Freedom Of Speech Doesn’t Mean Freedom From The Consequences Of That Speech

The First Amendment protects the rights even of the people who gathered in Charlottesville to promote hatred and violence, However, it does not shield them from the consequences of that speech.

Unite The Right Torch Rally

In the week that has followed the violence in Charlottesville and the remarks about the violence and the nature of the protests from President Trump that have created so much controversy, there have also been several reports of people who attended the rally to “protect” Confederate statues facing the consequences of their words and actions. In several cases, men who were identified via the videos of the Nuremberg-like rally the night before the violence where Nazi-era slogans like “Blood and Soil!” and “The Jews will not replace us!” were chanted by torch-bearing men facing the consequences of their actions. In several cases, people lost their jobs as employers found out what these people were doing on their free time. In several cases, a young man who attended the torch rally and participated in the rally the next day was repudiated in public by his own father, who said the family did not support what he believed in and wanted nothing to do with him. In another case, one of the organizers of the rally named Christopher Cantwell, who was initially defiant about what happened and ever defended the actions of the man of ramming a crowd of counter-protesters and killing one young woman while injuring more than a dozen others, ended up becoming something of an emotional wreck after facing blowback from his community for his involvement in the events. Social media, most especially Twitter and Facebook, played a large role in this outing of rally participants as many people shared photographs of people taken during the protests and asking for help identifying the people who were there.

All of this led to a broader discussion of whether these campaigns to shame people who attended the rally were appropriate, with strong feelings about the matter on both sides of the argument. At The Forward, for example, Bethany Mandel argued that we ought to stop using social media to out people who have political opinions we disagree with no matter how offensive they might be:

[E]ven if these white nationalists are being properly identified, firing individuals based on their political beliefs, no matter how repugnant, creates an incredibly slippery slope. Writing about hate speech on Twitter, the ACLU warned, “Restricting any group or individual’s speech jeopardizes everyone’s rights. The same laws used to silence bigots can be used to silence you.” In other words, the rights of every single one of us depends on, well, the rights of everyone single one of us, even – especially – those we disagree with.

This is far from a defense of nazism, or alt rightism, or white supremacy. Quite the opposite – these guys make me as sick as the next person. I’m not asking that you feel sorry for these guys. I’m arguing that their right to believe and say horrible, racist things with impunity is actually the grounds upon which my rights and your rights depend. It is absolutely crucial that certain inalienable rights, like the right to privacy and the right to free speech, apply across the board. Free speech isn’t just allowing speech with which you agree.

What I’m arguing for is extending the legal rights we all share to the social — and social media — sphere that we now share, too. It is a sacred American belief that people should not be persecuted for their beliefs, no matter how repugnant they are. While it’s true that legally, every workplace is entitled to employ or fire whomever they wish barring discrimination, as a society, we must put a stop to punishing people for their beliefs.

Earlier in the column, Mandel correctly notes some of the danger that comes from these social media crusades against people who hold strong political opinions on controversial issues. The brief history of social media is replete with examples of people who were mistakenly identified after events such as what occurred in Charlottesville and ended up suffering consequences, including job loss and other pressures that can come from the madness of crowds, that they did not deserve to happen to them. In other cases, people have suffered what is arguably unduly harsh punishment for having a political opinion that the majority disagrees with. One such example of this which Mandel cites in her column is former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich who ended up resigning from his position after it was revealed that he was among the people who contributed money to the campaign to pass Proposition 8 in California, which overturned the California Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage but which it was itself overturned by the Federal Courts in a case that ultimately went to the United States Supreme Court. As I argued at the time, even though I disagreed with Eich on the issue of same-sex marriage, the consequences of hounding everyone who disagrees with you on a political issue are fairly severe, and something that could come with real blowback if public opinion were to ever change significantly. I made much the same point two years earlier when talking about the campaign against Chik-Fil-A due to the fact that the company’s owner and founder was a well-known opponent of same-sex marriage. Public shaming can be a powerful tool, and in some cases it is appropriate, but it should be used sparingly and carefully.

