in 1952 the Court upheld an Illinois statute punishing “false or malicious defamation of racial and religious groups.” These rulings, while never officially reversed, have shrunk to historical trinkets. But they mark a range of the possible, where one can be a staunch defender of full-throated discourse but still recognize the difference between dialogue and vomitus.


Those not targeted by the speech can sit back and recite how distasteful such racism or sexism is, and isn’t it too bad so little can be done. Meanwhile, those targeted by the speech are forced to speak out, yet again, to reassert their right to be treated equally, to be free to learn or work or live in an environment that does not threaten them with violence. The First Amendment’s reliance on counterspeech as remedy forces the most marginalized among us to bear the costs of the bigots’ speech. Counterspeech is exhausting and distracting, but if you are the target of hatred you have little choice. “Speak up! Remind us why you should not be lynched.” “Speak up! Remind us why you should not be raped.” You can stay silent, but that internalizes the taunt. The First Amendment tells us the government cannot force us either to remain silent or to speak, but its reliance on counterspeech effectively forces that very choice onto victims of hate speech.


Try reading the entire article. It's well argued.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #27)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:53 AM

48. But they were punished by being expelled,

and this being a state university, which receives federal/state funds, then I suspect that if this goes to a court, the university will lose on 1A grounds.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:36 AM

46. Exactly, and I want the racist slime buckets right out in the open

where I can see them and avoid them.

Besides, it's the only way truly unpopular speech like left wing economics can be protected from governmental censorship.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #46)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:55 AM

49. I generally agree, but I don't want to avoid them,

I want to meet them head on and challenge them on their racist views.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:32 PM

175. Couldn't agree more.

 

The only thing about which I am an absolutist is the First Amendment.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 05:53 PM

227. If we wont protect racist speech, why bother protecting speech at all. Nobody is worried

about protecting speech that isnt offensive.

The reason you set out to protect speech is to protect the most vile of all.

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Response to NoJusticeNoPeace (Reply #227)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:11 PM

241. OMG!!!!!

That's twice in 2 days that we've agreed on something.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #241)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 10:17 AM

277. This is an easy one...When I say protect speech, it doesnt mean there arent

ramifications for expressing free speech.

I have no idea what, if anything, a university can do regards the speech in this case.

Revoking the charter seems legal to me but expelling the students doesnt.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 09:53 AM

269. I also defend the use of codes of conduct. n/t

 

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:17 PM

2. Context is everything.

 

Speech always occurs within a larger set of facts and circumstances.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:58 PM

43. Yes. And the song said that the SAE fraternity would not accept African-Ameircans who wished

to be members and the refusal would be on the basis of race. Seems to me that while the fraternity might be able to say horrible things about African-Americans, if they, as the song said, refuse membership based on race, then they are discriminating based on race. And it would seem to me that the university could ban or in other words not recognize the university affiliation of any group that discriminated based on race.

So in that way, what the university president did was not exactly punishing speech or depriving someone of their right to free speech, but rather enforcing the law that prohibits public universities or their member affiliates from discriminating based on race.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #43)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 04:33 AM

51. Bingo! nt

 

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:25 PM

3. We should not make criminals out of people making extemely offensive statements or thoughts.

But we should make them pariahs. Speech should be met with more speech, not forcibly suppressed by government. I choose not to empower our government to police the content of speech, no thank you.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:12 PM

28. They are not criminals

the point is, should their punishment stand or not based on "free speech." They didn't violate laws, they violated university policy and were appropriately punished. If they sue, it's to have the punishment lifted based on "free speech." I don't think that should be the decision here.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #28)


Response to Name removed (Reply #161)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 11:38 AM

164. I don't think that's exactly what geek is saying..

but it's true, they broke no law, just the university's code of conduct and they were appropriately disciplined.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #164)


Response to Name removed (Reply #165)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:11 PM

168. it is illegal for fraternities on college campuses to discriminate on the basis of race.

 

black letter law. no ambiguity.

illegal.

where our newly-registered friend is confused is in his belief that every illegal act can be punished by a criminal sentence.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #168)


Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:30 PM

6. Speech that incites to violence is illegal

 

Some guy can't start shouting at a crowd using the n-word and pointing at blacks, "Lynch those no good *beep* *beep*! Come on, let's get them!"

That would be incitement, at least I think so.

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Response to dissentient (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:57 PM

14. Agreed. They would be considered "fighting words",

which are not protected by the First Amendment.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_words

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #14)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:01 PM

16. Were they broadcasting those words for public consumption or was there an expectation of privacy?

Free speech shouldn't be contingent on whether there is a recording or not.

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Response to Throd (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:05 PM

18. I was addressing the hypothetical situation in the post.

The racist song sung by the frat boys was clearly not "fighting words".

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Response to Throd (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:15 PM

30. It doesn't matter..

they are students at a university with certain policies that were violated. The fraternity exists only with the consent of the university. No one was charged with a crime. The punishment was appropriate for the offense.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #30)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:33 PM

244. A public (state-ran) university can not have a policy in opposition to the first amendment.

It's as simple as that.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:36 PM

7. So who decides what is free speech and what is not?

Do politicians decide?
What will Republicans hold as free speach when they have control?

The right to say disgusting things protects the right to say the correct thing.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #7)


Response to Name removed (Reply #105)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:34 AM

108. Some judges are appointed by politicians.

Some judges are elected, as with political office.

Some judges rode with the KKK.

Still trust judges?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #108)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:02 AM

139. Don Siegelman doesn't. nt

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Response to valerief (Reply #139)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:08 AM

143. Your honor, I rest my case.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #108)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 03:29 PM

212. The OP dicused limiting free speach for racists becasue wha they said is unacceptable.

In my own post I asked for clarification. If we are going to limit free speech as they do in Europe who gets to decide what the limits are?

The Current Republican Congress with a President of like mind would have very different ideas about what speech is acceptable.

I have a strong dislike of racism of all flavors, whether white supremacists rhetoric, racial epithets, anti-Semitism, or any other brand.

Under the Bush Administration, the President set up "Free Speech Zones" where protestors could have their free speech and he never had to see or hear it.

So if someone is going to suggest putting limits on free speech, I would like to know how they propose making sure that someone does not add limits to free speech most of us would equate with tyranny.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:38 PM

8. This article is racist and should be banned!

See how easy it is to be ridiculous.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 07:31 AM

54. If this article truly was racist

it would be alerted on, and a jury would decide, and it might well be "banned"--that is hidden.

And if the poster made a regular practice out of posting racist rants, MIRT or the administrators would indeed ban them from posting.

You have a problem with that?

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #54)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 07:46 AM

55. The point of my post

was to demonstrate that things will be labeled whatever label is necessary to suppress free speech.

If it becomes a practice to ban offensive speech those who disagree with what is being said will (mis)apply whatever label is required to shutdown whoever it is they disagree with. This fact seems so absolutely apparent that anyone arguing in favor of speech codes is more than likely already aware of it. Yet those proposing speech codes have apparently decided their position is so ironclad they will still go forward with making the proposition. That being said, one way of demonstrating the folly of their proposition is to offer a practical demonstration of the abuse the proposition invites.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #55)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:57 AM

88. Still not sure of your position here.

You oppose ALL "speech codes"? So if someone at my worksite follows me around all day yelling "n*gg*r n*gg*r n*gg*r!!!", you would defend that as an instance of "free speech"? This would seem to me to be a clear example of "demonstrating the folly of (your) proposition" in that I am now offering "a practical demonstration of the abuse the proposition invites."

Do you also oppose efforts by the administrators of DU to keep these discussions free of obvious right wing trolls?

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #88)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:14 PM

202. You're confused about what 'free speech' is. The protection of

the First Amendment only applies to government action. In the private sphere, if someone at your work site follows you around yelling whatever, I imagine it's a fast trip to HR and then escorted off the premises. If you work for a government, then I imagine an action could be brought against the offender for creating a hostile work environment. This is only a free speech issue here because the university is State run and is therefore an agency of the government.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #202)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 04:45 PM

218. Which also makes it subject to the Fourteenth Amendment

(equal protection under the law) and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the students were openly saying that no African Americans would ever be allowed into their fraternity--a statement apparently supported by the fact that there are NO African Americans in their chapter).

To allow such behavior at a public institution would be a violation of both these statutes.

Hence, the students' expulsion, and hence the students not even bothering to contest it, either administratively (they were offered that option) or in court--at least not as yet.,

Besides which, I was responding to Nuclear Unicorn when he said he was opposed to ANY speech code, pretty much anywhere. I wanted him to clarify just such a distinction as you make, but thus far he hasn't.

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #218)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 05:03 PM

220. I'm sorry, but you're just wrong. It's not a violation of equal protection

nor is it a violation of the Civil Rights Act. The students' expulsion was, I believe, illegal as a clear violation of the First Amendment. There are many reasons why they may have chosen not to sue, at least not yet. Certainly no one in their right mind would subject themselves to an administrative appeal, particularly when it was the University President who fixed their punishment at expulsion. That fact is not indicative of anything.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #220)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:50 AM

258. The equal protection clause

and the Civil Rights Act both apply, which is why the university acted so promptly--not wanting to risk the very real danger of either a lawsuit filed on behalf of minority students, or a Justice Dept. probe of their compliance with the Act. (I also think the wording of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988 would come in to play here).

We have to agree to disagree on this. The only way it will be truly resolved is if the students file suit, which they may or may not do. Until then this is all speculation.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #55)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:05 AM

93. If these boys had been hauled off to jail

and held in custody for their offense, I'd be the first one out there screaming free speech. They did not. They are students at a state university and members of a fraternity that exists at the pleasure of the university.
The boys were expelled and the frat house closed because the president of the university decided to take a stand against racist speech. He took a legal stand as a president of a university charged with the safety and peaceful learning environment of all students regardless of race, religion, etc. This frat house disrupted that mission. The president acted appropriately.
The boys have no criminal record. Their lives are disrupted, not ruined. Racism ruins lives. I am so encouraged by this university president who did the right thing here.

