The sacredness of free speech has a long history of protections under the 1st amendment, although there are exceptions to the rule when speech may threaten the immediate safety of human beings. For example, you cannot yell “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater. Now let’s put this same litmus test to the yelling of other words in a crowded theater. Imagine if some fringe free-speech protectionist went into a sold out showing of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and yelled “Cunt!” Now the audience, primarily comprised of liberals may associate the word “cunt” with Ann Coulter, thus serving as a warning of her presence in the theater, causing patrons to scurry for the nearest exit so as not to be contaminated by Coulter’s forked, venomous tongue. This act can only be considered dangerous and a threat to the safety and well being of the altruistic theater patrons.
So when Ann Coulter chose to exercise her free speech by indirectly calling John Edwards a “faggot” at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, I wasn’t too surprised by the crowd’s reaction. Watch and see for yourself (Warning: Before viewing this clip, it’s recommended you take a deep breath and repeat the following line three times: “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me…”):
At first, the audience was momentarily shocked, followed by a brief and uncomfortable silence, before the live laugh track kicked into full gear. Chalk up two points for the Annster: one for attacking a Democrat presidential contender without having to directly attack a Democrat presidential contender, and one point for unleashing a gay slur in a designated gay-bashing zone.
Now Coulter’s comment itself didn’t present an immediate danger, but had she entered the convention center unannounced and yelled, “Faggot!,” who knows what potential pandemonium could have ensued. The first lesson I learned in my high school chemistry class is that you’re never supposed to mix a bunch of homophobes with a batch of deeply closeted homosexual men and ignite the mixture by yelling “Faggot!” This could be dangerous, or worse, the combination may lead to an unnecessary war. BOOM!
When I first heard about Coulter’s slur, my immediate response was to take the liberal, or Jesus path, turn my cheek, and dismiss the comment altogether. But I couldn’t seem to keep the GOP noise machine from shaking up my insides, stirring up dormant elements of hate. But then I remembered what Atticus Finch said in “To Kill a Mockingbird” that it’s not okay to hate anyone, not even Hitler. So I turned to my favorite crutch and coping mechanism: loosely veiled satire.
Normally, I cannot stand using words like “cunt,” especially when it’s done gratuitously or out of hate. Is there any other way? My fear is that when somebody types “cunt” into Google, this post will show up, and when taken out of context the googler may misinterpret the intent of the piece, pegging me as a perpetuator of hate. My bigger fear is that my mom may stumble across the title of this post and possibly die of shock, discovering that her son would use such a derogatory word. Fortunately, my mom still thinks “cunt” begins with a “k,” a slip which may land her on Krusty Konservative’s blog.
With freedom comes responsibility, and I hope anyone who wants to protect the freedoms of speech will have enough sense to resist the impulse of yelling “Cunt!” in a crowded, liberal-filled theater. The second lesson I learned in my high school chemistry class is that you’re never supposed to mix political rhetoric with hate-inspired slurs. This could be dangerous, or worse, the combination may lead to an unnecessary war. BOOM!
P.S. I love you, Ms. Coulter. See you in rehab:)
For an insightful take on the dangers linked to the "faggot" fallout, read "When Eating Apples, Sometimes You See a Worm." (Essential Estrogen)
"WTFJ, Coulter?" (Huffington)
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