Posted on November 13, 2017
USA-haters have special status
During Game 3 of the World Series, Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel mocked Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish, who is from Japan, by lifting the corners of his eyes with his fingers. For this, he was roundly condemned by the sports media, and suspended for the first five games of the 2018 season. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred unambiguously explained, “There is no excuse or explanation that makes that type of behavior acceptable.”
But wait a minute. Hadn’t we all agreed that professional athletes have a right to express themselves, and that nobody can tell them what to do? Oh, but those rules only apply to anti-American expression. Anti-Japanese expression, or any expression that liberals don’t like, remains forbidden. There is no principle, legal or otherwise, that requires us to tolerate football players’ demonstrations against our flag and our national anthem. There’s just how liberals feel about it.
At an NFL game early this season in London, three Miami Dolphins knelt during The Star-Spangled Banner, but everyone stood for God Save the Queen. What if it had been the other way around? Better yet, let’s take a nation with the kind of tyrannical government liberals love. What if, during the next World Baseball Classic, the players for Team USA refused to stand for the national anthem of Cuba, or Venezuela? Would the media regard those players’ freedom of expression to be sacrosanct?
Defenders of the NFL anthem protesters like to cite the First Amendment, the relevant part of which reads, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” Nothing in that says that a professional athlete has the right to protest against America while representing his team, on the field and in uniform. So where do people get the idea that demonstrations against the United States enjoy a unique legal protection that other forms of expression don’t? From the Supreme Court, sadly enough.
In the 1989 Texas v. Johnson flag-burning case, the Court ruled 5-4 that a member of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade was within his First Amendment rights to steal an American flag from a public display and set it on fire outside the 1984 Republican Convention. This, despite the fact that the law in question was a state law, and not one made by the federal legislature, which is what the Constitution means by “Congress.” This case is one of the many applications of the Court’s wholly fabricated concept of “incorporation,” by which it extends constitutional restrictions to the state and local levels, even though the Constitution clearly spells out that they apply to federal powers only. Thereby, the definition of “Congress” in the First Amendment is expanded to include state governments, city hall, and even your local schoolboard. Never mind that the men who wrote and ratified the Constitution meant the exact opposite, in clearly distinguishing which provisions curtailed government power at all levels (“No person shall … be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself …”), and those that restrained the federal government only (Congress shall make no law …”).
Moreover, burning stuff can in no way be considered “speech.” Naturally, the Court circumvented this obstacle by redefining “speech” as “expressive conduct,” a phrase that can encompass virtually any action. Some people express themselves through violence. Did the justices mean to say that should be tolerated? Probably not, but by drawing its redefinitions as broadly as possible, it assigned itself the power to arbitrarily determine what expressions are allowed on a case-by-case basis.
Today, nobody even questions whether burning an American flag in a public square is protected by the First Amendment, but what about publicly setting fire to a Mexican flag, or a rainbow banner? In those cases, the Court would undoubtedly reference its equally capricious “fighting words” doctrine from the 1942 Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire case. With no constitutional support whatsoever, the justices outlawed words that “by their utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” Inflict injury? By utterance? Why not just prohibit “micro-aggressions” while they were at it?
In the judiciary, just as in the sports media, the NFL, or anywhere else that liberals rule, they appoint themselves as arbiters of what speech or expression is protected and which is condemned. That’s because it is their feelings, and theirs alone, that matter. Anti-American utterances inflict no injury on liberals, but say anything they find injurious – like “midget” or “waitress” or “illegal alien” – and them’s fighting words!
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