Speech not totally free

COLUMBUS, Ohio – On May 7, Al Sharpton said, “As for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don’t worry about that.” He was obviously referring to Mitt Romney. He was blatantly attacking not just Romney, but the entire Mormon religion in his discussion. Whether he was joking, his comments were blatant bigotry.

Sharpton is a hypocrite, too. How can he be so strongly opposed to the words of Don Imus for calling some black basketball players “nappy-headed hoes,” but then use religious bigotry against a presidential candidate with a different religious background.

I am by no means defending the words of Imus, but his contract stated that he was being paid to be controversial. The firing should have never occurred. How can he be fired for doing exactly what he was being paid to do? He still should have never called those girls “nappy-headed hoes.” The question is, Imus said this one thing against black woman and gets all this controversy, what about the black rappers who degrade and defile women in their lyrics, videos and their lifestyles? If there is going to be something done about this type of language, it must be equally punished.

Freedom of speech in this argument is a tricky one to tackle. As I have touched on before, a person’s freedom of speech only goes as far as someone else’s rights. Once you impede on someone else’s freedoms, you have crossed the line. The problem is clarifying whether someone’s rights have been encumbered. U.S. citizens and their government need to make a decision. If this language is harmful to people and the overall public, then it should all be punished. If it is not, then all of this type of speech should be allowed.

Lately it seems that any comment against anyone is being punished to the highest rung. Opie and Anthony were punished for their rape comments against U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Imus was fired for his comments and now is seeking a lawsuit against his former employer, and Rev. Sharpton is in hot water for his hypocrisy and blatant ignorance and bigotry. Sharpton’s hypocrisy would normally be my cup of tea because I usually tackle hypocrites, but this whole emergence of suppression of speech could be bad if it goes too far. I admit, in all of these cases, what was said is disrespectful at best, but will this lead to freedom of speech being taken away from everyone.

Figuring out if someone has crossed the line or not is a tough thing to do but it can be done without everyone being aloud to insult everyone else, or nobody being aloud to say anything. Imus should not have been fired for his degrading comments, he has said many disrespectful things against tons of different races and religions such as Jewish people and has never been fired for those comments. These comments have not gotten him fired before, only the comment about the basketball players has set people off. Much of the controversy was raised by Sharpton and unfortunately, this new politically correctness phony righteousness campaign a lot of people are waging. Opie and Anthony are on SIRUS satellite radio. I do not like the horrible comments they made about Rice, but they are on satellite radio. You pay specially for it to listen to them. They can say anything they want and if you do not like it change the channel. As for Sharpton, he should apologize and go be what he is good at, a preacher. He called for punishment for Imus’s comments, so should he be punished for his comments? The way things are now, he should.