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Wisconsin’s non-whites and non-males also culpable in turning First Amendment on its back
In 1972, the Federal Communications Commission forced Georgia radio and television stations to air a paid political ad by a candidate for the U.S. Senate which declared: “[The] main reason why niggers want integration is because niggers want our white women.”
The candidate, J.B. Stoner, was a self-declared “white racist”. I must admit that I find such rare candor in a politician quite useful, especially as a voter making a choice. Surely we are better off under a First Amendment that allows racists to make themselves known, rather than a censorship regime that aids and abets such reprehensible characters to remain incognito.
Yet, in 2010, Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board has refused to allow a qualified independent running for state office to name her party, “NOT the white man’s bitch”.
GAB spokesman Reid Magney says Ieshuh Griffin was denied because
“Staff determined that her language used on her declaration of candidacy is perjorative (sic) in nature and does not satisfy the requirements of Wisconsin statutes”.
Who knew that the anti-federalist demander of, first Liberty or Death and, having won Liberty, demanded a Bill of Rights to protect We the People from the government just created; eschewed political pejoratives? After all, Patrick Henry (pictured) refused to attend the Constitutional Convention of 1787 after he “smelt a rat in Philadelphia, tending toward the monarchy.”
Rats, bitches and the N-Word
Aren’t rats worse than bitches, but isn’t the better question, who appointed government officials to protect voters from the truth about who would govern We the People?
The Constitution certainly did not, McCain-Feingolds and Badger State “government accountability boards” notwithstanding. Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court got the message, even if the word hasn’t yet reached Madison:
As the Court observed in Monitor Patriot Co. v. Roy, 401 U.S. 265, 272 (1971), `it can hardly be doubted that the constitutional guarantee [of free speech] has its fullest and most urgent application precisely to the conduct of campaigns for political office.’ ” Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 14-15 (1976).
Wisconsin law allows each political party to have its name/slogan printed on the ballot under the candidate’s name. Established parties like the Democratic and Republican parties have their party name under their respective candidate’s name. Independent parties are allowed to name their party or be identified as “Independent”.
These parameters are quite similar to those the FCC found dispositive in the white racist political broadcast ad featuring the N-word:
Stations can reject ads for any reason from political groups other than candidates. And they may reject ads from allcandidates for a given office. But if they take ads from one candidate, they can’t legally refuse ads from opponents except for technical reasons (such as being too long or short to fit standard commercial breaks, or if the recording quality is poor) or if they are “obscene.” Rejecting a candidate’s ad because it’s false is simply not allowed.
So, even if anyone had accused Griffin of being “the white man’s bitch”, it would not be grounds for denying her choice of slogans. For the record, the independent candidate claims the alleged pejorative refers to submissive female dogs and not human females, and that: “Its not racist, its not a slur…its not pointed to a particular person, in my point of view the average politician is a token” Griffin says.
Again, even if it were racist and a slur, free speech demands that voters be allowed to hear their presumed representatives’ political speech.
Brooks Jackson makes the case best here:
The very idea of self-government rests on the idea that voters — given enough uncensored information — can best decide who should be in power and who should not. So free speech applies first and foremost to candidates. As the U.S. Supreme Court said unanimously in a 1971 libel case, “It can hardly be doubted that the constitutional guarantee [of free speech] has its fullest and most urgent application precisely to the conduct of campaigns for political office.”
Griffin, for her part, seems ever the candid conservative critic of President Barack Obama and the Democrats when she declares that: “There currently is…an in-depth corruption within our government… SLAVERY, yes SLAVERY has returned in almost every aspect except name”.
DeVine Law Factory concludes:
Give us the free political speech Liberty of Ieshuh NOT the white man’s bitch Griffin, or give us Death!
[Cross-posted at 73Wire Law Factory]
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson