Friday, February 8, 2008

The Hard Part of Free Speech

I just read a thing on Feministing.com about "An anti-choice group in Rapid City, SD [...] suing the school district because of a middle school that didn't allow them to use the auditorium to feature an anti-choice speaker."

Feministing doesn't allow comments without registering, and I'm lazy, so I'm commenting here.

The difficult part of free speech is that it absolutely must apply to everyone if it is to mean anything at all. That means you can't stop people from saying things you don't agree with, and if a school is going to be a public forum available to anyone, it has to be a public forum available to everyone. The right way (the American way) for good ideas to win out over bad ideas is to allow everyone to give their opinion and argue with each other, not to shut out the ones you decide are wrong.

Of course, opinionated speech and debate are exactly what Feministing is doing. So... keep it up ladies!

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