Frankly, I'm pretty shocked at how vigorously these boys are defended here. To me this is no different than the duck dynasty guy or Paula Dean. People can be as stupid and racist as they want, that's their freedom, but hate speech does not have to be tolerated in private or public venues. They deserve to be publicly shamed and shunned.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #93)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:14 AM

98. "those boys" huh?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #98)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:23 AM

104. Huh?

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:41 PM

9. This brings up a point about the media

I learned that the courts protected Fox from
the fact that "news" could include lies due
to a lack of a more stringent definition.

But they also bring a lot of incitement into
their presentations, and yet it is legal? Why is
this not considered the same way as screaming
fire in a theater?

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:47 PM

11. Factually incorrect

 

No court case ever addressed Fox news' right to lie.

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Response to Telcontar (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:18 PM

22. If I am wrong I apologize,but

this was treated for quite a time on the
Thom Hartman show.

If it was not a court though, who allowed
Fox to win? And win they did.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #22)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:29 PM

23. Then someone could claim Thom Hartman lied. See how the slope gets slippery?

In fact, someone could claim YOU lied by suggesting that the courts decided something that they didn't.

And Fox won a case arising out of an employment dispute between a husband-wife investigative reporter team and a local tv station in Tampa FL (not Fox News) where the plaintiffs alleged that they were fired for accusing Fox of engaging in illegal news distortion; the mid-level state appeals court construed the state "whistleblower" statute as only applying in cases where the underlying accusations involved an alleged violation of a law or rule; because the FCC has no formal rule against news distortion, only a policy, the court found that the whistleblower statute didn't apply. As it turns out, the FCC did consider whether the station had violated the news distortion policy and concluded that the dispute was an editorial dispute not a case of news distortion.


Finally, the concept of yelling fire in a crowded theater is from a 1919 case that has been substantially limited by subsequent cases since then, most notably the Brandenburg v. Ohio case in 1969. The article cited in the OP does a fairly decent job in explaining how narrow the exceptions to the First Amendment are.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:42 PM

10. I disagree. The racist frat boys are but the low hanging fruit on curbing free speech.

It is easy to condemn them because their chant was so vile. However, I do see a slippery slope where authoritarians can hijack the issue in the interests of "harmony or civility". Free speech is often hateful and divisive, but I will defend the rights of crackpots to spew their shit. Besides, it makes them easier to identify for condemnation or avoidance.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:54 PM

13. A slap on the wrist, OK, but expulsion is PC gone mad.

 

Kids will be kids, and frat boys do stupid things.

A temporary exclusion and some kind of community would have met the case.

Expulsing frat boys flat out over words, however silly and obnoxious?

Sounds like overreaction.

Let's let go of bombastic principles of free speech vs racism,

and just offer down to earth proportional punishment for a disgusting but minor offense.

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Response to Yorktown (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:03 PM

17. Agreed, especially since the university did not expel a student who punched a girl so hard

that he broke four bones in her face.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:09 PM

20. Didn't know that. Agreed. Total loss of proportions.

 

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:13 PM

21. That was completely different and you know it!

That was a football player who did that assault, and therefore deserved a second chance. Because football.

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Response to Yorktown (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:20 PM

31. Expulsion is the choice of the president of the university

who gave an appropriate punishment for vile behavior in violation of university policy. The racists weren't arrested or charged with any crime. The boys will go on with their lives and hopefully the swift and unequivocal actions of the university president will somehow sink in and change them.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #31)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 07:53 AM

57. The President of the University is still subject to the First Amendment

In any event, in this case it may be a moot point since it is my understanding that the two students withdrew from the University, thus making the "expulsion" irrelevant.

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Response to Yorktown (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:03 AM

44. The song stated that there would never be an African-American in SAE.

The discrimination against potential members of a university organization based on race is the problem, not the speech.

If the SAE at University of Oklahoma actually has African-American members and does not really discriminate, then the words are just the words of an old, irrelevant song. But the words state that the SAE at the U. of Oklahoma discriminates. That is grounds to prohibit the group from the university because if they discriminate based on race, they are breaking the law.

They asked for this problem by singing the song and thereby announcing that they discriminate based on race. The words of the song are not the problem. The discrimination is. It is against the law for organizations in public universitites to discriminate based on race.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #44)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 07:54 AM

58. normally one goes through a degree of due process before penalizing someone

for violating the law.

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Response to onenote (Reply #58)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:23 AM

103. They didn't violate a law, they were never arrested

law enforcement was never involved. The boys were expelled for acting like thugs while students as a university with rules. They violated rules and were punished. It happens all the time. Their lives are disrupted, not ruined. Racism ruins lives.
The president of the university is wise enough to know that.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #103)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:19 AM

151. I was responding to the post above mine

which specifically stated: "The words of the song are not the problem. The discrimination is. It is against the law for organizations in public universitites to discriminate based on race."

But thank you for jumping in with your off-point input.

I should add that this entire discussion is merely hypothetical since I've not heard that the students are pursuing legal relief and, indeed, it has been reported that they withdrew from the university, which suggests that they waived any procedural due process rights that they might have.

But if they hadn't withdrawn and decided to fight this, the answer would be not nearly so clear as some here seem to think it is. That's not to say the students would prevail against OU, just that any decent lawyer would be able to pose a number of questions that raise issues that are not frivolous in any case where a state actor takes action against an individual for their speech.

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Response to onenote (Reply #151)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:32 AM

157. Sorry if I offended you.

I don't believe this is hypothetical and I'm discouraged that so many people feel these students who are part of a university body, in a fraternity sanctioned by the university, should have every right to offend and denigrate their fellow students without punishment based on free speech.

Just my off point opinion. Sorry for jumping in.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #44)

Thu Mar 19, 2015, 12:42 AM

313. Nope. Because the frat boys did not make policy.

 

The discrimination against potential members of a university organization based on race is the problem, not the speech.


This sentence would be true if the frat boys had been the deans of the University.

If a University dean declares 'I'll never let in minorities', he deserves to be sacked.

If frat boys sing whatever, however rude and dumb, it's just silliness.

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Response to Yorktown (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:00 AM

61. No, it's well-deserved.

It is a violation of the University's code of conduct.

Free speech is not free from consequence.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:31 PM

24. The students should not have been expelled.

 

However, Sigma Alpha Epsilon's national organization should revoke this chapter's charter.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #24)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:21 PM

32. I disagree.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #32)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:25 PM

36. Why?

 

Do you agree with their chant? Do you believe it was behavior that represented their local chapter and the national fraternity in a good way?

Edit to add: you really need to write a better response than "I disagree". I made two points and you disagreed with both of them.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #36)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:18 AM

45. I apologize.

I think the president made a courageous decision to apply the policies of the university in a way that would leave no doubt in anyone's mind. The president did his job.

And, yes, I agree. The chapter's charter should be revoked.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #45)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:51 AM

47. I don't know what rules they broke,

 

but since it is a state university, I think they are protected by the 1st Amendment.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #47)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:26 AM

74. insofar as it's private speech, yes. Insofar as it's direct evidence that they engaged

 

in racial discrimination, it is not protected by the first amendment any more than a signed confession is.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #74)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:40 PM

245. The "they" in this case are two pledges who have no power to deny entrance based on race..

You know that pledges aren't actual members of the fraternity with the power to approve or deny additional members, yes?

You seem to be conflating the actions of two pledges with the actions of the fraternity.

Why is that?

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #245)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:16 AM

252. Their fraternity taught them that song, fostered an environment where they felt

 

comfortable singing that song at an official event, and excluded black students for the past 14 years.

Moreover, these racist rich white trash punks were actively and gleefully helping perpetuate this Jim Crow culture on campus, urging others to join them in their promise to discriminate against black people.

Honestly, there are people in that fraternity more deserving of expulsion than these little junior varsity KKK members, but this is a start.

the entire frat was a tumor that needed to be amputated.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #252)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:34 AM

255. That's not really an answer, now is it?

The purported actions of the fraternity (actionable if true) are separate from the actions of two pledges not in a position to actually do what you're claiming they did.

A kid can sing the theme song to Davy Crockett. That doesn't mean they're guilty of poaching a bear.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #255)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:38 AM

256. There was an ongoing conspiracy to violate civil rights laws by

 

excluding black students.

They participated in that conspiracy. Their co-conspirators--those who taught them that song, those that made them feel comfortable singing it, those engaged in the discrimination--should all be bounced as well.

I find it very odd that people who claim to be progressive find racial discrimination at a public university to be unworthy of harsh sanctions, and who think participation in such discrimination is really no big deal and something every white person has an absolute right to engage in.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #256)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:52 AM

259. Conspiracy has an actual legal meaning. You should look it up. Oh wait, nevermind.

You've been schooled by actual lawyers up-thread about law and continue to ignore it.

If what you assert is true (*snicker*) then the administration is remiss in not applying the same punishment to all members of the *cough* conspiracy.

Why aren't you grabbing a pitchfork and demanding the expulsion of the *cough* co-conspirators?

I mean, if what you assert is true, anything less is supporting the *cough* conspiracy.

Of course, it could be that you've wharrgarbled yourself into a corner and can only double down.

Some of us on DU prefer strong protections for speech because we know there will be other idiots like Bush who want to make more 'free speech zones' or their philosophical children the norm.

Imagine a France-like 'disparagement of religion' law here. Then imagine Westboro using that law to get counter-protests shut down.

Or a religious group campaigning against marriage equality based on their religious beliefs. Now imagine the lawsuits they could bring against their detractors.

