Tim Wise supposes he has a right to yell nigger in the streets, Soledad O’Brien agrees

1-13-2015 5-07-34 AM

A Drunk, Racist Former Goldman Sachs Employee Got Knocked The Hell Out After Hurling Racial Slurs At A Black Couple in NYC In 2013

By Scotty Reid

The deadly attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has spurned a seemingly global movement to re-affirm the rights of primarily white people to practice racism and religious bigotry under the umbrella of “freedom of speech”. It would be incorrect to not mention the fact that countries in Europe including France, have enacted hate crimes legislation that specifically protects one religious group, Jews. The failure to extend the same “hate speech” protections to other groups in their societies indicates they are practicing racism, religious bigotry and discrimination as a matter of law.

However, it is in the context of these conversations around so-called free speech rights that I would like to address an assertion made by widely known anti-racist lecturer Tim Wise. Tim Wise, a white American, stated that people have a right, he supposes, to hurl racial slurs at people on a public street and not suffer any violent repercussion for such a hostile act towards other human beings. Make no mistake, the lack of fear of repercussions is the primary reason white people engage in racism, terrorism and other heinous crimes.

I believe it is possible to agree that free speech is an essential value, and that journalists should have the right to say what they want — even to offend others — without then proceeding to act as though every act of speech (just because people have a right to it) is therefore worth defending as to its substance, and that free speech protects one from being critiqued for the things one says. What I mean is this: I have a right, I suppose, to stand in the middle of Times Square and shout racial or religious slurs. And I surely should be able to do that without fear of being murdered for it.Tim Wise

When I took to Twitter to report on Tim Wise’s assertion that he supposes he has a right to racially terrorize people with his words surprisingly the well-known journalist Soledad O’Brien said that Mr. Wise is correct.

1-13-2015 5-39-59 AM

I also found that the ACLU has taken this same position as a matter of protected speech and fought against colleges and universities that prohibit such racist acts as a matter of policy.

However, because Tim Wise is a white man and laws in the United States are written by white men and interpreted by mostly white men; it is likely that a white male judge would rule that it would not be reasonable for a black person to react violently towards a racist white person calling them a nigger. I suspect that in the context of white supremacy Tim Wise is correct in that he is a white man with white privilege and therefore has a right to hurl racial slurs at victims and they should not have the right to physically resist threatening language.

White supremacy aside, as a matter of principle, I wholeheartedly disagree with both Mr. Wise’s assertions that while he would never do it and would find it offensive, he has a right to hurl racial slurs at unsuspecting people on the street and that if he did so he does not deserve to be murdered for such an act of terrorism.

Let me start deconstructing this passage from the post that otherwise was logical and I agreed with.

A white person hurling racial slurs in the historical context of racism and white supremacy in America is a form of terrorism usually followed by actual violence. Unfortunately, this still occurs to this day. Take for example the iconic pictures from the days of early school desegregation of Black teens and college students surrounded by mobs of white supremacists hurling racial slurs at those young people. If not for the National Guard’s protection, I think it would be hard to argue that those white people would not have attacked those children and possibly beat them to death.

1-13-2015 5-32-22 AM

Do you think those students felt terrorized? Do you think they were in fear for their lives?

In the 1970s as a pre-teen adolescent in Detroit walking the streets with two of my male cousins who were teenagers I had one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I did not feel that kind of fear when I was in a war zone during the Gulf War. We made the mistake of taking a wrong turn into a predominately-white neighborhood. About an hour earlier, I had picked up a box containing a baseball cap lying in the street and put the cap on. As we continued to walk, we came across a little league baseball team practicing at a school. The players started pointing at me and accused me of stealing one of their baseball caps. The entire team including the adult coaches called us nigger thieves and proceeded to chase us, some with baseball bats in hand. We literally had to run for our lives and were fortunate enough to get away from that racist mob. From that point on, I associated the word “nigger” with the threat of imminent violence.

While I am not asserting that anyone should be “murdered” for hurling racial slurs at me, I am asserting that I have a human right to preemptively strike a person who is assaulting and battering me with racial slurs. If I feel threaten and in fear for my life, I have a human right to stand my ground and take whatever action I deem necessary to preserve my life. Any person who would commit the hostile act of hurling racial slurs at a person to intimidate and terrorize them would also have no problem committing acts of violence and I should assume that is their intent. Ever since that sunny day in Detroit when my life was threatened by a mob of white people hurling racial slurs, I adopted the policy of preemptive strike. This was decades before American neo-conservatives rose to power under the administration of George Bush and adopted this as a matter of government policy and coined the term preemptive strikes. This policy is still in practice to this day as a matter of national security and used against non-white countries.

