Today’s Christian Science Monitors asks, “Is cross burning a form of free speech?”
Well, yes AND no. Let me preface this by informing my more militant liberal readers that I myself am in a so-called “interracial” marriage and I am of multi-generational “multiracial” heritage as well. So please, save the “you don’t understand” comments for someone else. I do understand.
If you do it on your own property, it’s free speech. It’s ugly, hideous and disgusting, but still free speech. If you come on my property and do it, it’s tresspassing, an attempt at intimidation and further, an open invitation from you to me to put you in an early grave.
As a civil libertarian, I would be remiss in my duties and flawed in my principles if I chose to disallow this despicable act. Let me qualify that further, by stating that such activity is to be considered free speech if it occurs on the private property of a party willing to allow such hateful activity. If Tom Metzger, Don Black, etc. wish to burn crosses in such a manner, that should be their right. That doesn’t make it moral or nice, but then the First Amendment isn’t about judging niceties and morality. It’s about protection of the citizenry from government censorship and control.
That said, it should be my right to protect my property in whatever manner I see fit, if said fools trespass in a fit a overt stupidity in order to terrorize me or my family.
This free speech stuff is hard, but in the end it’s one of the most important barriers of protection we have against tyranny.
We don’t have to like it, and I surely don’t, but the First Amendment doesn’t exempt assholes and racists from it’s protections.