This began as a reply to a comment to my post about Free Speech the other day. It stretched out so long, I decided to make a post of it.
What is meant by saying "we pay for our TV". The content and commentary provided by any of the networks is free to the public and paid for by advertisers, I thought. I do pay a provider to unscramble the code so I can see it, though. Maybe I am wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.. 😉
Secondly, I just watched the video again and I still don’t see how what Gifford said was bashing Pagans. In what way was it bashing or prejudicial against Pagans?
Clearly, it was a ignorant, ridiculous statement. Clearly the writers who wrote that particular segment believe Pagans are in the past tense (i.e. "Pagans believed..") If she had said "the nasty, bad Huns" would she have been bashing the Huns? What about the Vikings? Both groups of people had a reputation of being particularly nasty and bad folks if you came up against them in battle. As were the Celts and Turks.
Thirdly, you have the right to exercise your right to free speech with "your little petition", your words not mine. However, I really don’t know how a petition that seeks to force someone to apologize for something they said because you don’t like it achieves anything.
She said something you don’t like. Okay. She has the right to say stuff you don’t like. Is it discriminatory because you don’t like it or discriminatory because it actually hurt Pagans as a whole? In recent years there has emerged this nasty, knee-jerk reaction by people to automatically cry discrimination or prejudice when anyone makes an off color remark or a negative statement about a certain group of people. There is a particularly nasty and repugnant double standard in this country about what is and is not okay to say in this country and by which groups.
For example, I have witnessed the accepted blanket generalizations made in feminist AND pagan womens’ spirituality groups that all men are abusive, ignorant and disgusting sacks of poo. If you disagree with that line of thought, you are then discriminated against and ostracized by those very same women who say they welcome all women, with all points of view. You become someone who is against them and for those kind of men. It’s complete and utter bullshit. It doesn’t fly with me.
It’s free speech against free speech. It’s a wash. Gifford still doesn’t get why what she said was wrong and the petition still hasn’t really changed a damn thing. Except that everyone has even more animosity toward one another, Pagans (as a group) are further away from their goals and the networks still see Pagans as a bunch of uppity nutballs. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s just not that important. I suppose I believed a large number of people actually paid attention to Gifford, I might get a little more hyper on the subject.
*I* won’t sign a petition like that because they seeks to censor and infringe on someone else’s right to free speech and for me, that is "nasty and bad".
I am a pagan and I believe that everyone has a right to free speech as outlined in our Constitution, TV personality or not. I also believe that just because someone says something derogatory, inflammatory or ignorant doesn’t mean they are discriminating against me or a group I identify with. And even if they are? So what?
American individuals have a right to free speech, free thought and yes, discrimination. If you are the government or a business, it’s against the law but you have to prove it because yes, here in in America you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty by a jury of your peers. That the media and the populace at large already decide who is guilty and innocent, doesn’t make it so.