In terms of whether or not Tim Wise has legal protections under the US Constitution to hurl racial slurs at people on the street as he suggests, we should look at prohibited speech called “fighting words”.  U.S. federal courts have ruled in the past that the First Amendment does not protect speech that is likely to incite violence. Judges have determined that “fighting words” do not contribute to “democratic discourse” and that society has a collective interest in reducing violence.

CHAPLINSKY v. STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

Facts of the Case 

Chaplinsky, a Jehovah’s Witness, called a city marshal a “God-damned racketeer” and “a damned fascist” in a public place. He was arrested and convicted under a state law for violating a breach of the peace.

Question

Does the application of the statute violate Chaplinsky’s freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment?

Conclusion

No. Some forms of expression–among them obscenity and fighting words–do not convey ideas and thus are not subject to First Amendment protection. In this case, Chaplinsky uttered fighting words, i.e., words that “inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” Source (http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1941/1941_255)

We live in a system based on white supremacy and not one based on justice so I have no illusions that I would be protected from prosecution if I reacted in a violent manner towards my racist attacker who incited me to violence in self-defense. White supremacy promotes confusion when it comes to applying so-called rights to non-white people.

Cyber Bullying

We can look at recent laws that prohibit speech to protect students from “cyber bullying” that lend to the confusion and inconsistency surrounding free speech protections in the United States. Several states have enacted laws and/or policies against cyber bullying, as have school districts across the nation.

There are no federal laws against cyber bullying and I have yet to find a case challenging those laws. However, the federal government does encourage reporting instances of bullying to its civil rights divisions in the Justice Department when that bullying meets certain criteria including racially based bullying.

There is no federal law that specifically applies to bullying. In some cases, when bullying is based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion*, bullying overlaps with harassment and schools are legally obligated to address it. Read more about when bullying overlaps with harassment and how to report it to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and then U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Source: (http://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/)

Teens have been driven to commit suicide because of cyber bullying thus the creation of laws and policy to protect them from such harmful speech and rightly so.

Original Intent of Freedom of Speech or of the Press

The conversation around the publication Charlie Hebdo and the hate speech it publishes against Muslims and racial minorities in France is being framed around Freedom of the Press. In the United States, the framers did not have racist caricatures of Black people nor have caricatures of religious figures, especially those that Charlie Hebdo promotes that incited violence against their employees and publishers, in mind when they wrote the Bill of Rights.

Suppose the intent of the framers of the US constitution was based on justice and not white supremacy? What was the intent in writing the First Amendment?

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.

Again, the fact that many if not all the so-called founding fathers were racists that supported genocide against American Indians and the enslavement of Africans, there can be no question that they never intended to afford non-white people any rights they held for themselves.

Racism and white supremacy aside, what was the real intent of the First Amendment as envisioned by the framers?

One big modern error in interpreting freedom of speech and press comes from not treating it as freedom from government shielding itself against public examination of public concerns through use of criminal libel or license but as a right to be heard or seen. Newspapers were never under any obligation to publish whatever someone had to say no more than a university or town was viewed obligated to provide a public soapbox. It is all about government and its agents subjectively determining what speech or publication it considers defamation against government and punishing such without truth being a defense.

Laws that regulate what shall be considered abusive speech or writings in public, wear, display, public conduct, etc., are not the same thing as government officials or judges of the court exercising authority to criminally punish anything they subjectively consider in speech or publication to be sedition against government or government established religion and ignore truth as a valid defense.

Freedom of speech and of the press served one purpose in America: To remove the fear of the common law doctrine of seditious libel so citizens could freely speak or publish without license their grievances against public policy or conduct of public officials. One of the distasteful things found under the common law was the government practice of criminalizing or shielding itself through requiring license to publish of any criticism it felt made people dissatisfied with their government or government established religion. Source (http://www.federalistblog.us/2008/10/freedom_of_speech_and_of_the_press/)

Calling someone a nigger on the street is technically not constitutionally protected speech but it is speech protected by a racist white supremacist society and that is all that matters in practice. It is frustrating that many non-white people are arguing that Tim Wise is correct even though he “supposes” which implies he is not exactly sure about his position. He obviously did not research to affirm his statement that shouting nigger on the street is protected speech. However, I am not ready to accept that Tim Wise is ignorant about racism and white supremacy so I have to ask why he would choose to use such an example in reference to Charlie Hebdo.

