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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Unfree speech

Both the NY Post (on the front page) and the NY Times (buried inside) ran articles this morning describing how Lee Landor, a $45,000 a year aide to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, resigned under pressure because of comments she wrote about Gatesgate on her Facebook page:

"I get it -- white men have dominated for hundreds of years and there's a lot of anger there. But HOW MUCH MORE can the white people do to correct the past injustices of their ancestors?"

"If Mr. Big Shot Harvard would have kept his mouth shut, shown his ID and not started yelling at a police officer, he never would have been arrested. So please, it's time to get over this 'It's because I'm black bull----'."

"You know, I am getting really sick of hearing how about how white people are evil racists."

"O-dumb-a, the situation got out of hand because Gates is a racist, not because the officer was doing his job."

Landor resigned after being told "jump or be pushed."

Were her words intemperate? Yes, but they also reflect the feelings of a large number of whites, many of whom are tired of hearing frequent unfounded accusations of racism.

Calling Obama "O-dumb-a" is childish, but it doesn't seem a firing offense. I can't ever recall having heard of a liberal being fired for an equivalent offense, say, calling W dumb and castigating him for the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. And it's not as if liberals are exactly shy about expressing their views.

It's not even something Landor said at work, it's something she said on her Facebook page.

Some might argue that Landor's free speech rights aren't being violated since she isn't being prosecuted for her words, and the Manhattan Borough President has the right to hire and fire whomever he chooses.

I doubt the Times will have an editorial condemning Stringer tomorrow morning. But put the shoe on the opposite foot and imagine what would happen if a leftist were fired for comments she wrote on her Facebook page.

You'd never hear the First Amendment supported more vociferously.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more.

If it is true, and she really was fired for her Facebook post, it is kind of scary...

I feel, unfortunately, racism in this country will never cease to exist, no matter who the president..

And how many times was Bush called less than intelligent, in many different ways, can't remember anyone being fired over it.

John Craig said...

Anonymous -- Thank you for your comment. I actually don't consider Landor's words racist; she seemed to mostly be objecting to Gates's behavior and his false accusations. The entire incident provides a pretty good illustration of which side believes more in repression.

Anonymous said...

I don't consider her words racist either. I was referring to the fact that while no one involved in the Gates incident might necessarily be racist, the incident itself became about racism. Landor's loosing her job over a Facebook post is about racism as well. Racism exists and it goes many different ways, as many as there are races, here or in any other multiracial country.