Friday, October 29, 2010

Arkansas School Board Official Resigns After Anti-Gay Comments

October 29, 2010 on CNN


  1. Currently there is a murder trial based on suicides instigated by someone's online behavior in the US that we should all keep an eye on

    If the prosecution is successful, we may be able to have legal precendent against those who perpetuate other's suicides as we've witnessed time and again.

    <span>Says the Prosecutor: Using Web to encourage people to kill themselves is not protected <span>speech</span> </span>

    sorry if font is screwy . . . copy pasted some of the above and on my screen it appears gigantic

  2. Rural Arkansas, eh? I knew there was somebody like this hiding out down there. Sure glad they caught him.

  3. <span>Rural Arkansas, eh? I knew there was somebody like that hiding out down there. Sure glad they finally caught him.</span>

  4. Well, lets hope that legal precedent DOESN'T happen. It's hard to think of a clearer example of freedom of speech. Monstrously ghoulish speech is still speech, hate speech is still speech, the most disgusting, repugnant forms of speech are still speech. And if they do not constitute credible threats of violence, they are protected forms of speech under the first amendment.

    The person who did those things is a vile, worthless piece of trash who deserves to be publicly shamed and shunned utterly for decades to come, but he did not commit a crime. Given the choice of living in two dismal worlds, one where freedom of speech is given the widest possible interpretation and it is not illegal to give advice to someone on how to commit suicide and where, extremely rarely, an occasional psychopath exploits that legality for revoltingly puerile purposes; and a world where giving such advice is illegal and the countless millions of  "go kill yourself" comments on the internet and elsewhere become prosecutable criminal cases which would be fruitlessly pursued for financial gain the overwhelming majority of the time (see libel law in the UK), I know which imperfect world I would rather live in.

    I'm gay, I know what hate speech is, I know what it means, I know how much it hurts because I've been on the receiving end of it many times. My heart is breaking for those kids (and their parents) who killed themselves recently because of bullying. We should do everything we can (and we could be doing a LOT more) to stop such things from being de rigueur in schools as it still is today. But there is often an inconveniently fine line between harassment and protected speech and freedom of speech is important. Really, REALLY, R E A L L Y important and we are making a fool's gamble when we trade it for small and temporary measures of emotional satisfaction that ultimately do little, if anything, to mitigate the underlying social (religious!) problems that are the cause of these issues in the first place.

  5. Disagree.

    As a private citizen expressing his provate views then yes, he is allowed to say such things - though he should be vilified for them.

    However, he is not just a provate citizen.

    Imagine your a gay child attending this school? Hmm, sounds like a form of bullying to me. He should go!

  6. What a stupid person this guy is.

    "I am glad that Gay people do not procreate?"

    Hmm, where does he think Gay people come from? Let us hope he never procreates a gay child! What a stupid little tosser.

    Also, on Aids. Global figures show that far far more stright people die of Aids then gay people. The idea of Aids as a gay disease is another sign of his stupidity.

  7. True freedom of speech = people can express whatever they want without breaking the law or being punished by the government.

    Now I hate this guy for his views but he should be allowed to express them - as long as it is not school district policy. Hopefully the voters would unseat him in the next election as well.

    We must keep to the principle of 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me' ... even if it is not true - I think censure is worse.

  8. I think you meant censorship? Censure means something else, "<span>an</span> <span>official</span> <span>reprimand,</span> <span>as</span> <span>by</span> <span>a</span> <span>legislative</span> <span>body</span> <span>of</span> <span>one</span> <span>of</span> <span>its</span> <span>members." </span>
    <span> </span>

  9. He says he's sorry for saying something that reflects his bigotted hate filled belief system and then says he still believes in the nonsense doctrine. How is that that superstitious idiots can get elected to of all things, a school board? Maybe they should sit a test on being elected or before nominating and if they fail 'superstitious nonsense', be sent back to where ever these people live and keep his hate to himself.

  10. I don't see where we disagree. I am entirely in agreement with all of that.

  11. This guy is just someone who got caught. I'll stop short of saying most, but an awful lot of people here in the south are like this. If you think for one second that the people who dominate the rest of the school board in Arkansas, or in Texas, or Louisiana and so on are very much diffrent, stop kidding yourself.

  12. I'm thinking he'll duck out of the limelight his stupidity created, then run again, and get reelected--On the "I'm a persecuted christian!" platform.