*sigh*

Short-sighted, naive idiocy.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #259)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:58 AM

260. The administration busted the chumps were dumb enough to get themselves on video.

 

If they can identify the ones who taught them the song, they certainly should be expelled.

Your interest is clearly only in protecting the interests of privileged white people, and you lack any interest at all in actual civil rights violations and discrimination.

And, guns, of course. Gotta protect the guns.


Also, genius, google "hostile environment civil rights" if you think white guys just get to say whatever the fuck they want, whenever the fuck they want, without having any consequences. Sorry, white dudes, you don't get to discriminate without recriminations.

You guys are not fooling anyone.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026375008

You in particular seem to hold the position that criticizing racists is worse than being a fucking racist.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025831013#post51

So, yeah, your agenda is pretty clear.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #260)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 09:07 AM

262. Butbutbut.. conspuracy, dagnabbit!

As I expected, doubled down.

One of my interests is in protecting all civil rights- I don't pick and choose like some folks.

I probably know more about Black Codes, the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, CRA, CRA II, and Jim Crow than you'll ever know.

School yourself.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #262)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 09:26 AM

265. Funny how you sputter with outrage when people criticize racist billboards

 

as if they're doing something wrong, but don't actually have anything bad to say about racists, or racism, or discrimination, or anything like that.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025831013#post51

You scolded people for being offended by racism. You didn't criticize racism, only those exercising their first amendment right to criticize it.

That is known as a "tell."


From your entire posting history, you care about:

A. The second Amendment
B. The first amendment if it's white racists saying/doing something awful.
C. The second amendment

If you've ever indicated your support for doing something about the violation of African-Americans' civil rights, please post a link.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #265)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 09:49 AM

267. No, I scold people for wanting to take unconstitutional action against racism.

If you're not competent to determine the difference, perhaps you should educate yourself.

The answer to bad speech is good speech.

Free clue:see my posts of the racist stop-and-frisk policies of the NYC, or the schoolcraft tapes.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022789562#post2

Lol, you even fall short on your attempted scolding.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #267)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 09:51 AM

268. You jumped in and freaked out because people

 

were horrified at the possibility of a white supremacist billboard in Ferguson. Not because they were advocating anything unconstitutional.

And here you are sputtering because white racists are being held accountable for their conduct.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #268)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 09:56 AM

270. Are you in the same thread as I am? We're discussing a state agency expelling a couple of racists..

.. because of their racist speech.

Did you mean to reply in another thread?



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Response to X_Digger (Reply #270)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 10:00 AM

271. No, your whining that people objected to racism from a past thread.

 

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025831013#post51

You certainly did your best to keep them in their place.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #271)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 10:08 AM

272. So you can't support the premise upthread so you a) start another thread looking for backup..

.. b) find a post of mine in another thread you don't like. (Which also shows my support of the first amendment.)

Okay, distractions set aside.

You were saying? Care to get back to *this* thread, or are you still flailing through my history to find something else you don't like?

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #272)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 10:09 AM

273. My point is that Jim Crow needs to be stamped out, and that anyone

 

busted putting Jim Crow back in place ought to be expelled from a state university.

You, obviously, are more concerned with the right of white students to implement Jim Crow than you are with the minority students whose rights would be violated.

Good day.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #273)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 10:15 AM

274. They need to do so *within the law* not outside it. The ends don't justify the means.

You never got that whole baby and bath-water thing, did you?

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #274)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 10:16 AM

276. Hostile environment is well-established law. There's no first amendment right

 

to Jim Crow a campus.

Kthxbai

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #276)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 10:31 AM

278. Can't seem to nail down a theory, can you?

First it's flat out discrimination. What, these were pledges with no power to deny membership?

Well then, it's a conspiracy to discriminate, I tell ya! Wait, that means there are co-conspirators?

I know, it's a hostile work environment.

Hint: maybe you should actually read up on some of that well-established law before trying to pin the tail on that particular donkey.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #278)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 10:41 AM

279. all of the above.

 

there was actual discrimination, and intent to perpetuate that discrimination, going so far as to encourage others to join in a culture of discrimination.

And, yes an environment where frat members openly sing songs about lynching black people and brag about illegally discriminating against them contributes to and is without doubt an indicator of a hostile environment.

What you refuse to see (because you do not see any of their conduct as harmful) is that the hostile environment and per se discrimination are in fact intertwined--exclusion leads to a culture of racism and intolerance which leads to more exclusion.

You have been incredibly articulate in stating your belief that no one in that frat did anything that merited any kind of punishment, that excluding black students and leading racist chants and promising to exclude any and all black students going forward and encouraging others to engage in racial discrimination is all just a bunch of free speech that black folks should just stop whining about.

Those of us who think "separate but equal" needs to remain illegal disagree.

P.S. the very first provision of the code of conduct every OU student signs is that they won't do anything to contribute to a hostile learning environment. The jv KKKlansmen violated that code.



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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #279)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 11:15 AM

282. The words come out of my mouth just fine, thanks. They don't need your help.

Keep your fingers out of my mouth- I don't know where they've been.

Free clue- I was one of the folks protesting at Rice's home last Thursday.

See how that works? Good speech as counter to bad speech.

Swing and a miss from you.. again.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:01 PM

26. No. Wait, not just no, but fuck no.

It's not so slippery a slope to see the next step being 'disparagement or ridicule of religion' a la France.

Fuck-jesus-in-the-ass-no.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #26)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:21 PM

33. There were no criminal charges..

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #33)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:23 PM

34. So if a cop holds you overnight for blasphemy but there are never any charges, that's cool, right?

As if 'there were no charges' sets the bar..

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #34)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:26 PM

37. They were never held overnight or in custody at all and no law enforcement was involved.

so not a good comparison.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #37)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 07:56 AM

59. I read the article from the OP. What, then, exactly, is the author looking for?

If offensive speech should not be protected the statement then becomes, offensive speech should be punished. That is the only purpose of removing the protection.

So what does that look like in practical terms and what happens when someone refuses to abide by the new rules?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #59)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 07:59 AM

60. you can ask the Jews of Europe how free speech is working for them.

 

That is, until they all leave because of the constant harassment and incitement directed against them.

And after all the jews are forced to flee, I guess then it'll be kind of a moot point, because there won't be any more Jews left to object to the hate speech



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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #60)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:09 AM

63. The French authorities have arrested Bridget Bardot numerous times for

making comments considered disparaging of Islam and Muslims. It's some law about not criticizing religion in general (as opposed to protecting any one religion in particular). She has been tried and convicted as well. So far she hasn't done any jail time because the government is probably too embarrassed at the thought of imprisoning a popular, elderly celebrity.

The fact that Ms. Bardot can be rousted so often yet the Jews in France are allowed to be menaced to the point of fleeing seems to indicate the law is unevenly applied thus becoming a de facto state sanction of anti-Semitism.

That would be yet another classic concern about speech codes.

So, I repeat my original inquiry: What, exactly, are we being asked to embrace?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #63)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:19 AM

69. when speech is intended to deprive people of the benefits of public programs

 

due to their race, etc, that should be proscribed.

Professors should not be allowed to refer to blacks as the n-word in class, for example. You agree with that, correct?

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #69)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:12 AM

97. Then anyone who is pro-marriage equality is enaged in anti-religious discrimination.

A free society, by its definition, is a thing filled with disagreements because, by definition, people are free to disagree. People do express their disagreements in ways that are taken as hurtful to those with whom they disagree.

Twice now I have asked to know what it is we have been asked to embrace. Twice now the answer has been avoided. That has every appearance of being nothing more than, "Let me do what I think is best. Trust me."

I don't.

Those who hesitate to define the limits of the power they ask for are those we should ignore for are own benefit. I'm sure they will then denounce me with whatever labels it is they think they want to use to silence dissent under the auspices they seek.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #97)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:16 AM

99. I asked someone else this: do you think white students wearing KKK robes should be allowed to

 

follow black students around campus with "N!gger go home" signs?

Do you think cross-burnings should be allowed on college campuses?

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #99)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:21 AM

101. Again, you keep asking for power yet you won't define the limits of that power.

The answer remains: No. You are not to be trusted. You will not end discrimination you will simply introduce the forms you subjectively approve of.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #101)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:34 AM

158. Care to answer the question?

I asked much the same question above (see post #88), which you also chose not to answer.

So I'll ask it again.

If someone at my job follows people around saying "n*gg*r n*gg*r N*gg*r" you would defend that as "free speech"?

It's not a difficult question, is it?

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #158)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 11:02 AM

162. Why did you truncate the spelling of the word "nigger"?

It's a repugnant, hateful word. It's not like we aren't all adults here or that we somehow don't know what it is you're writing. Yet, you truncated the spelling. The use of asterisks didn't diminish the sound of it in my mind. It's not like you are using that word to hurt people -- just the opposite. You are trying to affirm the principles that we are all human beings deserving freedom, respect and the right to live our lives without others taking action against us. Your intention is the best possible intentions -- and yet, you seem hesitant to speak frankly and openly.

You should be one of the last people to hesitate to speak your mind freely. Yet, here we are.

My objection isn't about worrying the word, "nigger" will fall into disuse. I'd be delighted if no one ever felt inclined to say such things ever again. My concern is good speech, proper speech -- such as yours -- will be diminished because people will become hesitant to openly speak their minds even when they ought to -- just like you.

To answer your question -- I cannot answer your question. As an anarchist I believe the law is an instrument of oppression more than it is a tool of freedom because the law is derived from people, particularly people who want power over others. That very fact makes the motives of any law suspect and so far in this thread my interlocutors have affirmed everything I told them they would say.

Laws cannot make people good. The law cannot make someone NOT follow another person around screaming racist epithets. A person who decides to do that is going to do it regardless of what the law says -- assuming the law says anything/the correct thing and anyone else is listening to the law. (However, the law might stop a good person from busting the racist in the mouth because the good person fears going to jail).