All that being said, I do have to say that I disagree with Mandel when it comes to applying that argument to this particular case. The views expressed by the people who participated in the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville are in almost every sense over and above a mere political disagreement over an issue like same-sex marriage. The people who gathered in Charlottesville over the weekend were not there to start a political debate, or to express disagreement with majority opinion over some controversial issue. They were there to give voice to an ideology that is dripping with hatred and vitriol and which seeks to drag the nation back to the days of Jim Crow and other evils that many people, such as Georgia Congressman John Lewis, quite literally shed blood to fight against. You can see that reality in the Nazi-era like posters that were used to advertise the rally across the country, in the chants of the demonstrators who showed up the night before the violence to hold a rally that, as I said, looked more like a Nuremberg rally from Germany in the 1930s than a normal American political rally, and in the Vice News report on the event that includes interviews with several of the organizers. These are people who preach hatred for African-Americans, Jews, Muslims, and indeed anyone who isn’t a White Christian American. They are led by people such as Richard Spencer and others, including people who have suggested that Heather Heyer, the young woman who was mowed down by one of the rally participants, deserved to die. They are, in other words, evil personified and unlike anything this nation has seen since the height of the Ku Klux Klan, and their opinions should not be permitted to enter the political mainstream in any respect. If that includes using modern technology to “out” the people who openly attend rallies like this, in many cases traveling thousands of miles across the country to do so, then I quite honestly don’t have a problem with that. Our nation has come too far to allow this movement, which has been newly energized by the election of Donald Trump, to become normalized in any respect. These people aren’t just wrong, they are evil, and evil can’t be allowed to assert itself into the mainstream of American politics.

I am most emphatically not arguing, by the way, that these people should be punished by the government for their beliefs. The First Amendment protects their right to speak just as assuredly as it does the right of advocates of civil rights to speak. Outlawing speech based solely on its content is something that would go against everything that this country stands for, and ultimately it would be counterproductive. This is why a municipal ordinance that was used to attempt to bar Nazis from marching through the streets of a predominantly Jewish-American suburb of Chicago in the mid-1970s was correctly declared unconstitutional by the Federal Courts, and why the Supreme Court held several years ago that the Westboro Baptist Church had a right to stage its offensive protests on public property outside of the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend, and the minute we allow the state to punish people based on the allegedly offensive content of their speech is the moment that our own liberty begins to become restricted.

At the same time, though, it’s important to remember that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of that speech outside the scope of action by government entities. Just as the participants in the “Unite To Right” rally had a right to peacefully protest regardless of the fact that their speech was offensive and evoked memories of one of the vilest regimes in human history, the people who disagree with them had the right to counter-protest and to speak out against them afterward. Similarly, if the people who participate in rallies such as this can be identified they are within their rights to call them out by name. Additionally, their employers are free to act accordingly if they find out that one of their employees is using their free time to advance ideas that they find offensive, and their family members are free to repudiate them if they find their views offensive. Freedom of speech means that one is free to speak without fear of government punishment, it doesn’t mean that one is free from facing the consequences of that speech.

As I said, there does need to be some measure of self-control involved in how we react to people we disagree with. Not every political disagreement arises to the level of a true good versus evil argument, and people who simply disagree with us on controversial issues don’t deserve to be treated as social pariahs. Doing so accomplishes nothing, does nothing to try to convince the other side to change their minds, and only contributes to the political polarization that has made it nearly impossible to get anything of substance done in Congress. At some point, though, there come times when there are differences between political disagreement and a situation such as the one that Charlottesville lays bare. Treating the people at that rally as if they are mere political opponents only serves to legitimize their opinions in a way that we cannot permit to happen. To do so would only serve to legitimize their hatred and calls for violence and to send the nation down a path that would make our current problems and divisions seem minor by comparison. So, yes, Mandel is right that we ought to be careful about how we use the power of social media to “name and shame” people, but we also need to be careful about allowing hatred and violence to become something that is considered to be the same as a disagreement over an issue such as LGBT rights or abortion. If we do, then we’re all going to regret it.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Race and Politics, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Doug, that was very well-reasoned – not easy work when you’re defending nuance.

    “I am pro-life” is a political opinion. “I hate common core,” is a political opinion. “I’d like to kill about a third of all Americans,” is not a political opinion, it is a threat. And when you march with assault rifles and swastikas it’s not just a threat against a significant portion of the population, it’s a threat against the Constitution and the very existence of the United States.

  2. grumpy realist says:

    Free speech does not mean one has the right to utter death threats. And if these idiots don’t think they’re uttering death threats, why have they picked up the symbols and vocabulary and imagery of one of the most evil groups in history? They don’t burn a cross on someone’s lawn and then claim that they were “just trying to be Christian.”

