HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » mountain grammy » Journal
Page: 1

mountain grammy

Profile Information

Name: Pat
Gender: Female
Hometown: NYC
Home country: America
Current location: Grand Lake, Co.
Member since: Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:55 AM
Number of posts: 26,064

Journal Archives

The Limits of Free Speech

The Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment would protect even the racist chant at the University of Oklahoma—but it shouldn't.

Members of a fraternity at the University of Oklahoma were recently filmed chanting that they’d rather see a black student lynched than as a member of their clan. The now viral video of dapper, privileged white men shouting, “There will never be a nigger at SAE, you can hang him from a tree” reminds us of our greatest national shame. The chant has been roundly condemned as abhorrent. But after university president David Boren announced the expulsion of two students leading the chants, prominent legal scholars from the right and left have come to their defense. The university is a public institution, they say, and punishing the students for what they said—no matter how vile—violates the First Amendment’s commitment to “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open” discourse.

Oklahoma could make a decent argument that the students’ chant created a hostile educational environment and was thus unprotected speech, but these scholars are likely correct as a predictive matter. If this situation were litigated before the current Supreme Court, the students would almost certainly win. The frat boys’ howls are reminiscent of the Westboro Baptist Church’s “God hates fags” protests near military funerals, which the Supreme Court protected a few years ago. And while public university hate-speech codes have never been litigated at the Supreme Court, they have been trounced in lower courts.

Yet is the slippery slope so slick that we cannot fathom any restrictions on the worst speech? Is the slope so steep that we cannot recognize the harms flowing from assertions of privileged hatred subjecting whole populations to fear of violence? Does it really risk tyranny to expel a couple of racist punks?

If that is what the First Amendment means, I dissent.

You can read the whole article here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/the-limits-of-free-speech/387718/

It's a good article posted on another thread by a poster who's intent was to defend racist speech. The article is a clear argument for why we shouldn't.
Posted by mountain grammy | Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:08 PM (313 replies)

As a "Good Democrat" I want an experienced, tested, moderate candidate....


This is too important. I see Hillary buried in dark money. Campaign ads worse than we've seen before, and we think we've seen it all. What this will do, in my opinion, is what it did last year; discourage voting. It's not enough to fuck with the voting machines and enact voter restrictions. it's important for voters to be disgusted enough to stay home.

And, while Hillary may not be a first choice, ok she's not mine, try to imagine a Republican government in an era of global climate change and extreme weather disruptions the likes of which we've never seen. OK, got that picture in your mind?

Hillary's far ahead in the polls, so what. Do you think that scares the billionaires who plan on buying this election? They couldn't succeed with Obama because his skills at speaking and reaching out to people cut through the noise. I don't think Hillary can do that with the same success as Obama and, I'm sorry to say, neither can Bernie Sanders. In America, it's not the qualifications that matter, it's the star power. In Senator Warren we have both, and we need her badly.

In my very humble opinion, on this day, March 12, 2015, with no links provided, I think Elizabeth Warren is the best hope for the Democratic party to keep the White House in 2016, and she just might have the strength to carry the House and Senate. We need a winner in 2016. People listen to her, people believe her, people like her, and people won't like the dark money ads against her.

Being the eternal optimist, I think something will happen to get Warren into the race. It really has to. Losing the White House in 2016 cannot be an option.
Posted by mountain grammy | Thu Mar 12, 2015, 11:39 AM (2 replies)

Rudy Giuliani, American Soviet The Russians believed in exceptionalism, too.

I love Matt Taibbi's take on this:


After all, which America do they mean? The one that will be majority nonwhite by 2042? The one that twice elected Barack Obama president? The one that now produces more porn than steel? The one that has one of the world's lowest fertility rates and one of the highest immigration rates? That America?

Are they big fans of South Park maybe? The Wu-Tang Clan? Looking? Because it's ironic: The heavy industry and manufacturing might that was a key source of American power in the days of Giuliani's youth is now in serious decline, but Hollywood (and American pop culture generally) is a bigger, more hegemonic world power than ever.

