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L. Neil Smith's
Number 487, October 5, 2008

"What makes genocide and other kinds of
government-sanctioned violence possible?"

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Double Standards
by Sean Gangol
RGangol -+at+-

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

One of the biggest problems in society is the double standards that surround issues dealing with minorities. Most people seem to be afraid of discussing this issue due to political correctness. They are afraid that people may think they are racist. Personally I could care less about political correctness. I could care even less if people think I'm a racist. I hold no ill will towards any minority. The one thing I can not tolerate is a double standard.

One of the most recent issues that involved double standards is the famous Imus scandal. This scandal came about when radio shock jock, Don Imus referred to a girl's basketball team as "nappy-headed hoes." Those comments sparked outrage among black activists of the likes of Al Sharpton. Even though Imus apologized for his comments, Sharpton pressured the radio station to fire him. It really isn't possible to defend Imus' rude and insensitive comments. His comments were out of line and completely uncalled for. When it comes to good taste there is really no defense for the things that he said.

Most would probably agree that Imus deserved to be reprimanded by his superiors at the radio station. However, termination over one comment seemed a little extreme, considering those who demanded his removal were anything but moral compasses. Al Sharpton himself once referred to Jews as diamond merchants. Let's not forget the time that Jessie Jackson referred to New York as "Hymie Town." They were still allowed to keep their jobs. There comments didn't spark nearly as much controversy as the Imus incident. I guess racist comments are only okay when they are made by black leaders.

What about Spike Lee? He once said in an interview that he glares at any interracial couple that he encounters. His comments were even more vulgar and hateful then those of Imus. Why isn't anybody after his job? I suppose the same rules don't apply to black directors either.

The Michael "Kramer" Richards incident was another example of a double standard. While Richards was performing his stand up routine at a comedy club, he found himself being heckled by some African Americans in the audience. Richards responded by yelling racial slurs. Like Imus, the words of Michael Richards can't be defended. If he can't deal with hecklers without resorting to racial slurs, then he should probably give up comedy. This standard doesn't seem to apply to black comedians. For many years I used to watch a show called Def Comedy Jam, where black comedians would perform stand up routines. There were comedians with great talent on that show, but there were those who decided to use the stage for their hateful and bigoted rants against white people. I can take a few white jokes as long they are good natured. I remember back in the day when comedians like Richard Prior and Eddie Murphy would make white jokes. When they made fun of Caucasians, they did it in the same way you would joke about your best friend. The comedians on Def Comedy Jam would practically spit venom at white people. Not once do I recall anybody making a big stink about the racist jokes that were told on that show.

Hypocrisy isn't only confined to the black communities. When conservative psychologist Dr. Laura Schlessinger referred to homosexuality as a biological error, she found herself in the middle of a firestorm. Never mind that her words were taken completely out of context and that many scientists concur with the fact that homosexuality is a biological error. The militant gay activists also ignored the part where she said that gay people should be met with compassion, not hatred. Instead of listening to her actual words, fanatical members of the gay community launched a smear campaign against her. Schlessinger was even threatened with violence. Her show was eventually forced off the air. This was practically the height of hypocrisy, especially when there was a rapper who made an entire career out of creating homophobic songs. For those who don't remember there was once a Caucasian rapper named Eminem. Many of his songs were not only homophobic, but they glorified violence against gay people. Even though his music did cause controversy, Eminem has never had to face the same firestorm as Dr. Schlessinger. I suppose you can say whatever you want if you're a rapper. If you are a conservative psychologist you can be punished for whatever you say, even if it's not derogatory.

There are those who would ask why these double standards are such a big deal. After all we all have our hypocritical moments, like the idea of ordering a triple cheeseburger, an extra large order fries and a diet coke to wash it all down. The big deal is that these double standards threaten the concept of individual freedom. By suppressing the words of one individual and allowing others to have total freedom to say whatever they want, then you have fascism. It's easy to support free speech when the speech is popular. The purpose is to allow any individual the right of free expression in any way that he or she deems necessary. It doesn't matter how hateful, vulgar or mean-spirited the speech may be. As I have said before, in a free society we have to be tolerant to the things that we don't like. Bigoted speech would certainly be one them.


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