Skip to comments.Race and Freedom
Posted on 05/04/2014 5:53:37 AM PDT by Kaslin
Cliven Bundy should be happy for the public revelation of the private comments of fellow racist Donald Sterling; the latter has replaced the former as the person Americans most love to hate. These two bigots recently spewed racial hatred: Bundy suggesting that African-Americans might do well to consider slavery over freedom, and Sterling offering disjointed comments that reveal his evident beliefs in white supremacy.
Bundy is a Nevada rancher who became a hero to the right for standing up to the heavy hand of federal suppression of property rights in the West. He and his family had been grazing their cattle on land they believed was theirs or the state of Utah's for more than 100 years, when along came the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which claimed the land and assessed Bundy for his use of it. A federal judge upheld the claims and the million-dollar assessment; yet Bundy refused to pay. Instead of filing the judgment in a courthouse, as you and I would do if we had a judgment against Bundy, the feds showed up with 200 camouflage-clad machine gun-bearing federal agents determined to steal Bundy's cattle.
Soon, thousands of Nevadans showed up to support Bundy, whereupon the feds enacted a "free speech zone." They ordered the protesters either to remain silent, or to enter the zone and protest there. The zone was a 25-square-yard patch of earth in the Nevada desert, three miles from the Bundy/BLM confrontation site.
Sterling is a billionaire who owns the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and was a hero to the left for his public support of liberal causes. He has given generously to the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP and to the Democratic Party in California. He is white, married and apparently enjoys the company of a biracial girlfriend. Recordings of his several wild, weird, disjointed rants directed to the girlfriend and uttered in the privacy of his own home have been played publicly. In them, Sterling directs his girlfriend not to attend Clipper games in the company of her African-American friends.
Both of these men used hateful and hurtful words that were animated by truly condemnable attitudes about race. No moral person credibly could suggest that slavery is preferable to freedom, and no moral person credibly could suggest that whites are superior to blacks in any respect. Those were attitudes advanced by antebellum slave owners and 20th-century supporters of laws that used the machinery of government to harm blacks during the 100 years following the Civil War.
All rational people, understanding the colorblindness of the natural law, have a moral obligation -- but not a legal one -- publicly to treat persons of different races with equal dignity and respect. I can morally prefer a friend or a mate who is of my race, but I cannot morally hate a potential friend or mate just because the person is not of my race. I do not know what is in their hearts, but Bundy and Sterling are apparently haters.
What to do with them because of their speech? Nothing. I mean nothing. Racially hateful speech is protected from government interference by the First Amendment, which largely was written to protect hateful speech. Neither Bundy nor Sterling has been accused in these instances of racially motivated conduct -- just speech animated by hatred.
In the Bundy case, the feds did suppress speech by keeping it three miles away from them. Free speech, assembly and the right to petition the government would become empty and meaningless if the governmental targets of the speech and assembly could not hear it. The First Amendment will condone outlawing the use of a bullhorn by protesters in front of a hospital at 3 o'clock in the morning. But it will not condone free speech zones for the sake of government convenience. The entire United States of America is a free speech zone.
In Sterling's case, is it fair to punish someone for speech uttered in the privacy of his home? It would be exquisitely unfair for the government to do so, but the NBA is not the government. When Sterling bought his basketball team, he agreed to accept punishment for conduct unbecoming a team owner or conduct detrimental to the sport. Is speech conduct? For constitutional purposes, it is not; the Constitution does not restrain the NBA. It is free to pull the trigger of punishment to which Sterling consented.
But it needn't do so.
Hateful and hurtful words have natural and probable consequences where the people are free to counter them. The government has no business cleansing the public marketplace of hateful ideas. The most effective equalizer for hatred is the free market. It will remedy Sterling's hatred far more effectively than the NBA can. As advertisers and sponsors and fans desert Sterling-owned properties, he will be forced to sell them, lest his financial losses become catastrophic. And it has removed Bundy from the public stage altogether.
But don't hold your breath waiting for the forces of freedom to nullify hatred. Soon the forces of darkness will attempt to do so as creative prosecutors and hungry litigators bring the government into the fray. I hope they stay home and follow the natural law principle of subsidiarity, which mandates that public problems be solved using the minimum force necessary, not the maximum force possible -- and no force at all where peaceful measures are just as effective.
I would not invite Bundy or Sterling into my home, nor would I befriend them. But I will defend with zeal and diligence their constitutional freedoms.
Judge Napolitano, revealing why the American judicial system is such a shambles.
