“Spick Nigger Cracker Cunt” - Why the Freedom of Speech Shouldn't Be Infringed Upon

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The drunk redneck with missing teeth was handcuffed to a gurney, yelling every obscenity in the book at the E.R. staff and me. It was the early hours of New Year’s 2012. I arrested him for starting a fight at a house party in which a group of women restrained him for us to arrest. Some tough guy, right? We had to bring him to the hospital because he was severely intoxicated and the jail wouldn’t take him in his state. We put a surgical mask over his mouth because he kept spitting at everyone. I nearly committed police brutality when he squeezed my testicles as I was assisting the nurse with getting a blood sample. My crotch was next to his handcuffed hand as I was holding him down. Luckily, the nurse grabbed my arm before I can punch him with all of my strength.

Then, in front of an E.R. staff of predominately black people, the drunk screamed at me, “I’m going to kill you, you fucking Nigger!” The room went silent, and I’m pretty sure the entire E.R. wing also did. My response, “I’m not a Nigger, I’m a fucking Spick. If you’re going to be racist, then get it right.”

The reasons I told this story following the confrontational title is not for the shock value (ok, maybe a little) but because we’re living in a time where freedom of speech and expression is under attack. Man, that was tough to write. For a moment I sounded like crazy Alex Jones.

But think about it. Recently, James Gunn was fired as a director from Disney for jokes he made in the past on Twitter. Roseanne Barr made a distasteful joke and it costed her job. Tim Allen nearly lost his show because of his political views. I wrote that title and will probably get backlash for it. The only man in America who isn’t miraculously losing his job for offensive speech is President Trump.

It’s not only in the celebrity realm where this is happening. A good example is a company I worked for which I can’t officially name, so I will call it Smish-isney. I had worked for Smish-isney Cruise lines as a security officer for a stint. The company has a strict public image they try to uphold, even though they are dirty as a rat behind the scenes. One day, I received orders to escort two actors who were immediately terminated for making a “highly inappropriate” video. I wasn’t told what it was, I assumed because they were actors they’ve made a good ole fashioned Smish-isney themed porn. They were devastated as we escorted them off the ship. I was shocked it was these two particular actors because they were the rule-abiding ones.

When we finally processed them off the ship, I went back to the ship’s office and finally saw the video. They made a parody about Nassau which had no mention of Smish-isney in it. The footage was witty, humorous and honest on what Nassau really is; a tourist trap. The beaches are not what’s publicized in the ads, everything is, and it’s a dangerous place for tourist. There was nothing vulgar or inappropriate in the video, just a parody of the truth.

They created it for a contest within their department, and one of the crew members placed it on the internet. It made its way around, and an elected member of Nassau took offense to it. The elected member, who barely had no sway, made idle threats to a company who single-handedly fuels their economy.

Still, the lambs must be sacrificed for the sake of public image. Two lives, deeply affected by a red mark against their record for a work of honesty and creativity.

This anecdote is just a mere example of how our most precious right is significantly infringed upon, and it’s not by the government.

Sure, we need to act a certain way while at work and we shouldn’t soil a company’s image. But, when do they cross a line against us? Working in any corporate environment is tough enough when you have a personality and a sense of humor. And now you have to constantly worry about not offending someone, even if that person is not a party to the conversation. We are social creatures. Each of us wants to express ourselves in our own way and to stifle that for fear of economic repercussions is torture.

This is not also happening at work but with art too. An example is a debate of removing Nigger from the Mark Twain’s American masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The book is sometimes banned, like Fahrenheit 451 or Catcher in the Rye, because the material is “offensive” of declared “blasphemous” for public consumption. But an idea is only dangerous through the individual who interprets it and takes action. It’s up to the individual to make their own mind and not for a misguided group to do it for them. Removing Nigger from Huckleberry Finn is just the same as the Popes during the Renaissance who castrated statues and works of art because they had exposed penises. You’re vandalizing a work of art because the marginal finds it offensive. No person should ever have the audacity to commit crimes against free expression. The interpretation is up to the creator and the audience to judge.

Another reason why such censorship is atrocious and dangerous is that the damage done to education. We need to understand where we came from so we can know where we’re going and not repeat the mistakes of our past. Nigger is up for debate because it seems to have multiple uses. From Mark Twain’s usage to current day usage by black artists and black citizens. But Mark Twain’s usage of the word is because of the time he lived in. It wasn’t meant to belittle black Americans for future generations. He is a product of his age. To erase the word from his art would say not to face history. Not to confront our past.

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler is a work of atrocity and hatred. But, it shouldn’t be censored or be hidden from the public. We need to understand why men commit evil and genocidal acts. We need to understand so we do not repeat these wars and to stop these men from taking power. Do we risk these ideas tainting minds if we keep them public? Yes. But we do more harm censoring it than to embrace it.

We’re living in a time where everyone is becoming neurotic over offending someone. We have to worry about coming off as racist because of a facial expression or a gesture. We have to worry about being accused of being a sexist for making a sex joke. Guess what? Jokes are offensive, that’s one of the reasons we laugh. We need to laugh. We need to express. We need to swear. I never trust a person who never swears or is easily offended by swear words. They are too sensitive and juvenile. Even Mr. Rogers had a little fun with profanities.

Censorship is for the feeble minded and weak spirited. If you are a person of free thought who expresses themselves through art, philosophy, science or spirituality; then you are guaranteed to offend some poor soul. But the world needs what’s in your head.

Do words and ideas hurt? Absolutely, no doubt against that. And yes; there are a time and a place for expression and speech. You wouldn’t tell an elderly woman the story on how you got a public erection from dancing with your cousin’s hot friend at your dad’s wedding when you were 15; unless you’re me. We can all agree upon the time and audience for free expression. Obviously, porn shouldn’t be openly played near an elementary school. But we still have the choice to view it in an appropriate setting.

There is a great responsibility when it comes to freedom of expression. A burden for the enlightened. We’re all held accountable for our actions and words. But we’re entering a dangerous arena where censorship could lead to something destructive and evil. Please don’t make the burden worse by threating peoples jobs for expressing themselves or for a simple off-colored joked.

Then again, what do I know? I’m just some fucking Spick.

 Mr. Rodgers

Mr. Rodgers