The dilemma of a civil libertarian

As a civil libertarian, I believe that everyone has the right to express their views. However, I also feel a strong urge not to legitimize those who promote racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other kind of overt bigotry. As the Oklahoma editor of BlogNetNews, that contradiction is causing me a real moral dilemma.

Several weeks ago, I removed a blogger from the Oklahoma BNN feed because of an anti-Semitic post. I informed the owner of BNN that I had done this, and he did not object. I have also discussed with the owner of BNN my desire to remove certain other bloggers for similar hateful remarks made about the GLBT community.

Recently, several of the same bloggers who had been on my radar for their rabid hatred of "the homosexuals" have been posting incredibly bigoted blog posts about Muslims.

Now, if I were to apply the standard I used to remove the blogger who posted an anti-Jewish slur, I would immediately have to remove these other bloggers for what they have repeatedly said about Muslims.

However, the civil libertarian in me has to ask the question, "What if the shoe were on the other foot?" What if a right-wing blog editor were to decide that what I write about evangelical Christians is hate speech and remove me on that basis? How would I react? Do I really want to set a precedent that the editor has the right to remove bloggers for posting material that the editor considers "objectionable?"

I also have to figure out what is in the best interest of Oklahoma blog readers. Is it better to shield them from the extremist views of the far right bloggers who seem to dominate the Oklahoma political scene? Or is it better to show the hatred and bigotry, and let readers make their own decisions?

Despite my revulsion at reading some of the hate speech on certain blogs that are a part of BNN, I have decided that the best course of action is not to censor. Therefore, I will reinstate Stan Geiger, the aforementioned blogger who posted an anti-Jewish slur, and I will not remove any other bloggers from the feed.

By the way, you far right hate bloggers, you can thank groups like the ACLU for influencing me to be a civil libertarian. And you can thank the ACLU for fighting to preserve your right to spew your filth freely in this country.

Am I objective? No. Will I be fair? Yes.

Comments

  1. Sounds to me like you made the right decision to add him back in, though I certainly understand your revulsion at the term "Jew blogger."

    I think someone might have been baiting you in order to make a point about their feelings towards your comments on Christians.

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  2. Well, I'm pretty susceptible to bait if it comes in the form of hate speech.

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  3. I wish I had the time to blogsmack all these rightards, talk about a target rich environment!

    By the way, I put up a post last night taking red to the woodshed, but missed it on BNN. Did it show up?

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  4. Sinister, you are the single most hateful person on this board and without a doubt the least tolerant when it comes to people with religious and moral beliefs that differ from your own. Your choice as editor was without a doubt the biggest mistake I have ever seen online. I have complained about you to the director of BNN to no avail. If BN does not do something about you, I am going to ask that my blog be removed from BNN and encourage the rest of the conservative bloggers on BNN to do the same. The director has chosen you but I don't have to put up with you, your name calling or your games.

    Bill Kumpe

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  5. Well Bill, you're a homophobic asshat. So there.

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  6. Sinister,
    do not despair the Kumpe's of the world who gleefully post pictures of Senator Obama wearing a turban and questioning his nationality. Just because Mr. Kumpe does not have the headline "nigger" in front of the Democratic nominee, does not lessen his flaming racism. Indeed, he adds the further insult of including the good Senators middle name, Hussein at every point, further conflating him with one who did not attack us, had no WMD's and was not a threat, except in that diamond hard ring of stupid also known as the republican base.

    Fuck you Bill, until your mouth is sore. He who was named because he was born at the end of the month, Bill, still enjoys some fame, as the last and most dense of wood in a campfire. Those who replace Bill view the GLBT community as Bill views people who are left-handed.

    Keep the faith. Sinister, whomever you may be, because as a double rough-tough hetero alpha male, I am not the least bit concerned about sexual pecadillo's.

    Hell, some republicans even like to suck on some toes, fer chrissakes.

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