Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sacrificial Lamb?

Photo credit: Don Imus-WFAN Pediactric Center For Tomorrow's Children

Freedom requires responsibility and that includes freedom of speech. When one person exercises his or her individual rights in a way that trespasses on the rights of others, it is no longer an expression of freedom, but of aggression.
Don Imus' statements, in actuality, hurt nobody except himself.. What he said, and the backlash to what he said, should not be used as an excuse to limit freedom of speech or expression, but as a warning that there may be consequences in what we say and do. Imus was wrong to say what he said, but he had every right to say it. It is conceptually erroneous to point out the apparent hypocracy that some are allowed to use language that others aren't. Offense is a relative concept that must include context, meaning, and scope, or sphere of influence. We would do well to see an example in the entire incident that respect for others is the best way to protect our individual freedoms, and it all comes down to personal responsibility. However, what we do see is a sacrificial lamb that negates the conscious of others who will continue to use unfounded and hateful terms such as "Nazi," "Chickenhawk," and, in the context it is often used, "neocon."
We should remember that our First Ammendment rights also give us the freedom to choose to listen or not to listen, and that includes the choice to or not to be offended. We have, at our disposal, a high tech device called the "on-off switch." Rather than using offensive speech to limit the rights of others, it is better to just ignore it.

3 comments:

Jenn of the Jungle said...

This whole thing has reached epic proportions and it deserved no more than a one liner. Ridiculous. And the one Rutgers girl who said she was "scarred for life" from this comment needs to seek counseling, because if that scarred her for life, then she won't make it.

Opinionnation said...

where do I get me one of those "on-off" thingies? :-)

RevJim said...

The only people who should have been offended by Imus' bad joke were the members of the Rutgers Womens Basketball team, but "Scarred for life?" I don't buy that. Don Imus' opinion is so insubstantial it really shouldn't have had any effect on anybody. He's just a radio personality, for Chrissake!
Opinionnation--I had one of those thingies, but it seems that the news media in general hid it somewhere.