I know I've been posting a lot of Daily Show clips lately but these boys have just been on fire the last couple of weeks. Case in point:
I haven't yet commented upon the Laura Schlessinger fracas for two reasons: 1) I've just been too busy and 2) I begrudgingly respect her for having the balls to actually enunciate the word "nigger" in a discussion about the use of that word. Nothing bugs me more than listening to grown adults saying things like "N-word", "F-word" or "C-word" during a discussion with other adults as if there were a bunch of children within earshot. If there are kids in the room with you then yes, don't use these words in front of them but adults should be able to use epithets in discussions with other adults. As Stewart says, context and intent are far more important than the actual words themselves. How does one have a substantive discussion about the use or misuse of the word "nigger" if one is too cowed by political correctness to utter it even innocuously?
Now, as to Schlessinger's use of the word: did I say "having the balls" earlier? Because what I really meant was "lacking the brains". Yes, adults should be able to say "nigger" in a discussion about the use of that word and its effect on our society but an old white woman claiming that she should have the same leeway in its use as black comedians on HBO is just about the dumbest way to go about having that discussion I can think of. I can't count the number of times I've heard white people say, "Well if black people can say the N-word why can't we?" and my answer is always the same: hundreds of years of culturally institutionalized slavery and racial discrimination, that's why. I don't support slavery reparation policies or anything like that but I am OK with this small double standard as it concerns racial disparity. It's the same reason I can say that one of my little sisters is acting like a bitch but I better not hear you say it: it's a right reserved for my family only. On the 300th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington white people should feel free to check in with the black community at that point to see if it's OK to chant "nigger, nigger, nigger" yet but until then idiots like Schlessinger just need to relax on that count or else they'll find themselves in the same situation she does now. Freedom of speech is a great thing but it does have consequences for which one must take responsibility.
My favorite part about this whole brouhaha however is the fact that Sarah Palin has injected herself into the fray and proven once again that she has absolutely no concept of what constitutes First Amendment freedom of speech rights. Ignoring the hypocrisy of her calling for Emmanuel's resignation for using the word "retarded" discussed above I'm reminded of a post I wrote about Palin and the First Amendment a couple of days before the 2008 presidential election:
She's already proven that she has no idea what the job of the vice-president is, so why should we expect her to understand how the first amendment works?At least she's remained consistent in her constitutional ignorance. I wonder if she's had time between speeches and media appearances to learn what the vice-president does yet? I'll say it again, Republicans: run her, please. Hell, put Schlessinger on the ticket as her VP nominee while you're at it. I can certainly use all the laughs I can get.Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.Really? Since Chris Plante is a right-wing talk radio host it's no surprise that he didn't call her on her shit but just in case any of you (besides Palin and Plante) have forgotten:
"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.So according to Sarah Palin (and yes, I know how loaded a phrase that can be) the media and others exercising their free speech rights to refute and/or criticize what she says is the same thing as the United States government passing laws explicitly outlawing what she says. In other words, Palin's idea of free speech is the right to say anything critical about anybody or anything without anyone else criticizing what you've just said; in point of fact, that's the exact opposite of free speech.