  3. joy says:

    >These are people who preach hatred for African-Americans, Jews, Muslims, and indeed anyone who isn’t a White Christian American.

    Not so minor quibble, you mean White Protestant American. In their eyes, Catholicism is ethnic.

  4. gVOR08 says:

    As I said, there does need to be some measure of self-control involved in how we react to people we disagree with.

    And I wish that counter-protesters would maintain non-violence and just laugh at the Nazis. I’m not likely to get my wish either.

    Unless they’re in visible positions where their reputation affects the company (e.g.CEO Brendan Eich), I don’t think anyone should be fired for outside activities that do not affect their job performance. Some of the firings can probably be challenged. (Probably not here in OH, an at-will state.) On the other hand, some days life’s a bitch, and they are Nazis.

    One of them was whining that he’d been shunned in his community and his life there was over. Heather Heyer’s life is over.

  5. CSK says:

    @joy:

    There’s a white supremacist blogger whose nom-de-cyber is that of one of the Founders. (I forget which.) He maintains that the only true white people are those who can prove that they are 100% Anglo-Saxon or Teutonic; he also wants U.S. citizenship limited to such.

    Interestingly, some of the American Nazis have disavowed Christianity as too naamby-pamby and purport, instead, to worship the Norse gods.

  6. KM says:

    @gVOR08:

    Unless they’re in visible positions where their reputation affects the company (e.g.CEO Brendan Eich), I don’t think anyone should be fired for outside activities that do not affect their job performance. Some of the firings can probably be challenged.

    Disagree. None of these people works alone – they will have an assortment of coworkers, bosses, underlings, and customers that are now brutally aware of how Little Johnny thinks of them. At best, morale takes a hit. At worst, it will actively affect how the business is run. Much like the dumbass at Google got canned for helping make the workplace a little more toxic with his “helpful memo”, having a politically active Nazi/ white nationalist in your employ is asking for it. Does said employee train people? Does said employee interact with customers and serve as a visible face for your company? Should a complaint or issue arise, how much can be attributed (if any) to said beliefs and how liable are you for continuing to employ said dumbass? What happens if the company suffers for the associations to the point it’s not a viable business anymore? This is not a position a company should have to deal with solely because Little Johnny wants to get his hate on. He’s endangering his employer and all those co-workers just because he was dumb enough to forget his hood. Frankly, if it were me looking at losing a needed job because Little Johnny’s caused boycotts to an already struggling business, his journey to the parking lot would become much more perilous.

    Listen, free speech is great. But free speech cannot serve as a blanket pardon for society’s ills. The consequences should be for the speaker’s to suffer, not spread around. Personal responsibility has to go hand in hand with it. If it’s worth speaking out or marching about, it’s worth losing your job for. These people need to put their money where their mouth is and show the strength of their convictions. You wanna march for white power? Fine – just be aware your cause can cost you like it’s cost others over the years. Why should they get a pass when people who fought for other causes had to find new jobs because of their passion?

  7. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I know that you already know what I’m about to say, but I suspect (based on the number of times I’ve had to explain it to people lately) that others may not, so:

    The freedom of speech guarantee contained in the 1A – generally speaking, only means that government can’t take action to prevent you from speaking.

    It does NOT (outside of a few very limited instances) mean that government can’t hold you accountable for – and punish you for – the consequences of your speech.

    It has NO import with respect to private infringement and generally no import with respect to corporate infringement.

    Short version: generally speaking, no prior restraint is allowed. That’s it.

    The people I’ve had to enlighten almost universally view it as meaning “I can say whatever I want, wherever I want, and you can’t do anything about it or punish me for saying it.”

    These “people” (and I use that term begrudgingly) were allowed to speak. Now they get to pay the price for their speech.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:

    Marching under a swastika makes you the moral peer of a pedophile. Would you continue to employ a person who advocated for sex with children? I doubt it.

  9. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @gVOR08:

    One of them was whining that he’d been shunned in his community and his life there was over.

    He’s probably correct. He also has no one to blame for his predicament but himself.

    For people who seem to bleat endlessly about personal responsibility, they seem to have a very difficult time accepting responsibility for the consequences of their own choices.