Yet the current batch of exceptionalists mostly despises Hollywood, one of our few still-exceptionally-performing industries. They liked it better in the days when John Wayne was the leading man, Rock Hudson was in the closet and nobody made movies about copulating cowboys or Che's motorcycle trips.

Conservative politicians like Rudy are a bizarre combination of constant, withering, redundant whining about Actual Current America, mixed with endless demands that we all stand up and profess our love for some other America, one that apparently doesn't include a lot of the rest of us or the things about this country we like.

I feel sorry for Rudy that he can't love this country the way it is. I love America even with assholes like him living in it. In fact, I'm immensely proud of our assholes; I think America has the best assholes in the world. I defy the Belgians or the Japanese to produce something like a Donald Trump. If that makes me an exceptionalist, I plead guilty.

In all seriousness, the Rudy story is a bummer. It's not easy to love America and hate half the people who live there. It requires that you spend a lot of time closing your eyes and wishing history had happened differently, which, at least in my limited experience, doesn't work very well.

And that's not something to gloat about, either. A lot of people in this country think like Rudy, and if our present doesn't work for them, the future won't work for any of us. We're all going to end up miserable together, and that sucks.

I agree with Matt, especially that we have the best assholes in the world.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/rudy-giuliani-american-soviet-20150221
Posted by mountain grammy | Mon Feb 23, 2015, 11:02 AM (0 replies)

American education fails to teach us anything about American history.

We are taught to read and write and it's up to us to learn the rest.

"The Warmth of Other Suns" by Isabel Wilkerson and published in 2010, is about the great migration of millions of African Americans from the South to the North.


It is a huge story, taking place over great distances, large groups of people and decades of time. And that is perhaps why it is not usually told as a single narrative. Wilkerson uses the journeys of three individuals, from different decades, traveling from different origins to different destinations, to examine this largest of all internal migrations that the country had ever seen.
It was a leaderless movement of people who were tired of endless restrictions on their right to vote, to own and farm their own land; people who were tired of poor education and even poorer futures for their children. Surely, they must have been tired of their own vulnerability to Jim Crow laws that put the distance between the rest of their lives and the end of a rope in the hands of a white man who took offense at a few words spoken to a white woman.

Just as it was a war that ended the slave labor camps, it was another war that allowed so many to escape from what had become a virtual slavery in the South. World War I cut off the flow of immigrant labor from Europe upon which the industrial cities of the North relied. Word trickled down to the sharecroppers and the migrant agricultural workers and the domestics of the South and some of them left behind all they knew for a chance in the new world.

The fact that they would be facing much of the same racism and hate that they were leaving was probably unknown to many. They would at least be living in a place that did not require them to step off a sidewalk to let a white pass by, or to use a designated doorway, stairwell, or water fountain.

Isabel Wilkerson does not ignore the broader historic picture that she is painting:

The disparity in pay, reported without apology in the local papers for all to see, would have far-reaching effects. It would mean that even the most promising of colored people, having received next to nothing in material assets from their slave foreparents, had to labor with the knowledge that they were now being underpaid by more than half, that they were so behind it would be all but impossible to accumulate the assets their white counterparts could, and that they would, by definition, have less to leave succeeding generations than similar white families. Multiplied over the generations, it would mean a wealth deficit between the races that would require a miracle windfall or near asceticism on the part of colored families if they were to have any chance of catching up or amassing anything of value. Otherwise, the chasm would continue, as it did for blacks as a group even into the succeeding century. The layers of accumulated assets built up by the better-paid dominant caste, generation after generation, would factor into a wealth disparity of white Americans having an average net worth ten times that of black Americans by the turn of the twenty-first century, dampening the economic prospects of the children and grandchildren of both Jim Crow and the Great Migration before they were even born.


We will never fix America until we recognize and acknowledge how we got here.
Posted by mountain grammy | Sun Jan 4, 2015, 11:27 PM (49 replies)
Go to Page: 1