Wasn’t there once a time in this country when you could wear what you wanted, say what you wanted, and trust that the worst you might get for your efforts was a punch in the face? No one’s advocating for violence or lawlessness, but this continued wussification of the country that seems to please liberals to no end has a weakening effect on our right to free speech.
While it’s true that the First Amendment applies only to the government itself and does not apply to private businesses, even private policies can push the direction of the country to the left and have an impact on what people consider acceptable. The government already uses concepts like “hate speech” to get around the First Amendment, and several countries in Europe throw people in jail for speech they consider racist or intolerant.
What’s this all about?
According to KCBS in San Francisco, the Giants baseball organization is in the closing stages of striking a policy against “culturally-insensitive” attire at the team’s AT&T Park. “We want to make sure that our fans are respectful of each other and the different backgrounds that everyone comes from,” Giants’ Sr. Vice President Staci Slaughter told the news station Wednesday. This would make the Giants the first MLB team in the country to adopt such a policy.
Which “sensitive” group is at the heart of the problem? Native Americans, naturally. The incident that gave birth to the policy apparently took place on a Native American Heritage Night, which saw a couple of Native Americans ask a white fan to remove the headdress he was wearing. It’s not clear from the report how the incident transpired or whether the fan removed the headdress on complaint, but this doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that should be the park’s business. We’re not talking about some skinhead wearing a swastika shirt on Jewish Appreciation Night.
What’s next for AT&T Park? Will we be banning jeers from the stands? Perhaps fans should be more respectful of the opposing team, treating them with the honor and polite applause that Major League millionaires so rightfully deserve. And what’s next for Native Americans, who seem bound and intent to wash away any remnants of their culture that persist beyond the reservations? Wise observers can already see that the writing is on the wall for the Washington Redskins, who earlier this year lost their right to the trademarks – a cowardly move on the part of the government in an attempt to circumvent free speech.
The substance of Staci Slaughter’s defense can’t be argued. We are a country of diverse backgrounds, and it would benefit the civility of all involved if each could show a little more respect to the other. Simply put, though, banning certain forms of attire isn’t the way forward. I’m much more comfortable when racists and bigots are allowed to fully express themselves. Wouldn’t that be better than hiding everyone in a brown uniform, letting their hatred only shine through in subtler, more dangerous ways?
Ah well, welcome to America: 2014, the Kindergarten Years.