I am a person inherently born free and self-determining. Only The Law can diminish this and it always does so by force/threat of force. I am being asked to endorse some THING wherein people I do not know and have no authority over can adjudicate undefined terms by undefined standards to impose undefined punishments. I foresee much danger to people -- all people, including people of color -- in endorsing such things under such terms.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #162)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 04:31 PM

217. I truncated the spelling out of consideration for others

who might be in some way traumatized by seeing it spelled out in full. As someone who is the survivor of extreme trauma, I'm sensitive to how language can work to re-stimulate such trauma. That this is so, and that such precautions can be necessary, probably requires a leap of empathy for those who have never had those kinds of experiences. As it is, I'd rather err on the side of sensitivity and consideration for my readers, rather than smear particular words or images in someone's face, just to make a point, particularly since, as you say, I'm able to make that point without being so insensitive.

Interesting that you bring up the notion that "laws cannot make people good." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. faced precisely this argument when he advocated for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the idea of the law isn't necessarily to make "bad" people "good" (or more to the point, to make racists see the error of their ways). The point of the law is to enable people who have a history of being oppressed to live their lives with less repression. Somewhere I have a copy of King addressing this by saying, basically, "I don't care if the guy who owns the gas station I want to use is a racist. I just want to be able to use the rest room, and have my children use the rest room. I'll leave saving the racist's soul for some other day." Similarly, I'm less concerned about the state of mind of these racist frat members, than I am about other people at the university who have to deal with the fallout from their racist bullshit, who have to swim in the toxic environment to which these Bozos are so happy to contribute.

"The law cannot make someone NOT follow another person around screaming racist epithets." It sure as hell can, depending on the setting. And if it's in a workplace--as in the way I framed my question--the people who run the business can sure as the day is long tell that person to either shut the fuck up or find another job. Again, you have a problem with that?

So what's your alternative. Education? Consciousness raising? Group Therapy? How exactly is that supposed to work in the real world?

"Okay, people, listen up. Some of you have objected to Bob over there screaming racial and sexist and homophobic epithets at his co-workers (and let's up the ante some, and say he does it to customers as well). Now, I know we have a business to run and work to do, but let's drop everything for a couple of days or weeks or months so we can educate Bob on just how hurtful he's being." Really? Because we don't want in any way to inconvenience the racists and bigots among us?

"I am a person inherently born free...." I'm reminded of a line out of "Primary Colors"--"What a privileged life you must lead." "Only the law can diminish this..." Tell that to someone whose had their jaw broken during a gay bashing or a gang rape. Very many people suffer very many forms of oppression and violence, and do so in part precisely because of the circumstances of their birth--as women, people of color, LGBTs. etc. Maybe when your anarchist paradise arrives, things will change, but in the meantime we use the tools we have--and civil rights law is very definitely a tool I don't want to give up for the sake of some undefined, unrealized, and probably unattainable ideological goal. If it takes a law to push racism or sexism or homophobia back some, to give me and people like me more room to live free as I can, then hurray and hallelujah for the law!

In this instance you are being asked to endorse the fact that a couple of racist students were ejected from their school for discriminating against African Americans, and for laughing with delight at the thought of murdering someone whose skin tone doesn't match theirs. These are hardly "undefined standards." The standards seem to me to be crystal clear--you can't discriminate against people of color in a publicly funded university setting, at least not quite so brazenly. Clear enough so that these students have evidently decided not to press their case in court.

"I foresee much danger....in endorsing such things under such terms."

The danger--of racism, sexism, homophobia, classism--is already here. Millions live their lives suffering under that oppression. I hardly see how trying to make a public university setting less toxic to minority peoples, and less welcoming to out and out bigots, threatens any of us with the shackles of tyranny.

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #217)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 05:11 PM

221. Systems don't make people free, they just shift around who is being held down and

the stated motives about why they must be held down.

Interesting that you bring up the notion that "laws cannot make people good." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. faced precisely this argument when he advocated for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The system was oppressing people. It still is; even after the passage of the CRA. The system gave-up segregation and picked-up the "War on Drugs."

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #221)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 09:11 AM

263. And yet after all this discussion you still haven't answered the question.

"The system"- in the form of institutionalized racism, sexism, classism and homophobia--is the product of centuries of oppression, and will take a lot of work to change, including legal reform.

In the meantime you have nothing, absolutely nothing, to offer to people oppressed by "the system" today. Rather than support what few tools are available even to begin to combat current oppression--for instance on campuses and in the workplace--you prefer to obsess on the entirely hypothetical and as yet unrealized and far-fetched threat to the "free speech" of white males caught openly discriminating against students with a different skin tone.

This sort of detached and seemingly unsympathetic "analysis" of current realities is at best a distraction, reflecting your own position of privilege. People need redress now, not some tenuous theoretical anarchist analysis that merely serves to question and even undermine the few resources available with which they might begin to get such redress.

So again--since you oppose all "speech codes"--do you oppose someone being prohibited from openly racist taunts at the workplace? And, since you're posting on DU--which also has "speech codes"--do you oppose the existence of MIRT, and the rules here that prohibit openly racist and homophobic and sexist posts? This is another question, posed quite a while back, which you have thus far refused to address.

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #263)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 12:42 PM

283. wait. You admit the system is broke and corrupt and inherently biased but

you lambaste me for not conferring yet more power to the broke, corrupt and inherently biased.

My only position in the whole thread has been to ask people to define the terms, conditions and limits of the power to limit speech. So far everyone asked has demurred. We all know the maxim about power, corruption and absolute power so why would I be foolish enough to cede something with no limits, i.e. absolute?

You keep citing the extreme example of one person following another at a place of employment while yelling racial epithets. Okay. I wouldn't bat an eyelash at that person being fired and I'd make note to not hire them myself. But, is the limits to free speech being suggested in the OP find their own limits only in such extremes? Is the standard objective or subjective? Is there a limit on the sanctions and who may impose them?

Those who want power must either ask for it or they must take it. I doubt the latter is much of an option so perhaps remembering the ol' "consent of the governed" thing would work better when discussing new policy.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #283)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 06:05 PM

305. What the fuck is "comfering more power"

about? This is your response to blatant and unabashed racial discrimination being confronted and dealt with in the public sphere?

Who in general, in our culture, has power? White male heterosexist elites, by and large, as represented by the students you are defending.

Who in general has less power, relative to those elites?

Women and girls, racial minorities, LGBTs, people with disabilities. Precisely the sorts of people folks like these students have, in the past, been able to exclude and abuse with relative impunity.

For once that oppression and exclusion is called out and dealt with, and to you this represents some vast, existential crisis which sets at risk your "freedom?"

The example I cite isn't all that "extreme" -- not in the context of a history that includes tens of thousands of lynchings, generations of enslavement, gay-bashing, rape and sexual and domestic violence, and decades upon decades of employment and housing discrimination. Until the advent of civil rights law not only were such incidents of race baiting not "extreme"--they were par for the course and entirely free of legal sanction, to the extent that most professions and very many forms of employment were almost entirely closed to racial minorities. Check out the history of racial violence during World War II, when white supremacists acted to keep Blacks from jobs in northern cities. Remember the response when a single Black student tried to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Our history is replete with tens of thousands of such "extreme" examples.

And what "new policy?" The Civil Rights Act, under which this university action falls, has been around for a half a century. The Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protections Provision of the Constitution has been in place since the late 1860s (though it was mostly ignored until the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, under Thurgood Marshall, made use of it in Brown v. Board).

I'm glad that at least you've walked back from your aversion to all speech codes. Similarly, your notion that people are "born free" and only limited by "the law" is equally misguided. That may be YOUR experience, but it certainly doesn't apply to very many people in this society.

Again and again it has been pointed out to you that this isn't about "free speech"--it's about a history of discrimination on the part of this particular chapter of this particular fraternity, and an open admission of this policy, on the part of these particular students. It is you who are insisting that this is about "speech" as opposed to discrimination, and signals some great new mantle of oppression for us all.

"Consent of the governed?" What further consent do we need to punish blatant racial discrimination in the public sector, beyond that already inherent in the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964? This last was passed after almost a decade of debate, by both houses of Congress, and signed by a president who was overwhelmingly re-elected after the law was enacted. What other "consent" do you require?

I think we have to agree to disagree on this, since I'm clearly not getting through to you, and your arguments are entirely unconvincing to me.

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #305)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 06:12 PM

306. comferring = conferring ... a.k.a. a typo. Seems rather obvious, really.

And what "new policy?"

The OP is an article about limiting free speech. The author seems to think the current openness is too open.

I'm not contesting the CRA or the 14th Amendment or anything even close to that so I have no idea why you are arguing those points except to disingenuously make yourself look superior by imposing straw man arguments. Not only do I NOT contest them I wholly endorse them as far as I can endorse any function of government.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #306)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 06:38 PM

307. I didn't notice the typo,

I meant it as "what the hell does conferring power" have to do with this case?

I'm glad you endorse the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Really, I am. Big sigh of relief. From your previous posts (for instance, stating that "only laws" can limit your freedom) this wasn't at all clear to me. As an "anarchist" you seemed to say that no law was justified in its conception or enforcement. Actually, I was beginning to wonder if you weren't some kind of Randian Libertarian.

I think the OP gets it exactly right in saying that "the more speech is the only response to bad speech" places an immense burden on people who are already oppressed. And clearly, as you now acknowledge, we don't apply this standard beyond government. That is to say, you yourself agree that an employer (and fellow employees, I would add) are entitled to stifle the obvious and hurtful ravings of a co-worker. In such a situation "more speech" is hardly the answer, but rather it is to act in ways that protect the rights of others to live and work free from racist harassment.

