Sunday, June 15, 2008


It seems to be common sense that most objections to free speech that someone finds "offensive" are complained of simply because someone's feelings are hurt. The real objection to speech is that it may be potentially pursuasive and contrary to the broader interests of those who take offense.

One of the notable aspects about the rhetoric of Reverend Jeremiah Wright and others who "speak truth to power" is that they seldom speak anything controversial apart from cheering and sympathetic crowds. One suspects that those such as Rev. Wright speak as they do, not because of the change they seek, but because of the reaction they receive. Not all showmen are courageous.

A better example of someone who exercised her right of speech out of conviction is Sacheen Littlefeather, who was booed at the Academy Awards for explaining why Marlon Brando was refusing the Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather. As to why Brando didn't explain in person...

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