Monday, April 19, 2021

Questions Of Rights

Major League Baseball has chosen to relocate its 2021 All-Star Game and amateur player draft out of Atlanta in protest over Georgia’s new voting law. Conservative lawmakers, such as Senator Ted Kruz (R-TX), are crying foul, claiming the MLB is infringing on the State of Georgia’s First Amendment rights.

Such an infringement isn’t even possible. The First Amendment makes it unlawful for the government to curtail the speech of an individual or privately owned body. It says nothing, noooooothing, about not allowing a privately owned body’s reaction to a government action. One could even argue the MLB is doing exactly what we want responsible businesses to do.

For a completely unrelated reason closer to home, I’ve been doing considerable thinking about the right to speak lately.

Publicly traded MEME
Let me take a moment to assure you that I'm a nice man. Enlightened Christian morality is VERY IMPORTANT to me, and I go out of my way to be kind. That being said, I have a dark sense of humor which many people don't appreciate. In order to sate my appetite for dark (not racist) humor, I joined a Facebook group for dark humor. Interestingly, the group in question was created, and is moderated, by nurses as a way to blow off steam after work.

Said nurses fashioned their own rules against racist humor, sexist humor, and humor depicting child abuse. Yet, the group’s founder, and its moderators, are frequently afraid of being temporally, or permanently, being banned from Facebook as the result of a group member complaining about the humor.

As annoying as the situation is, I'm forced to admit this isn’t a First Amendment issue ether. Facebook, while used by most of the public, is a privately owned website. They charge nothing for use of the site. Thus, they can ban anyone for any reason. Facebook could ban people who wear yellow hats in their profile picture if they wanted to.

Of course, you have to wonder about someone who joins a group for dark humor then reports posts to Facebook because they are offended by the DARK HUMOR! I can't help but think of such people as either @$$holes who like to start trouble then sit back and watch the ensuing drama unfold, or bipolar nut cases.

As Americans, not only do we have the right to speak freely, but we have the right to not listen to anyone we want. Personally, I’m a die-hard liberal, so I don't belong to a group for fans of FOX NEWS. I let them have their own misinformed corner of cyber space, and I belong to groups of people who share my interests and/or views. It's what mature adults do.

No comments:

Post a Comment