The FCC has long been at the heart of the First Amendment battle, and now they may consider arbitrarily ruling that some words are indecent and therefore can no longer be uttered or talked about on air if the broadcasters in question want to not be fines or even worse keep their license to broadcast.
The word in question that is sparking all of this now…Redskins. Yes, the name of the NFL team in Washington D.C. Now when I say Redskins do you scream and cover your mouth like I had just punched a small child? Do parents nearby reach for their children and cover their ears so they might not hear the word and repeat it? No, because honestly very few people see the word as an a) insult and b) inappropriate. Most polls have shown more than 60% support for the name. But here comes the FCC getting ready to slather infringement all over the First Amendment.
The FCC has received a petition from a legal activist, a life-sucking libtard, and GW professor John Banzhaf III asking FCC regulators to strip a local radio station, WWXX-FM, of their broadcast license for using the word Redskins, which he finds to be racist, derogatory, profane, and hateful…making it exactly like broadcasting an obscenity on the air. This isn’t the first ridiculous lawsuit or petition this phallus shaped human has brought up…his own website touts his breadth of his domain as the Genghis Kahn of the legal world. The FCC has agreed to hear this idiotic request despite what they know about the First Amendment.
Just in case you had forgotten 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.
And yes people the Federal Communications Commission is an arm of the government, so if they cover up your speech they are in fact in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution. That isn’t to say that they do not have the responsibility to ensure that those broadcasting have some modicum of decency; then again, maybe the market and the people should dictate that and not the government.
But here is where we reach the slippery slope. The U.S. census data as updated in 2013 shows that Native Americans and other indigenous people make up only about 1.2% of the population. I highly doubt that every single last one of them is offended by the word Redskins, or in fact by one of the roughly 2,500+ other high school and college teams that use a reference to the indigenous people of North America for their team name or mascot; seriously look it up. But here in America we are not ruled by minority tyranny. Just because you find something offensive doesn’t mean I have to stop saying it. Just because it might hurt your super sensitive feelings and give you a bubbly tummy does not make the word invalid in and of itself. Just because you gather up a thousand crunchy people and hold a rally along with a march against injustice and call the word hate speech doesn’t mean a damn thing to me. Why?
“HATE SPEECH” is free speech: The U.S. Supreme Court stated the general rule regarding protected speech in Texas v. Johnson (109 S.Ct. at 2544), when it held: “The government may not prohibit the verbal or nonverbal expression of an idea merely because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.” Federal courts have consistently followed this.In fact, the FCC has been on the other side of the ruling in several court cases. In 2010, the 2nd circuit of appeals struck down their indecency laws calling them, “arbitrary and capricious.” This was overturned by the Supreme Court, but the First Amendment issue was never addressed by them leading to the ruling that, the rules were in violation of the First Amendment and the continued use created a “chilling effect.”
The FCC, and by that I mean the government, should not be weighing in on what we can and can not say on the air. If they do rule against the use of the word Redskins what word are they next going to tackle..moist? niggardly? freedom? choice? responsibility?
Once you start banning words all willy-nilly it becomes open season on all words. Let the FCC know that they have no business ruling on words that are part of everyday speech.
Contact info for the FCC:
Chairman Tom Wheeler: Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov
Commissioner Ajit Pai: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: Mike.O’Rielly@fcc.gov