As for the OP, I think the best and only way to proceed on this is on a case by case basis. I think these students clearly violated more than the First Amendment, so I don't see this case leading to any great diminishing of anybody's freedoms. The other cases mentioned in the OP also can be addressed by means other than limiting First Amendment protections, with the possible exception of the Westboro Church (which can be seen as being as much about religious as free speech rights).

So in that way then I might disagree with the OP--I don't see these issues as "free speech" issues, as I've tried to make clear. It does, though, strike me as correct in drawing attention to the fact that in very many of these cases it is people who are already oppressed or in some way struggling (think of the mourners at a military funeral, confronted by the Westboro Bozos) who bear the burden of supporting all our "freedoms." Another good instance of this would be women's health providers, and women who need their services, having to endure picketers in their faces calling them "murderers" and such. Those in power on the other hand get the benefit of "free speech zones" being laid out, so they don't have to suffer in quite the same way.

Anyway, I am truly glad you can see yourself endorsing civil rights law. You really had me wondering.

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #307)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 06:53 PM

308. "I am truly glad you can see yourself endorsing civil rights law. You really had me wondering."

I appreciate your comments. It seems we were talking past each other while saying the same thing...more or less.

I'm probably too young to be this jaded but as I mentioned before the victory of the CRA was replaced by the travesty of the Drug War. I have "retreated" to the refuge anarchism which, to my mind, is the ultimate emancipation and civil rights act.

We are living in a world where we hope passers-by would intercede if six men were pummeling another man to death, particularly if racism appeared to be a determining factor in that assault. Yet, if those six men wore badges and guns we are terrified into acquiescence. We keep our heads down and walk past hoping to not get caught-up in the melee.

This is the system I cannot support. It's manifest evil, including displaying my own cowardice. This is the system I cannot further empower with yet more laws, particularly laws with subjective standards because it will lead to more -- not less -- abuse. The 14A and the CRA are milestones in human history. They are the codification of a universal truth: Human equality.

But the fact it had to be codified shows humanity is fallen. Why must we make law that which is so obviously true (ditto laws on rape, murder, theft etc.)? The further fact that abuse occurs in spite of this codification shows just how deep the rot has penetrated.

Maybe I'm being overly dramatic but I'm scared. I'm scared for my family, friends and neighbors -- including the ones I have not yet met -- as well as myself. I don't trust the system because the system only protects itself.

Thank-you for giving me a fair hearing. May we always be neighbors.

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #217)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 09:04 AM

261. What you said is perfect

Thank you for this post. Laws and rules not only punish wrongdoing, they also protect the rights of people to live, study and work without fear and intimidation.

I didn't want to bump this thread again but wanted to say thanks.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #261)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 09:13 AM

264. You're entirely welcome.

I've about given up on debating this here--clearly some folks for whatever reason either can't or won't take the point.

Thanks for all your efforts here, and best wishes.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #99)


Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:48 PM

41. Didn't the US just assassinate (by drone) someone for hate speech against the US?

How is hate speech calling on people to kill americans enough to justify a drone strike assassination, while hate speech calling to lynch people of African heritage just ordinary OK stuff?

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Response to delrem (Reply #41)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 04:34 AM

52. No. They killed him because he was

 

participating in terrorist attacks against the US and others.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #52)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:08 AM

62. How did he participate? Yes: through speech.

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Response to delrem (Reply #62)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:14 AM

66. just like mafia bosses order hits on rivals and witnesses "through speech" nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #66)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:16 AM

68. Not that I'm aware of.

Have you link to show that he was an operational commander of troops?

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Response to delrem (Reply #68)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:21 AM

70. here is just one example

 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/02/28/uk.terror.verdict/

A key part of the prosecution case was a series of heavily encrypted messages between al-Awlaki and Karim, in which al-Awlaki pressed for information about Karim's job and his knowledge of airport security.

"I pray that Allah may grant us a breakthrough through you ... can you please specify your role in the airline industry, how much access do you have to airports, what information do you have on the limitations and cracks in present airport security systems?"

Karim replied: "The kuffar (a derogatory term for non-Muslims) are planning to install full body scanners across UK airports. This allows them to see things under clothes."

But he warned al-Awlaki to be realistic: "You are probably hoping that I work at the airport, but the fact is I don't. I personally know two brothers, one who works in baggage handling at Heathrow and another who works in airport security. Both are good practising brothers and sympathize towards the cause of the mujahedeen."

Replying, al-Awlaki got straight to the point:

"Our highest priority is the U.S. Anything there, even on a smaller scale compared to what we may do in the UK, would be our choice. So the question is: with the people you have is it possible to get a package or person with a package on board a flight heading to the U.S.?"


That makes him a participant, not a mere speech maker.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #70)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:40 AM

83. OK. very slim evidence, with no conviction or substantiation, but OK.

So I withdraw my analogy.

And I sure don't want to get into a debate re. the moral justification of drone strikes against alleged "terrorists" on secret kill lists, because that's a long and dismal road road through awful stuff like this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?pagewanted=9&_r=2&hp&adxnnlx=1338289213-gFazCDrgzwY2RtQCER9fGQ&pagewanted=all

On the other hand, all that crap can be brushed off the table by simply noting that for the most part, those on the list aren't US citizens so it's OK.

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Response to delrem (Reply #41)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:22 AM

102. It's outside the US and part of a war

I doubt we would kill anyone for speech alone, however. We'd be convinced that person had ties to Al Qaeda or whoever and would act on it.

What do you have against taking out terrorists who might plan attacks here? Why let the right wing point to us as opposing that.

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Response to treestar (Reply #102)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:00 AM

135. I'm sure!

I also doubt that the US would do something so dastardly. Just look at the cleaner than clean record!

I'm all for "taking out" any person that the US alleges is a "terrorist", wherever they are in the free-fire war-zone that's the "war on terror". I'm convinced by every allegation because after all, why would there be allegations if there wasn't guilt? Guilt of *something*, allegedly. Like being in the vicinity of a strike.

I can't wait until Obama gets a renewed authorization to use force - anywhere! Anywhere on the planet! Because then it'll be legal! Oh, what a wonderful world is being created by the "war on terror". It's pure disney, and it come complete with Bo.

Are you still feeling "terrorized" by 9/11 treestar? Quaking in your boots?
Never fear, hellfire missiles are here to protect you.

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Response to delrem (Reply #41)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:42 AM

115. The Constitution doesn't apply to non-US persons.

If they're outside US jurisdiction and not US citizens, the Constitution does not apply.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #115)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:51 AM

123. Absolutely! Hellfire missiles apply!

And of course the same non-rules apply of China, Russia, and every other state!
Right?



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Response to delrem (Reply #123)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:58 AM

132. Yes, they do. But pretending that is not the case doesn't help. (nt)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #132)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:02 AM

140. Who's pretending that's not the case? Not me.

I want to "help", just like you.

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Response to delrem (Reply #140)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:11 AM

147. So you're gonna delete your post then?

The one where you attempt to extend Constitutional protections to a non-US person?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #147)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 04:16 PM

214. You might want to read post #83, Jeff.

Not that I had ever mentioned constitutional protections.
Hell, I had no idea that the US didn't uphold the international treaties, laws and obligations that it signs onto.
Thanks for you guys being so informative.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:54 PM

42. Sadly true!

On the other hand, if the SAE really does refuse to have African-American pledges (as the song suggests), then the university might be required to refuse to recognize the fraternity since, as a government institution, it cannot discriminate in that way against race. So if the fraternity is a recognized institution or official club within the university community, it may not refuse prospective members based on race. Seems to me, anyway.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:12 AM

50. why cannot people understand

Going to college is a priviledge, NOT a right. Thes ekids could have been expelled by any college, and then they would gasp, need to find another college.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #50)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 07:48 AM

56. Lots of things are privileges, not rights

But that doesn't mean that you give up all of your first amendment rights. The issue is where the line is properly drawn.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #50)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:16 PM

242. Public universities, ran by state government-- are subject to the first amendment.

Some backwater hillbilly christian college can kick students out for 'moral code' violations (assuming the *cough* college made accepting such punishments for infractions part of accepting admission to the school.)

Public schools != private schools.

It's really that simple.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:10 AM

64. What everyone seems to forget is that free speech is not free from consequence.

You can say whatever the hell you want, but don't expect there not to be consequences, including losings jobs, getting kicked out of your school, being shunned as an asshole.

But it is clear that this group of people advocated discrimination and probably actively engaged in keeping African-Americans out of their stupid fucking club. Which is the real issue here.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #64)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:15 AM

67. No. The real issue here is whether the government can

punish you for using speech it decides is "inappropriate". That's what the University did and, IMO it's a clear violation of the students' First Amendment rights.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #67)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:23 AM

71. do you think the KKK should be able to start a whites-only

 

fraternity on the OU campus?

Do you think white students should be able to wear KKK robes to class and to hang around in KKK robes in front of buildings housing African-American studies or student groups?

At some point, white people need to stop telling black people to just ignore the white people talking about lynching them.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #71)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:24 AM

72. Not a First Amendment issue. There is no constitutional

right to start a fraternity.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #72)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:25 AM

73. there's no constitutional right to a college education either nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #73)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:27 AM

75. That's true. But that's also not what is at issue

here. The issue is that these two students were punished by a governmental agency for exercising their right to free speech. And there is a constitutional right for that.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #75)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:30 AM

77. they were punished for creating a hostile environment, which would include their

 

racial discrimination in willfully and maliciously excluding African-Americans from their fraternity.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #77)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:41 AM

84. Really? What 'hostile environment' did they create????

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #84)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:49 AM

86. um, racial discrimination? nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #86)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:00 AM

89. Hostile environment is a specific, legally defined term.

What they did does not come close to fitting.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #89)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:01 AM

91. so you are saying that discrimination and hostile environment are

 

two different things under the law?