  10. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I am absolutely dumbfounded that someone who bedizens himself with iron crosses, slaps on a swastika armband, waves a Confederate battle flag, and joins a torchlight parade chanting “Jew will not replace me” is shocked and chagrined to be met with severe social disapproval.

  11. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: Marching under a swastika makes you worse than a pedophile.

    No one decides to be a pedophile. And there are pedophiles who recognize the harm that their attractions would cause if they acted on them and seek out help, or actively avoid being around children.

    There are no good Nazis.

  12. CSK says:

    OT: Jerry Lewis has died. Dick Gregory yesterday, Lewis today.

  13. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I look at it as the expected result of the fact that 99% of these little lunatics do all their tub-thumping on the Internet. I’d like to see the Venn diagram between these wankers, Gamergate trolls, and PUA geeks. Suspect that it’s all just one damn big circle. They’ve gotten addicted to trash-talking on the Internet and getting no pushback on any of it. Send copies of the Protocols of Zion around to the local synagogue “for the lulz”, whose officials probably have just been so inundated with similar stuff that they don’t even bother to complain to the police any more and just delete it.

    And these silly little twits try to bring their hipster Nazism out into “meatspace” and wow, suddenly Saying Stuff Has Consequences.

    I definitely don’t agree with Betheny Mandel. Maybe if we had been cracking down on the trash talk on the internet earlier and the police NOT been blowing off the threatening language but actually put the Fear of God into these critters we wouldn’t have them thinking there’s no consequences for any of their stuff. There’s a heck of a lot of stuff that they could have been charged with–IIED for one. But because nobody pushed back they just went on and on and on. And now they think that “free speech” means “I get to say anything I want and no one can stop me, no matter how vicious or threatening it is. “

  14. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    I’ve heard it rationalized in various ways lately, all of which seem to devolve to “these people are the internet generation, where they’ve been able to act out, say obnoxious things, provoke anger and generally be trolls without suffering much, if anything, in the way of consequences. Sort of a sick ‘we’re just trying to get a rise out of people’ enfant terrible thing.”

    They seem to be genuinely shocked that they’re being held accountable and paying painful prices here in the real world.

    Tough noogies. Welcome to adulting.

  15. Catchling says:

    One elephant in the room… by constantly and predictably having the free-speech conversation, even after white supremacist has literally killed someone, we are granting a special social privilege to that ideology, which we don’t automatically grant to every murderous ideology.

    I’m not even all that interested in the question of whether there should be a legally enshrined right here or not. Maybe de-Nazification works in Germany but wouldn’t work here. Or maybe vice versa!

    My point is simply that nobody jumps to “Still, odious ideas deserve protection!” right after, e.g, an Islamic terrorist kills someone. Like God forbid we all forget about these important abstract principles.

    (I’m distinguishing this from defense of civil rights in general, e.g the argument for doing things by the book when preventing future attacks. Nor do I think this free-speech focus resembles the liberal defense of Muslims and their right to be respected citizens, since part of that is precisely that the vast majority of Muslims don’t support terrorism. If I were to stretch a parallel, calling for tolerance of Muslims would be more equivalent to defending conservatives and/or white people in general. Whereas nobody after 9/11 was like “Hey, it was obviously horrible for bin Laden to do that, but surely we can all agree to his theoretical right to privately believe America is the Great Satan…”)

  16. MarkedMan says:

    Couple of thoughts: The National Socialists, aka the Nazis, used democratic tools to take over the country and replace democracy with a dictatorship. There are other examples, and they all have one thing in common: decent people waited for someone else or “the system” to speak out strongly and loudly. We can’t let that happen here, and yes, it can happen here.

    If one of these guys worked for me as a telecommuter programmer working on a self contained app, then maybe I could keep them on. But I could never put one of them in a position where they had any say so over the promotion or rating of another employee. The lawyers might have a different legal opinion but I imagine I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if, say, a black female Muslim employee filed a suit saying this guy discriminated against her. How could I defend against that? He is on the record as saying that blacks and females and muslims SHOULD be discriminated against. And for that matter, why would I believe him if he denied it? So that means no management position of any sort, no working with a team. And I could never put them in a position to interact with customers or vendors while representing the company, because what if the person he interacts with is black or jewish or whatever?

  17. Gustopher says:

    I don’t think there is a clear line as to when one should and should not hold people accountable for their speech in other settings. Tolerance isn’t binary.

