Wednesday, 20 January 2016

A Brief Essay on the First Amendment

The Dailycaller put up a piece today.....refering to column written by a Duke University student newspaper.

Normally, I probably would have just skipped it.

But this circled around what he perceived (a grad student)....over America's 'obsession with the First Amendment'.  He coined the phrase....that it (the First Amendment) was more or less an expression of white supremacy.

What he wanted to suggest was limits on free effect....restrictions.  Censoring critical speech or hate-speech....would be a much better effort for society to benefit.

It's one of those do-gooder type things you see in Germany now.  Facebook has been dragged into such German government meetings and told that it needs to limit free speech....eliminate hate-speech, and that someone could easily determine what was good-speech and hate-speech.

I admire 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."

It is simplistic in nature.

I kinda doubt that you could walk into a room of a hundred grad students today....challenge them with a weekend project to write the text for a new modern version of the First Amendment, and get a simplistic three-line piece of text that is that clear.

Most would write some ten-page amendment which allowed certain things.....forbid certain things....and tried to make end-all-make-all statement.

We are at some threshold of society, where people attend four to eight years of some university operation, getting a certificate of sorts.....then returning to the world with the brightness of a 7-watt light-bulb that you would depend upon to light up some arena.

The white supremacy angle?  If you asked the guy to explain the history to America from 1492 to'd revolve around eight lines of information, with Columbus noted two or three times.  Beyond that....he would be unable to note the effect of French, Spanish, Dutch, and English settlements upon the land mass.  He'd also be unable to project the effect of the Roman Empire upon the four cultural groups mentioned and the thousand years prior to 1492.

To be honest....I am worried about speech in America.  It's just that I'm not worried about free speech, hate speech, critical speech, derogatory speech, criticism speech, or fake intellectual speech. I'm worried about stupid speech....where you say something without much value and pretend it has merit.
My humble advice for the grad student....if Duke did charge $120,000 for the past six-odd years of might want to review what you got and maybe ask for a refund.  You may not have gotten the best or wisest commentary from the professors.