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Response to Name removed (Reply #170)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:13 PM

171. no, discrimination as in refusing to admit black students into the fraternity nt

 

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Response to hack89 (Reply #196)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:49 PM

198. Last one pledged 14 years ago.

 

So, it hasn't had a black member since the beginning of George W Bush's second term. Back when Elizabeth Warren was a registered Republican.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #198)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:56 PM

199. For that particular chapter.

there are other chapters currently with black members. I wasn't sure if you were referring to SAE in general or that one chapter in particular.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #199)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:01 PM

200. this particular chapter. I make no claims about the national body.

 

One of my good friends at work is an SAE alum from a Midwestern school.

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Response to Name removed (Reply #170)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:54 PM

178. "Where you cannot name a specific person discriminated

 

against"

Thanks for outing yourself, and welcome back.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #91)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:23 PM

189. No, I'm saying hostile environment is one sub-set

of discriminatory practices that are illegal.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #189)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:12 PM

311. I view the video as hostile

 

And the expulsion justified.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #67)


Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:51 AM

87. This article claims that Westboro picketed 'military funerals'? How precious is straight privilege?

 

I'm sorry, but Westboro Baptist Church conducted literally hundreds of actions against LGBT funerals and other LGBT events, over several years and in each of the 50 United States without facing so much as a sternly worded letter from any straight or religious organization to oppose them. Hundreds of attacks, never countered by anyone outside the LGBT world. Then, eventually, Westboro started picketing 'military' ie 'straight people's' funerals and then, for those straight people, counter protests and loud voices were raised against Westboro.
So this article, if it has a point, builds that point on self serving bullshit. Can't take this privilege soaked rhetoric seriously.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #87)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:12 AM

96. The Westboro Church picketing is different..

they were on their own, on a public street. They can't be fired, censured, or expelled, they could only be taken into custody, which would violate their free speech. It sucks, but it's the law.

In the case of the homophobic, racist duck dynasty guy, the network had every right to suspend him as an offending employee, and the university president has the right to expel the offenders as well.

If you read the entire article, please explain "self serving bullshit." Thanks.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #96)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:29 AM

106. "the network had every right to suspend him as an offending employee"

When a private corporation can dictate speech we are steering towards a corporatocracy. It's akin to saying a corporation has a right to fire employees who openly demonstrate for living wages.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #106)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:36 AM

109. Bullshit and more bullshit.

 

1) There is no free speech at the workplace. No one is obligated to have a bigot on their payroll. The broadcaster has a first amendment right to choose which content it offers, and which persons it puts in its broadcasts.

2) There are extensive labor laws governing the right of employees to engage in collective bargaining, strike, and otherwise advocate for their own benefit.

You somehow always find a way to argue that racists and bigots rights trump everyone else's.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #109)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:42 AM

116. "You somehow always find a way to argue that racists and bigots rights trump everyone else's."

There it is!

You want the power to punish those labeled racist and then you slap the label racist on anyone who disagrees. Your post is the perfect example of why this is the dumbest idea ever.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #116)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:51 AM

122. you just argued that A&E should have no first amendment right to avoid

 

having a bigot be one of its public faces or to remove that bigot from their own speech.

You are in effect arguing that anyone can be as much of a bigot as they want and no one can take that into account when hiring or firing them, or including that bigot in their own fucking speech putting them on a fucking television broadcast.

So, you are not arguing the first amendment, you are arguing that bigots' rights should trump everyone else's. You are arguing that bigots have a right to have others help promote their views.



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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #122)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:54 AM

126. You're arguing your employer can fire you for posting on DU.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #126)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:56 AM

129. No, I'm arguing they have the right to not use me in their promotional materials

 

or to give me a platform to broadcast my views. If that was the basis of my employment, they would have the right to terminate my employment if I was saying things in public that conflicted with their interests and what they wanted to communicate in public.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #129)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:03 AM

141. The whatever-it-is codes proposed in the OP didn't mention a "promotional materials" clause.

You're nitpicking because those are the nits preferred by your personal preferences. You are the best argument against everything you claim to want (but refuse to define). You are reinforcing everything I write.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #106)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:38 AM

113. Which is why laws were made to protect those trying to form unions..

not that the laws are followed, but they're there. specific laws protecting specific speech from punishment.

So when an employee, who happens to be a very public figure, makes racist and homophobic public statements, the employer has no right to say this is unacceptable?
And, when students publicly violate the rules of a university, nothing should be done?

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #113)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:49 AM

120. Laws are constructs of people, not things that are good in and of themselves.

And people, particularly those with the power of law, are despotic and controlling. It's not a matter of ending bigotry, it's simply choosing which flavor of bigotry are we asserting by law at the moment.

Again, people make laws and people are fallible. Laws can be made. Laws can be poorly made. Laws can be made to oppress people. Laws can be made and later ignored. Laws can be left unmade.

And more times than not, all the above is true.


So when an employee, who happens to be a very public figure, makes racist and homophobic public statements, the employer has no right to say this is unacceptable?

I'm an anarchist. If you're asking me, "Should X be a law?" the answer tends towards, "No." No law to protect bigots and no law to punish bigots. See above.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #120)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:54 AM

125. so why are you complaining that the Duck Dynasty bigot got taken off the air?

 

You're acting like he's some kind of victim.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #120)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:10 AM

146. I think the issue is laws vs policy..

The students broke no laws, they broke rules and were punished appropriately. Universities have rules regulating student behavior, employers have rules in the workplace. You are an anarchist so you basically want no rules, and, if that works for you I'm happy, but I think that's a recipe for disaster on a large university campus.

Free speech is protected by law, but free speech has it's limits. You can stand in public, and people do, with a sign that says "I hate whoever" and that's allowed. If the sign says "I will kill all whoever" then you just might be threatening others and there is a legal definition for real and implied threats. Laws don't punish bigots for speech but for actions or implied actions, and that's a pretty recent development. It's only been in my lifetime that bigoted speech has been discouraged and bigoted actions punished in America.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #106)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:56 AM

127. So you have no idea what employment law is?

It's akin to saying a corporation has a right to fire employees who openly demonstrate for living wages.

They do.

In most states an employer can fire you for any reason at any time. Certain protected classes can sue over it (race/sex discrimination), and union contracts can prevent this, but most employers are non-union. In some states union organizing activities are protected, but whether or not that applied would depend on what exactly your demonstration was.

In this thread, you are extremely vested in no punishment for the fraternity. Did something you say come back to hurt you?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #127)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:06 AM

142. You wrote --

In most states an employer can fire you for any reason at any time. Certain protected classes can sue over it (race/sex discrimination), and union contracts can prevent this, but most employers are non-union. In some states union organizing activities are protected, but whether or not that applied would depend on what exactly your demonstration was.

Do you agree with this state of affairs, as created by the law?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #142)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:09 AM

145. Nope, but denying reality is a very dumb tactic. (nt)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #145)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:13 AM

149. I don't see how I can be accused of denying reality when I wrote

laws are the constructs of fallible people. It seems to me that those arguing the law -- which is created by fallible people -- offers some sort of salvation are the ones who are denying the reality that laws are created by fallible people.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #149)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:22 AM

153. And if that was what I replied to, it might have been relevant.

It seems to me that those arguing the law -- which is created by fallible people -- offers some sort of salvation are the ones who are denying the reality that laws are created by fallible people.

Pretending that you have legal protections that do not exist is an extremely dumb tactic. It means you go after the wrong people and try to change something that has no effect.

The reality is you can be fired for almost anything. Ignoring that reality means you go after a company for firing someone instead of going after lawmakers to change the law.

So what statement got you punished so badly that you are so desperately defending the pro-lynching side in this thread?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #153)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:29 AM

155. "So what statement got you punished so badly that you are so desperately defending the pro-lynching"

No statement got me punished. It's the fact that those who demand power are so intellectually vacant and morally bankrupt that they have to accuse people of being racists engaged in lynching that makes me oppose those calls for more power.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #96)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:46 AM

119. Did you bother to read what I typed? Ok, I'll repeat it. The author defines Westboro actions thus:

 

"Westboro Baptist Church’s “God hates fags” protests near military funerals"

The fact that prior to the military funerals, Westboro had done hundreds of the same actions against LGBT funerals and events is not mentioned. The fact that it went on for years is not mentioned, nor that all 50 States saw such anti gay pickets by them. The author fails to point out the long years of absolute inaction by the 'larger community' against Westboro.
The author leaves out the part where for years, Westboro attacked LGBT events while the rest of American said and did nothing about it. The author pretends those years of attacks did not happen, that his own community's apathy did not act as accomplice to Westboro.

It's self serving to claim a false history that protects your point of view. Had people like the author and other Straights, other Christians, stood up to Westboro from their first attack on LGBT people, he's have a point. But he and most of this country refused to employ their own free speech against Westboro's and they left the LGBT community to face those placards and pickets alone. For years. All over the country.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:37 AM

112. The students' right to appeal was spelled out in President Boren's letter...

"If you disagree with this decision you have the right to contact the university Equal Opportunity Officer to be heard by close of business Friday, March 13, 2015.

If you request that the EEO Officer provide an opportunity to you to contest this decision he will hold a meeting within 10 days or March 23, 2015. You may be represented by legal counsel at that meeting should you so desire."

http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/griffin/NEWS9/PDF/0603/OUExpulsion.pdf

To date, we don't know if they served notice they wanted to appeal, they needed to do that by the 13th of the month. If they did not then they have accepted the expulsion and won't pursuing any legal action, imo.

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Response to Spazito (Reply #112)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:45 AM

117. and there you go. They have the right to appeal.

I wonder how often victims of racism ever had the chance to appeal a decision that affected their lives, and in no way do I mean that these students are "victims." They initiated their own punishment.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #117)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:49 AM

121. Yep, due process was afforded them...

contrary to what some have claimed.

