>>>>Free Speech

Free Speech

Recently a famous talk show host made some racially and sexual charged comments about a group of girls.  These young women took a losing hand and played it almost to a championship.  This host made similar comments before.


When you enter the public arena be prepared for ad hominem attacks, or attacks on the person.  If someone cannot attack your ideas or what you represent, they will attack you.  For some reason, these people cause this host to fear.  So he responds with character attacks.


Another recent example comes in the form of defaming Al Gore’s character instead of debating his ideas about climate change.  I am in now way endorsing either view in this article. I do endorse healthy debate.  Can one debate the hairstyle or body art of an athlete?  Of course, one can try to debate anything. 


Yet one must frame the debate in a way that produces clear results.  Do I like the fact that athletes have tattoos all over them on the basketball court?  The question is not whether I like it or not, but what message I think it sends.


I can appreciate some body art or even piercings which augment an individual’s appearance.  Would I get more than one, or even many all over me?  No.  Does this mean that no one else should?  No.  Does this mean that they ought to be free from critcism?  No.


So my framing of debate is that anything is open to attack when you become a public figure.  The question for an audience though, is what purpose does the assault serve?  Why would someone belittle another?  Then the true debate begins.  Sometimes comments are honest jest, only the listener can decide what they feel the message is.


I would rather these things were said in the open than behind closed doors.

By | 2007-04-11T08:17:05+00:00 April 11th, 2007|Perspectives|0 Comments

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