I stopped reading right there.
So basically now we have it:
First Paula Deen, so now all Southerners are racists
Next, Cliven Bundy, so now all cowboys are racists
Third, Clippers owner, Sterling, so now all Jewish people are racists
The only people that can be trusted are Eastern seaboard and West Coast Progressives, right? Gads, the propaganda.
So did I.
The anti-Semitic blacks are going after the Jew
Bundy suggested nothing of the kind. He said that the Democrats, the party of the Klan, have put blacks in a position as bad for them as slavery with a welfare structure that destroys families and character. His statement is obviously true, and obviously the opposite of racism. Unlike the far left, Bundy cares about the harm that leftism does to decent people, regardless of their skin color.
I tire of the articles with 80% preamble explaining the author’s outrage followed by a weak defense of Free Speech. Must tread lightly or they’ll lose the cushy commentator job too.
Bundy was contrasting the 1950s black family to the current government housing black family. The present federal slave state is dehumanizing and more evil than the antebellum south.
Do not believe the Judge has all the facts. I always liked pretty much everything he said. The question is, is this early dementia or is he just following orders?
They are going after everybody, Jewish, Southern, westerner
you have to be a Mohammedan from the coast in order to pass muster, no matter what murder may be in the coastal Mohammedan’s heart
I have decided that yelling and throwing things at my computer is too expensive and just drives the blood pressure higher.
“Bundy suggesting that African-Americans might do well to consider slavery over freedom...”
You are wrong judge... for one am not buying your analysis, and your commentary disappoints me...
The media “suggested”, “inflamed”, “insinuated” that Cliven Bundy’s comments were racist, taken out of context, fueled by race-pimping zealots like Sharpton, Jackson and the usual local suspects and their allies in the media...
All of us need to learn from these post-incident personal interest stories the media foists upon these 15 minute celebrities...It is much better to say nothing if it doesn’t have anything directly involving your differences of opinion with someone, some issue, some government action/entity...Speak to that, nothing else...
Know that those aligned against you want you to slip up and say something about race these days, about the economy, about Obama, whatever...That gives them and out and makes you look like a fool in the end when your story fades to black...
This is supposedly an educated man who doesn’t even bother to review Bundy’s actual words before condemning him.
I was impressed by the honest concern in Bundy’s statement for people of all races, Mexican, Black and people in general. He was telling the truth which is that the Liberal schemes have entrapped the Black families and damaged their social structure to a greater extent than slavery did. Nowhere did he suggest that slavery was something good.
Liberals are destroying choice and opportunities for Blacks by keeping them dependent so that they can use them as a voting block. Democrats have no interest in actually allowing the poor to advance and decide their own destiny. The welfare programs are set up in such a way that the recipients have monetary disadvantages in having an intact family and they get additional money and benefits by having additional children and by having them classified as disabled etc. How many children are being denied a mainstream education because their Moms need/want the extra stipend that comes from being classified?
The Democrats & President Obama’s administrations are all about closing the school voucher system that was successfully allowing children a path out and families a choice in DC. The founder of Planned Parenthood was a racist who wanted to prevent the birth of Black babies. There is still a vast disproportion of Black abortions. She is a liberal hero. Mr Bundy is being used to gin up Black votes for the fall and foment more Black/White divison by a very cynical political class and Judge Napolitano has missed his chance to set the record straight.
It's really hard to believe that the Judge Napolitano I have seen on TV wrote this. It's like some liberal wrote it under his by line.
The First Amendment was NOT written to protect hateful speech, although hateful speech is protected under any rational reading of the First Amendment. It was written to protect minority and unpopular political viewpoints, "hateful" or not. A man of Judge Napolitano's training and experience should absolutely be able to understand that difference, which isn't even really a subtle difference.
FU Judge you sell out POS political correctness is a cancer and you need serious chemotherapy.
Maybe someone should explain what juxtapose means. If this guy really was a judge I wonder if those convicted could a case for having it overturned.
He chose to make up the facts he needed. I am appalled at Napolitano's reckless scholarship on this article. I have lost a ton of respect for him. If this is an example of the type of scholarship that has gone into his books, then his books are not worth the paper they are printed on.
If I were Bundy, I'd sue the pants off Napolitano for this article.
Napolitano has shown a reckless disregard of the facts and in the process he has attempted to put words into Bundy's mouth that he never said or in any way insinuated.
Oh, what nonsense. You'll know "racial hatred" when it hits you in the head from behind with a brick, Judge.