    And it’s not even just the vileness of the ideas that the person espouses — it’s also about the power that person has.

    I have no problem with publicizing the politics of CEOs — if they take a stand on an issue of rights, and are donating money to suppress rights, people should know so they can choose not to do business with them. The Mozilla guy probably landed on his feet anyway.

    (And the folks at McAfee Virus Scan would almost certainly like you to focus on their current CEO rather than their completely insane founder.)

    That said, I don’t need the guy two desks over from me to support abortion rights, or be happy about gays getting married. I need him to treat people with respect and not be an a^^hole. Also, to not microwave fish at the office.

    I would, however, feel uncomfortable with a boss who, even in his spare time, made racist comments, sexist comments or anti gay comments. He has more power.

  18. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Yes, I’ve heard the “Hey, we’re just a bunch of merry pranksters” rationale/defense. Do I believe it? No. More to the point: Do I think they believe it? No.

    On the other hand, I can’t claim to fathom the workings of the mind of someone whose entire life, since childhood, has been spent cruising the nether regions of cyberspace.

  19. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: With some people, they really do just enjoy poking people to get a response. These people aren’t as bad as nazis, but they could also stand to see some consequences for their actions.

    Are they acting like nazis because they are actually nazis, or are they acting like nazis just to shock people? It’s a distinction without much of a difference.

  20. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:

    It’s true that some people live to goad/irritate/annoy others–and what a pathetic way to live that is–but when someone travels hundreds or thousands of miles in order to march in a torchlight parade spouting Nazi slogans and sporting Nazi regalia, I’d take him at his word that he’s a Nazi.

  21. Lit3Bolt says:

    At least the Nazis and KKK who marched were kind enough to do it under Tiki torchlight, unmasked, letting the FBI do it’s job easily.

  22. Kylopod says:

    @joy:

    Not so minor quibble, you mean White Protestant American. In their eyes, Catholicism is ethnic.

    It cannot be emphasized more that the movement of white hate groups in this country is not monolithic. David Duke is frequently characterized as a “former grand wizard of the KKK,” but what is often left unmentioned is that the Klan group he created in the 1970s (Knights of the Ku Klux Klan) had as one of its goals to abandon the Klan’s traditional anti-Catholicism so as to create a bigger tent. Before the rise of Trump, the most prominent figure to straddle the boundary between mainstream conservatism and white nationalism was a Catholic, Pat Buchanan.

  23. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    There’s a very brief, but very telling scene, in The Catcher in the Rye in which Holden has a pleasant conversation with another young guy, and in the course of it, the guy asks Holden if he knows where the nearest Roman Catholic church is. Holden thinks that this was the guy’s way of trying to find out if he was RC himself–and that the guy would have enjoyed the conversation a little more if he’d been able to establish that Holden himself was RC.

    I always think of this passage whenever I see the name “Patrick Buchanan”. Buchanan tolerates (barely) Protestants ( fundamentalists–NOT Episcopalians) because he has to do so. I think he’d be far happier if all Christians were Roman Catholics. If all the world was RC.

  24. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @joy: Oh shoot Joy, in the *christian* community in which I grew up, Catholics aren’t even *christian* at all. They’re members of a Satanic cult that will bring about the end of days.

    “[E]ven if these white nationalists are being properly identified, firing individuals based on their political beliefs, no matter how repugnant, creates an incredibly slippery slope.”
    While I will agree with the problems involved in the above statement, I will also note that if one were to inquire with many advocates of white nationalism, one would discover that the probably believe in “employment at will.” Most economic and social conservatives that I know do. With that being the case, any statement that starts with “it’s not fair to fire me just because…” is breathtakingly and gobsmackingly stupid, so for the time being I’m going to keep my reaction limited to a chagrined “my goodness, how ironic is that.”

  25. CSK says:

    Whoa, Bannon didn’t waste any time turning the old Gatling guns on the “Democrats in the West Wing.”

    Here are the top headlines as of 5:35 p.m. Eastern time:

    MCMASTER OF DISGUISE: NAT’L SECURITY ADVISOR THAT ADVOCATES QURAN-KISSING APOLOGY CEREMONIES

    IVANKA TAKES CREDIT FOR BANNON WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURE

    LIST: SIX TIMES JAVANKA’S DISPLEASURE WITH POTUS LEAKED TO THE PRESS

  26. Mikey says:

    @gVOR08:

    Unless they’re in visible positions where their reputation affects the company (e.g.CEO Brendan Eich), I don’t think anyone should be fired for outside activities that do not affect their job performance.

