Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Girls kicked out of school after racist rant goes viral on Youtube: What happened to free speech?

From The Huffington Post:

After two minors from Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Fla., posted a nearly 14-minute-long racist rant on YouTube, the girls are "no longer students at the school."

Watch the video for yourself here:

You may not like what they were saying, but what happened to free speech? For the most part they were simply speaking their opinion about the racial makeup and differences at their school. Maybe their assessment was entirely incorrect but maybe it was the truth. At the end of the day it's their viewpoint and they're entirely entitled to that viewpoint. We should defend all speech no matter how much it differs from our own views or offends us.

Apologies have now been issued by the girls:

"I am one of the girls who were in the racist video that got posted. I’m writing this so that I can tell people how truly sorry I am. I could never, in a million years, have pictured this happening with me involved. I wasn’t raised to hate people for their race, and I still don’t. I made a horrible decision in being a part of this video ... "

It has been reported that the girls received several death threats and now had to have police protection.

Does nobody else have a problem with this? We have to put fear into people and beat into submission the people we disagree with and force them to apologize? It's complete bullshit. No one should ever have to apologize for their opinions. If you have a certain perspective or way of looking at things, as long as that's your honest opinion why is that something to be ashamed of? For all we know her school really could be full of a bunch of kids who don't give a shit about their future and that's what she was reacting to. Instead of pointing our finger at someone talking about a problem, why not look to see what she's talking about? She just might have a point.

By the way, take a look at this line from the apology letter:

I know people are wanting to blame the parents for this, for our opinions and what we said, but I want it known that I wasn’t raised how I portrayed myself in that video. My parents never taught me hate or to judge someone like that. I honestly don’t know where that came from, but it was wrong no matter what.

You don't know where it came from? Oh I don't know, it could be that you experienced things and formed an opinion on them and then voiced that opinion?

Have a spine. How embarrassing for someone to have to pretend they don't have a viewpoint or feel shame in holding it. If that's what you really feel, then stand by it. Maybe the way you voiced it was in bad taste, but if there is a real problem going on in that school then that concern needs to be raised.

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