  13. That guy is BLATANTLY closeted. I can spot it a mile off and I'm rarely wrong. He's a woopsie for sure.

  14. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  15. That's ridiculous that he can't be fired for what he did, I mean my buddy got fired for posting on facebook that the database for teachers was a crappy service in his area.

  16. Hi Blake, I am confused.

    I thought you were saying we may not like what he says, but he has the right to say it - therefore no action should be taken against him.

    I believe action should be taken against him and he should be formally dismissed.

  17. If he was speaking as a provate citizen to another private citizen in a private conversation - yes free speech rules!

    However, he is not merely a private citizen and he is not saying it in a private conversation.

    He has no right to express those views in a public forum holding the position he does. To hold his position he has to show he has the best interest of all the children who attend that school - which he obviously does not!

    He should be dismissed!

  18. Of course he is not very different. But he is the one stupid enough to say it in a public forum. If the others want to cover their tracks - let them cover (which they should if they want to hold public office), this guy did not and he should go!

  19. It makes sense why the whole "freedom of speech" thing is talked about so much during stories like this. But the truth is we've NEVER had 100% total free speech.

    - There are words and visuals you can't show on television.
    - There are scenes you can't show in movies in the theater.
    - There are mentions of certain actions against the president you can't say.
    - You can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater without getting into trouble.
    - There are laws against hate speech
    - There are laws against passing off someone else's writings as your own.
    - You can't lie to a police officer, or in court.

    There are MANY examples of things you can't say without getting into trouble for saying them, for whatever reason be it lying, hate speech, offensive content... whatever.

    In most places, like schools, you agree as both a student and teacher to give up the right to say many other things without being punished for saying them. This is obviously one of the, and firing this guy for what he said should in no way make anyone feel like our overall national rule of Freedom Of Speech is being trampled on.

    If people start outlawing being able to say something like "I love ice cream" - then maybe you can worry.

  20. Yes, in the same way that he has every right to make a racist comment without violating any laws - and then the administration of the school can pressure him heavily to resign and his electorate can boot him out of office at the next election should he be so unwise as to decline the option immediate resignation. No hate speech laws needed.

  21. People like you frighten me even more than asshole christianists like Clint McCance.

  22. In some places (say, Uganda) comments like that can get you assigned, not resigned, and elected, not booted out.
    Unfettered Dogmatic, Brainless Democracy: Ain't it grand?

  23. Blake:<span>In some places (say, Uganda) racist comments like this can get you assigned, not resigned, and elected, not booted out.  
    Unfettered Dogmatic, Brainless Democracy: Ain't it grand?</span>
    Today, 4:38:31 PM<span><span><span>– </span></span><span>Flag</span></span><span><span><span> – </span></span><span>Like</span></span><span><span><span> – </span></span><span>Reply</span></span><span><span><span> – </span></span><span>Delete</span></span><span><span><span> – </span></span><span>Edit</span></span><span><span><span> – </span></span><span>Moderate</span></span>

  24. We do disagree.

    As a private citizin he has the right to these views, and then face the vilifiication from others for his views.

    However, as s public official involved in the running of a school he has no such rights. Every child who goes to that school as the right to be treated equally, not to be vilified by a bigot involved in the school administration.

    If this was the UK, he would be dismissed. It is sad that the way things work in the USA he could not be dismissed. Thankfull he had the decency to resign - but it is saddens me that such a bigot could remain in his position.

    So I disagree. He does not have the right to make racist or, in this case, homophobic comments in a public setting while being involved in school administration.

    The right of the child to a fair and unprejudiced environment for their eduction is far greater then his right to make homophobic comments.

  25. Blake,

    Your idea that an adult, involved in the administration of a school, has the right to say he rejoices at the idea of gay students committing suicide - is a right I find frightening.

    Free speech is not an absolute right. Even John S Mills, one of the greatest exponents and defenders of the principle of Free Speech - whose work on the subject is still recognised by many as the final word on the subject, said free-speech as limits. He called it the harm principle.

    I would put the issue like this, my freedom of speech ends where it infringes upon your greater rights.

    A child's right to a safe and unprejudice enviroment for their education is greater then the rights of a teacher, or an administrator, of that enviroment to make homophobic comments.

    Since, in this case, the child's rights is greater then the rights of this guy to make the kind of homophobic comments we are referring to here - this guy should have been dismissed.