I'm betting they chose not to appeal.

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Response to Spazito (Reply #121)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 09:56 AM

128. Yep, they will slink away

hopefully learning a lesson in life and reality.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #128)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:01 AM

138. Slink away, yes, learn a lesson in life and reality, I doubt it...

One of them had his Mom and Dad apologize for him instead of taking responsibility himself and the other one's apology was one of those non-apology apologies repubs do so often.

These two young men have been coddled and enabled all their lives by their wealthy families, imo, never having to take responsibility for their actions themselves so I think they will learn little from this, sadly.

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Response to Spazito (Reply #138)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:18 AM

150. You're probably correct..

but I can hope. That's what punishment is for, to correct unacceptable behavior. Might have been a first for these kids and it had to be a wake up call.

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Response to Spazito (Reply #121)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:11 AM

250. Convicting someone of a violation and then telling

them that they have a right to appeal it is not Due Process. Due Process would, at a very minimum mean that they were formally advised of the nature of the charges against them, given an opportunity to contest tinding and the fpunishment that was contemplated, present evidence in their behalf and to be advised by counsel in doing so before any decision was taken.

Having said that and having been around universities all my life, I'm not confident that the Due Process Hearing that they were entitled to would have made a dime's worth of difference in the result - when the University President's butt is on the line and he's jumping to get out in front of a very embarrassing situation, they just go through the motions a la "Let's give him a fair trial and hang him'. But that still doesn't absolve the university of having violated these boys' rights, both in sanctioning them for using speech protected by the First Amendment and then again by denying them Due Process when they were charged with the violation. OU should be ashamed.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #250)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:24 AM

253. Why are you so much more upset about this than the Ferguson PD's oppression of

 

its black population?

Unless I missed your contributions to those threads decrying what had been done.

By the way, professor, they were:

1) formally advised of the charges against them;
2) given the opportunity to contest the finding and the punishment contemplated;
3) present evidence on their own behalf; with
4) counsel present at the hearing.

http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/griffin/NEWS9/PDF/0603/OUExpulsion.pdf

Also, please make up your mind as to whether it's a travesty that these poor innocent snowflakes were denied due process, or that they were given due process is irrelevant.

It's amazing how two little rich white trash racists get what's coming to them, and it's the end of the Republic. Decades of discrimination against black students at that campus, meh.

Huh.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #250)


Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #250)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 10:15 AM

275. It wasn't a "conviction", it was a decision made by the President of OSU...

and as to the rest of your post:

Your first paragraph, well, nonsense. Due process was afforded.

Your second paragraph, well, more nonsense and, on top of that, it acknowledges the hearing as due process negating your first paragraph.

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Response to Spazito (Reply #275)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 11:06 AM

280. Do you have any idea of what "Due Process" means?

I suspect not.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #280)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 11:10 AM

281. I do...

others may not and, as a consequence, be misled by nonsense like using "conviction" inappropriately.

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Response to Spazito (Reply #112)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 05:23 PM

300. But... "kids will be kids" Spazito! And if that means that they create a hostile environment for

OTHER people's kids by talking about lynching then so be it!1 (White) KIDS WILL BE (White) KIDS!!one1!

God, this place...

The next time people here want to talk about how much "smarter" and "evolved" and "worldly" they are compared to Freepers, I hope that someone brings up this fucked up thread.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #300)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 05:41 PM

301. Yep, some of the posts in this thread are...

.....enlightening.... and not in a good way. No real surprises, though, same shit, different day.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:01 AM

137. Bad cases make bad law

I don't even know why they would want to return to a university where they would be pariahs and shunned.

If i were them I would lay low for a while and resume my education at a college where nobody knows my name.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #137)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 06:25 PM

234. the actual adage is "Hard cases make bad law"

And what it essentially means is that cases that arouse strong feelings tend to produce bad results.

As in a case in which the free speech rights of a bunch of idiotic racist clowns becomes the basis for determining how broadly a public university can act to censor or punish offensive speech.

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Response to onenote (Reply #234)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 06:40 PM

236. With appeals those clowns might be twenty five years old when it works its way through the courts.

Unless they get emergency relief...

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:08 AM

144. You'd think the offenders would want to keep their heads down and

hope everything will blow over, but instead SAE is squawking about suing the university for denying them their right to be racist a***oles.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #144)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:21 AM

152. Which is why the punishment was so appropriate.

They can fight it, but they will have to expose themselves to do it.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:12 AM

148. Be careful what you wish for . . .

 

Because "hate speech" is a fairly subjective term.

Speech criticizing religion is offensive to some people. At some point, could we no longer have the freedom to criticize religion? Vulgar language is offensive to some, criticisms of America are offensive to some, etc. How about the Code Pink protests? Or when people shout down conservative speakers at college events?

This is a slippery slope, and while what those OU frat boys did was vile and offensive in the extreme, we need to be careful not to open the door to those who would take advantage of setting limits on the First Amendment.

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Response to YarnAddict (Reply #148)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:25 AM

154. Yes, we do have to be careful, I agree.

But universities must have the right to set limits for the student body and the right to punish a violation of these limits.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #154)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:06 PM

166. State universities are state actors

They do not have a right to set free speech restrictions on their students.

Private universities, totally, public universities, nope.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #166)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:12 PM

169. They have a right to enforce rules and regulations

that insure the safety of students and create a learning environment. They have a right to demand a certain code of conduct from their students. Yes, they do, and they should! Even state universities.

Imagine a campus with no rules, no code of conduct, or, worse, one that isn't enforced.

The students have a right to appeal.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #169)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:14 PM

173. They do not have a right to impose free speech restrictions.

If it isn't okay for a government to censure you for, it isn't for a state university to do. This is consistently what the courts have found.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #173)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:00 PM

181. Students and faculty at state universities are barred

 

by the 1964 act from creating a hostile environment such that minorities are prevented from enjoying the benefits of the school.

Cross-burnings and simulated lynchings can be done away from a campus and are protected free speech, but they certainly are not allowed on campus if the intent or effect is to intimidate, harass, or menace students on the basis of race.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #181)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:01 PM

182. You have to prove intent to harass, intimidate or menace.

Which is very hard to do given this was not down in the presence of any minority.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #182)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:03 PM

183. In this case, no. But this case

 

would rest more on discrimination grounds anyways.

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Response to Kurska (Reply #166)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:21 PM

203. DING DING DING! We have a winner.

Thank you for stating the essential, basic issue in this whole kerfluffle.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #154)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 12:59 PM

180. So universities should be allowed to limit unpatriotic, anti-war speech, for example? (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #180)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:20 PM

187. I'm sure you mean unpatriotic AND anti war speech

because I've never considered anti war speech unpatriotic.

and, yes, there was quite a bit of that going on in the 60's and 70's. Remember Kent State? Now that was the government limiting free speech to the extreme.

Universities did have control over anti war protests, but this is also protected under the freedom to assemble, so protests happened, and most were peaceful and without incidents and most were permitted under university rules. The more violent protests made the news and were met with law enforcement.

All kinds of protests and speeches take place on college campuses every day. Some are with official permits, some are not. Some are objectionable, but allowable under the first amendment, but all must comply with the university policies, rules, and code of conduct.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #187)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 01:33 PM

191. So could a public university specify "no anti-war activity or speech" in its "code of conduct"

and expel any student who violated that, without violating the First Amendment?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #191)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 02:23 PM

205. Unfortunately, if it were a private university it probably could.

Although there are probably a whole lot of ancillary reasons why they wouldn't try it. But I could see it happening at Bob Jones or Liberty, for example.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #205)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 06:00 PM

229. Yes I think so too

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #191)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 05:59 PM

228. Theoretically yes, I guess they could

But they don't so must be a reason. I don't think anything is that specific, but I agree with the president who draws the line at racist and threatening speech.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #187)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 04:56 PM

219. Could a public university have a policy saying that "anyone who uses the Lord's name in a profane or

sacreligious way" shall be expelled and then expel anyone who says "God damn it" or Fucking Jesus H. Christ gets the boot?

Or do you agree that there are limits to what a University's poliies, rules and codes of conduct can regulate with respect to speech by students?

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Response to YarnAddict (Reply #148)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 05:50 PM

225. it's not fairly subjective, it's totally subjective.

Honestly I'm fucking gobsmacked at the friggin enthusiasm some here have for ditching what is a core lynchpin concept of liberty.

I'm almost starting to think the Koch bros. are engaged in an elaborate disinformation campaign to paint "the left" as opponents of basic notions of free expression, as censorious moral panic control freaks and the like... it's fucking downright odd, because during the Bush administration if someone had started an OP with the core premise "the government should be able to censor unpopular speech" people would have lost their shit, and rightly so.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #225)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 10:48 PM

246. +1,000,000 n/t

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 05:47 PM

224. Oh, we're supposed to be against free speech and the 1st Amendment, now?

Excuse me, but fuck that noise 50 billion ways to Sunday.

And recognizing that racist speech is protected by the 1A isn't "defending it". It is defending the principle of free expression, which is not the same thing.

A distinction apparently lost on people who are in an awful big hurry to censor things they don't like, as well as the author of this piece who presumably, given his resume, should know better.


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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #224)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:29 AM

254. So you think "hostile atmosphere" civil rights actions are per se unconstitutional?

 

If minorities feel threatened by a bunch of white people going around talking about lynching them, they should just STFU and deal with it?

Free speech absolutism and extremism, as shown by our supreme court, has almost always inured to the benefits of the most privileged of society, in terms of wealth and race.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #254)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:00 PM

284. No, telling them to STFU would be tantamount to trying to censor their speech.

I do think that laws against "hate speech" or bigoted speech are unconstitutional. A "hostile atmosphere" lawsuit against, say, a place of employment or the like is not the same thing.