1-13-2015 5-42-24 AM

I just find it illogical that people who claim to want a more peaceful world, a civil society would think that could be achieved by allowing hate speech, especially hate speech that is specifically intended to provoke its intended target, to pollute the public discourse.

11 Replies to “Tim Wise supposes he has a right to yell nigger in the streets, Soledad O’Brien agrees”

  1. Too bad , the rioters who yelled, ” what do we want? Dead cops, were not arrested or physically assaulted for their so called freedom of speech! What a bunch of crap

    • The chant was “killer cops belong in cell blocks”. Do you really expect logically thinking people to believe this slander? This was at a protest, with cops on the scene, do you not think they would arrest them for communicating a threat? Besides, it has been reported a week or so ago that the Baltimore Affiliate doctored the video. Now they should be arrested but they were fired. I think you knew this though. We usually do not approve lies on this website but since we can easily debunk your slander we will publish it for all to see the type of subterfuge you are engaged in.

      Fox Affiliate Fires Reporter, Cameraman over Edited ‘Kill a Cop’ Video
      http://www.mediaite.com/tv/fox-affiliate-fires-reporter-cameraman-over-edited-kill-a-cop-video/

  2. Excellent read.

    Given the long racist history of the use of this word “nigger” by white
    supremacy. No one in hell would feel that this word is use as a “term
    of endearment”, when use by a white person.

  3. This argument many claim is about free speech, isn’t. The good guys v. the bad guys scenario is to steer the people away from freedom. The mesmerized are encourage to ask for more repression, the dissolution of privacy (what is left of it), and sadly, they don’t even know it.

    There is a courtesy that states: if it offends my brother or sister, then it offends me. Good article.

  4. I agree with Mr. Fuller when he says that counter racist compensatory logic dictates that the way to handle being called a “Nigger” is to ask the name caller “What is a nigger?” “Why are you calling me a nigger?” and “What do you intend on doing about it?” If the person is using the word in general and not directed at any specific individuals, it’s use should be ignored. From my observation ( I don’t know if Fuller agrees) the actual use of the word when directed at me is not the mistreatment. The mistreatment comes when I react with an emotional response because the Racist Suspect intends for that to happen. The Racists (White Supremacists) trained our ancestors to react to the word with fear and anger centuries ago. We are carrying on their (the Racists) tradition. A long time ago, I used to physically fight the name caller and called them a “cracker” and / or a “peckerwood” not realizing that these words didn’t have the same effect. There were other “White” people around who supported and encouraged me to react that way with the “White” name caller. One day I decided to change. I’ve witnessed a few Racist Suspects’ mouths drop to the floor when I didn’t react to their use of it with emotion. These days in their refinement of white supremacy huge numbers of Racist Suspects are saying that being called a “Racist” is a “Racial slur” and / or “hate speech”. If victims of racism white supremacy support that concept to make it unlawful to use a word then it will soon be unlawful to use many words and at some point it will be a word that you want to use but can’t without risking greater confinement (The book 1984 and the Thought Police comes to mind). Huge numbers of Counter Racists (Martin and Malcolm to name a few) were killed by the Racists for their use of words. I suggest that we don’t get caught up in the hypocrisy of Racism (White Supremacy). Peace.

    • The situation will dictate when to use violence in self defense, anyone who does not practice self defense has no self worth. If a racist is across the street yelling “nigger” at me, I am not going to go across the street and confront him but if he comes across the street yelling nigger than logic dictates that I defend myself from my would be attacker. Anyway, the article is about a statement that he made that people have a legal “right” to hurl racist and religious insults at people passing him on the street, because a logical thinking person may take that threatening language as a precursor to bodily harm, the court logically determined that certain uses of words are “fighting words” and not covered under the First Amendment.

      As has been said, context is everything and in the context of this article Tim Wise “supposes” he has a right to yell nigger in the street at people is incorrect as documented. If people want to passively accept this behavior then that is their choice and they have to suffer the consequences.

      “I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence.” – Malcolm X

      Suppose – assume that something is the case on the basis of evidence or probability but without proof or certain knowledge. Tim Wise’s supposition is rooted in White Supremacy.

      • I didn’t know that Malcolm ever said that. I’d recently realized that the word violence stems from the word violate. You are not violating an attacker when you use force to protect yourself.

  5. Great then he will deal with getting knocked the F$,cked out.
    Don’t worry he will deal with the court and lawyer fees..
    Every Good or bad action has a repercussion.. Deal with it..

    • It’s an important distinction to get right before someone is shot in “self defense” because the attacker/gun shot victim thought he was morally right to answer insult with a beating.

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