    I saw a meme the other day about this.

    It was two panels of the same image of “alt-right” marchers holding their Tiki torches. The first panel was titled “what most people see” and each participant labeled with “asshole” or “bigot” or “racist” or “domestic terrorist” or whatever.

    But the second panel had different labels and was titled “what we should see.” In that panel the participants were labeled things like “loan officer” or “real estate agent” or “admissions counselor” or “police officer.”

    A racist doesn’t have to sit in the C-suite to have a very real negative impact on those of different race or gender or sexual orientation, and pretty much every employee in every job in America has interactions, with fellow employees and with customers, wherein bigotry can be relevant.

  27. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Keep in mind also that Buchanan is a “Traditionalist Catholic,” a group that holds that Vatican II was a mistake. Vatican II made a number of reforms, but one of the most prominent was its disavowal of the Church’s millenia-long doctrine that Jews were eternally cursed for the death of Christ–a doctrine that is, in a very large way, the ideological cornerstone of Western anti-Semitism. I remember back in the 1990s when I found out that Mel Gibson was a Traditionalist Catholic, and it made me wonder about him–but I figured that having worked in Hollywood for so long he couldn’t possibly be a raging anti-Semite. In retrospect, of course, I was being incredibly naive.

  28. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    Yes, indeed. I had always assumed, on the basis of his public statements, that Buchanan repudiated Vatican II.

    You will find this ironically amusing: When Rick Santorum, another Traditionalist RC, won the Mississippi and Alabama primaries in 2012, at least one-third of his supporters assumed he was a fundamentalist Protestant and voted for him on that basis.

  29. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: In the mid-2000s Time Magazine placed Santorum on its list of the “25 Most Influential Evangelicals.” The first sentence of his entry made clear that their inclusion of him was due more to force-fitting than ignorance of his religion: “The Senate’s third-ranking Republican may be a Catholic, but he’s the darling of Protestant Evangelicals.” Part of the confusion may also be due to his surname, which many people don’t realize is Italian because it ends in a consonant. And being a Republican politician, he has incentives for maintaining some ambiguity on this matter.

  30. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    I vividly recall him saying that if he were elected president, his first order of business would be to state that birth control was “not okay’ for married Christian couples.

  31. Tyrell says:

    Freedom of speech does indeed have responsibilities and there should be some rules.
    “Is it against the law to yell theater in a crowded fire ?”
    “You were the caretaker, Mr. Grady” (Jack Torrence, “The Shining”, Kubrick’s masterpiece)

  32. Gustopher says:

    I made much the same point two years earlier when talking about the campaign against Chik-Fil-A due to the fact that the company’s owner and founder was a well-known opponent of same-sex marriage. Public shaming can be a powerful tool, and in some cases it is appropriate, but it should be used sparingly and carefully

    Read more: https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/freedom-of-speech-doesnt-mean-freedom-from-the-consequences-of-that-speech/#ixzz4qM160exu

    I disagree here — Chik-Fil-A is closed on Sundays never they wear their religion on their corporate sleeve. Before I buy a sandwich somewhere like that, I want to know if the worship the god of “love thy neighbor” or the god of “you’re doing it wrong”

  33. grumpy realist says:

    @MarkedMan: That’s how I think Google screwed up things. What they should have done, rather than firing Mr. “hey-I’m-just-writing-a-memo”, is to proclaim that they would keep him around, but because of his opening them up to legal risk if he were ever in a group project or in charge of other people his future job would be to work on obscure backend code by himself, he would never advance within the company, and his salary would be frozen at its present rank.

  34. Facebones says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    For people who seem to bleat endlessly about personal responsibility, they seem to have a very difficult time accepting responsibility for the consequences of their own choices.

    Personal responsibility is for other people. Especially black people, who get shot by cops because they were stupid enough to stand around acting all black and stuff.

  35. @Gustopher: Maybe on the same plane as pedofiles and proponents of genocide. Taking their arguments to their logical conclusions, they want to get rid of entire ethnicities, including the children. They should NOT expect social acceptance by mainstream society. They should be forced to choose and choosing their Nazi or almost Nazi groups should make them hide behind their hoods under ground where they have a terrible time with recruitment.