But the gist of this piece is that the 1A has "something wrong with it" if racist or "filthy" (the author's word) speech is protected, because only speech which serves the author's approved "purposes" should actually be free speech.

That's a common argument from those who support government censorship, and it is wrong. If only pre-approved speech is permitted, that's not free speech. And yes, bigoted speech is still constitutionally protected.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #284)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:02 PM

285. hostile environment rules are themselves a restriction on speech though, no? nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #285)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:09 PM

286. There are differences between restrictions and laws, i.e. government censorship.

First Amendment speech does not mean that everyone can say everything everywhere and in every context. If someone says certain stuff on DU, they can get kicked off. That's a restriction on their speech, but it isn't a violation of their 1st Amendment rights.

I recognize that different workplaces, educational establishments, and the like can have assorted rules pertaining to speech in certain contexts- again, not the same thing.

I'm not speaking to the specific university chant, here- on, in another thread, a particularly obnoxious series of bus ads. I think in each case the institutions involved could probably find a means via which to regulate or modulate the content of the situation without having to argue that the specific speech is "not protected by the 1st Amendment".

I am addressing the larger gist of this opinion piece, which is, as the author put it, there is something "wrong" with the 1st Amendment if we are forced to allow people to say nasty shit. Which is a fucking astoundingly unconstitutional and asinine thing for a law professor, of all people, to assert, and I sure as fuckitty-fuck am going to object to that sentiment with every fucking fiber of my fucking being, because fuck me if I think we should get into the business of letting the government start censoring speech that bothers some people.*


* Even though I know that is a small group's most special, cherished fantasy.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #286)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:12 PM

287. I think of Jews in France or Sweden or wherever and wonder if they're clamoring

 

for US-style free speech, though.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #287)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:14 PM

288. I'm probably closer to that situation than you are.

And I suspect that they don't feel that speech laws or the lack thereof, are the real problem.

We have the 1st Amendment here, which protects anti-Semitic speech among other things, and yet the Jews in the US don't feel as threatened. Wonder why that is?

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #288)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:16 PM

289. If you want the real answer, look at the immigrant populations

 

of the US vs France.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #289)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:19 PM

290. Yet Again, it has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment.

I think some people should ask themselves why censorship is such a dearly held fantasy, when it isn't going to solve any of the actual problems anyone faces.

Maybe they should worry about improving proving peoples' actual lives, instead of indulging their own impulses.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #290)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:22 PM

291. in general, I think this topic is not a good one for abstract discussions but is rather

 

dependent on the factual context.

Should racist speech be outlawed as a general rule? No.

Are there contexts where it's appropriate to proscribe it? yes.

Where to draw the line is the question.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #291)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:28 PM

292. I agree, but the law professor who wrote the article deliberately drew a larger set of lines.

And that is what I am objecting to, here.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #292)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:32 PM

293. i agreed with the platitudes, and the frustration. nt

 

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #293)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:54 PM

294. Being frustrated is fine, but a law professor in particular should know better.

The 1st Amendment does not need to be "fixed" so a fraternity can be disciplined by their University for being assholes.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #294)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:56 PM

295. the whole thing is rather shoddy for a law professor, for one the students would be unlikely to

 

prevail in a lawsuit under these circumstances, but she takes it for a given that the first amendment would require their reinstatement

so maybe she's just confused as to what the first amendment does and doesn't require

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #295)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:57 PM

296. Kent Greenfield is a "he", isn't he?

But yeah, one would think someone teaching law would know their way around the Bill of Rights a bit better.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #296)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 05:08 PM

298. derp, for some reason when mountain grammy posted it I got my wires crossed and assumed

 

the author's gender was also female.

Then again, Laurence Tribe argued that the EPA carbon regulations are unlawful because they don't encourage people to use coal, so law professors can be real dumbasses sometimes.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #298)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 07:29 PM

309. Thats a wtf for sure.

edited: I mean the carbon thing.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #285)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 04:58 PM

297. hostile environment rules are a restriction on conduct

To wit:
A private company can limit its employees' speech until the cows come home. So if one or more employees say things that create a hostile environment for a particular protected class of employees, the company can toss the offending employee, with no first amendment concerns. And if the company doesn't do something to rectify the situation -- the company (not the harassing employees) is the one subject to liability. In short, liability for creating a hostile workplace doesn't punish those engaged in particular speech, it punishes those who could have but don't do anything to prevent or stop that speech.

It gets more complicated where the government is the employer. In that case, the employer has to be cognizant of his or her employees first amendment rights. But at the same time, employees aren't entitled to a job if they can't do their job properly and if getting along with fellow employees is a component of acceptable work performance -- and it usually is -- then even a government employer can terminate an employee who engages in speech that undermines the atmosphere in the office in a way that is not conducive to the office's functioning. And if nothing is done and the target of the offending employee/employees is in a protected class, than a lawsuit for the conduct of not preventing the creation of a hostile workplace can proceed, even against a government employer.

In the academic environment, a similar analysis may hold - at some point the speech of an individual or individuals may cause the academic setting to fail -- discussion and learning is compromised. At that point, the school has the right and ability -- and possibly the obligation -- to do something about it.

Now, as has been mentioned, the idiot frat boys of SAE didn't create a hostile environment when they sang that racist song on a bus. And the fact that someone else made it public raises an interesting set of questions. For example, let's say you're a teaching assistant you're sitting around your dorm room with some friends and you start in talking about how much you hate the Pope and Catholics and make some suggestions as to what sort of nasty things you'd like to see happen to them, and one of your buddies goes on a university run Internet bulletin board and posts a message saying "Get a load of what my buddy John said" and then repeats your words, no one has engaged in discrimination (unless you said something about giving bad grades to anyone you knew was Catholic), but has a hostile educational environment been created? Should you be expelled? Should your buddy who posted it be expelled?

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Response to onenote (Reply #297)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 05:12 PM

299. the chant by itself at that moment didn't create a hostile environment, but it revealed practices

 

and a culture that are creating a hostile environment, as well as engaging in per se discrimination.

I think there's a subtle but important difference between expressing bigotry and detailing the wrongful conduct one is engaging in due to that bigotry, and encouraging others to do the same.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #299)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 05:45 PM

302. if we're discussing the two students

then, as I think has been pointed out, it would be hard to make out a case of per se or any other kind of discrimination by those students either as individuals or on behalf of the fraternity.

Individuals can legally discriminate. I can choose to associate with or not associate with anyone i choose, for any reason, and I can shout it to the hilltops why I made my choice.

Organizations, such as fraternities, are different and are subject to laws barring discrimination (although even those laws sometimes makes exceptions for different types of organizations, which is why its okay for a fraternity to discriminate in membership decisions against women and for sororities to discriminate in membership against men). Of course a fraternity doesn't act itself -- it acts through its members. So it would require evidence that the current membership of the fraternity has actually engaged in unlawful discrimination. THe fact that the fraternity doesn't have any African-American members woud be prima facie evidence. But not per se. For example, there would have to be evidence that this particular group of fraternity members rejected any and all requests for membership from African American applicants and did so on the basis of race. That requires evidence. And as for at least the one expelled student who is a freshman, it seems almost certain that he has never had a say in who gets admitted to the fraternity. Singing a stupid song about what he would do isn't the same as proving that he has engaged in discrimination any more than my saying I'll never have a friend of a particular religion doesn't establish discrimination on my part in organizations in which I'm a member but have no role in making membership decisions.

The chant and the fact it was sung by fraternity members may be evidence in support of a claim of discrimination by the fraternity, assuming that any African American students actually have sought to join and been turned down. It also can be cited as evidence that the presence of a fraternity whose members sing such crap creates a hostile environment for African-American students. But that still leaves the question of whether the hostile environment was created by the song being sung on the bus or by the act of publishing the song on the Internet. I'm not suggesting an answer to that question, just pointing out that its a fair question that raises a host of other questions in world in which everyone's words and actions can be readily described -- indeed filmed and disseminated -- instantly to a virtually unlimited audience.

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Response to onenote (Reply #302)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 05:48 PM

303. I largely agree, but I think you touch on one key thing, is that the last thing the frat boys

 

want is a thorough investigation as to what's behind the chant.

They'd rather plead to smoke than have the school find out who lit the fire.

The last thing they want is more evidence to come out. Because it's very likely that the evidence that would come out would not inure to their reputation.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #303)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 05:58 PM

304. No doubt.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 06:03 PM

231. Not very well thought out.

 

How does this chant on a bus create a " hostile educational environment"? Doesn't make sense. If they were in class it would definitely be the case. This is just an emotional argument imo.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 06:15 PM

233. No such thing as free speech

 

I know this first hand.

I spent a year in federal prison for making a movie that pissed off the Bush administration


Here's a little background

In Defense of Extreme Pornography

This is the case

United States v. Extreme Associates, Inc.


You can holler all day long about the right to say or film or sing whatever you want, but at the end of the day there is always a price to pay.

It's fucked up, but it is what it is. If you violate social standards, you better be prepared to deal with the consequences.

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Mon Mar 16, 2015, 11:27 PM

247. I believe whites who supported blacks were also lynched...

If so, then a hostile environment IS present on that private bus: For the WHITE PEOPLE! Speech not protected, correct?

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Response to graegoyle (Reply #247)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:14 AM

251. Are you seriously trying to argue that singing that song

on a bus full of white SAE members created a hostile environment for them????

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Response to mountain grammy (Original post)


Response to mountain grammy (Original post)

Tue Mar 17, 2015, 08:14 PM

312. There were violations here

 

IN the workplace, university, etc. people have to adhere to conduct rules, and these guys more than broke the rules. Expulsion is and has always been an acceptable punishment. I'm with you.

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