An independent candidate for Mitch McConnell’s senate seat has a bizarre and bigoted campaign slogan: “With Jews We Lose.” He’s putting up signs around the state of Kentucky. And we might dismiss this as some random jerk with no chance of winning (which is true), but he spoke a university’s celebration of Constitution Day in front of a bunch of high school students.
Some high school and UK students crowded into the Cats Den Wednesday for the university’s annual Constitution Day Celebration.
Since 2004 all publicly funded universities are required by law to commemorate the signing of the document and provide an opportunity for reflection on the freedoms it affords…
The right of free speech was tested however with the appearance of U-S Senate write-in candidate Robert Ransdell who used his allotted time to deliver a racist rant about the “Jewish-owned and controlled media,” as well as to “stress the need for this nation’s white majority to recognize that they have ethnic interests,” before having his microphone cut off by the sound crew.The horrified high school teachers then hustled their students to their respective buses, prompting this rejoinder from UK Rural Journalism director Al Cross.
“You’ve just witnessed in this hall a laboratory experiment about the extent and nature of free speech. I think most of you found the remarks of the write-in candidate deeply offensive, however in this country people do have the right to speak, even if their views are offensive. Now organizations can have their own rules about how much access they are going to give people like that but they do have a right to speak,” Cross said.
No, wrong. Having free speech does not mean that one has to give you a platform to express your views. And it is completely inappropriate for a university to invite a racist to talk about the Constitution during a legally-mandated event.