As you probably know, Second Amendment proponents are, pardon the expression, up in arms that their right to bear arms will, any second now, be shot out from under them.
That sentiment – although knee-jerk – is understandable, given public outrage to the near-daily horror of shootings this country continues to endure. And, surely, while something must be done NOW regarding accessibility of firearms, especially automatic weapons and moreso, those obtained by unhinged people, gun folk can rest assured that their precious Second Amendment will remain untouched, at least by the present Congress. The gun lobby – aka the NRA – rules, my friends, and Congress is spineless. President Trump, of course, is no help, speaking out of both corners of his big mouth about the NRA, at once vilifying them and then speaking glowingly at their recent convention.
My babies, I am far more concerned about the First Amendment:
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.
As written, the amendment protects everything from campaign rhetoric to stupid, racist, ignorant speech. In other words, many of the utterances of Roseanne Barr.
Roseanne never has been the soul of eloquence or even sanity. She’s spewed crazy, questionable shit in the past, and this weekend got her arse in a sling for making a nasty, racist comment against former Obama adviser, attorney Valerie Jarrett. (Which the dignified Ms. Jarrett hopefully ignored, considering the source.)
And she lost her recently-rebooted Roseanne TV series because of it; ABC summarily pulled the plug on the show – a ratings juggernaut, by the way – today. But they jumped the gun. They held us cheap.
Understand, I am no apologist for Roseanne Barr. But I do revere our First Amendment rights. We’re not talking illegal here, we’re not talking #metoo. We’re simply talking ignorant speech from a moron.
Of course Roseanne shouldn’t be spewing ignorant, racist bullshit. No one should. But as there have been haters since time began (just ask Jesus and the Incas and Irish and Italian immigrants to the US in the early 1900s and European Jews in 1939 and Muslim-Americans today – just to name a few million), there also always have been intelligent, discerning, right-thinking people who march for freedom and run for office to vanquish inequality and raise their children not to hate and work to quash ignorance in their communities.
What they do not do is fuck with the First Amendment. They work within its framework for the common good, for the betterment – the elevation – of society.
You’re either pregnant or you’re not. You’re either free or you’re not. And you either have freedom of speech – as afforded us by the Constitution – or you don’t. And it’s precious. Just ask those without it (North Korea, I’m looking in your direction).
Thank God that decent Americans also have free will and brains and self-respect and reasoning and the ability to rise above hurtful, stupid statements from the likes of Roseanne Barr.
If ABC hadn’t rushed to make up our minds for us, all we would have had to do was not watch the damned show. ABC gave the whole mishagas too much credence – and us, not enough. This kind of trigger-happy decision abets the slippery slope toward government censorship. Don’t believe me? Go Google, “Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin.”
The First Amendment is a sacred thing – even if it does protect ignoramuses like Roseanne Barr. Yes, she had the right to say what she did. And we had the right to ignore her into television oblivion once again – where she belongs.
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