Thursday, April 15, 2004

Question for Smitherman

Under the First Amendment can a student shout racial slurs at a public school teacher, and face no suspension from class? Council has passed a rule booting anyone who disrupt council meetings for 60 days. From the article:
Charterite Christopher Smitherman voted against the measure, saying the rule violates the free speech rights of people who petition City Council.
Bronson writes and quotes Smitherman in his column today, painting Smitherman's apologist views fairly plainly:
But City Council came through. Everyone voted yes except Chris Smitherman. He seems to think cops who are even accused of using the N-word five years ago should be fired - with a real torch - but people who shout and scream it at council meetings just don't get enough respect.

"We can't arbitrarily say what is disruptive and what's not," he argued, drawing disruptive applause (an almost certain indication that you're on the wrong side of an issue at City Hall). "What policies do we put forward that bring this kind of thing on?" he asked. "We must hear the voice of the people."
Smitherman I guess thinks that '400 years of oppression' makes it OK for a bunch of black racists to shout the "N-word" or the "K-word" at council members.

Bronson is actually right on this point. Smitherman is gutless. He fears taking on the black racists in town. He wants to bring the city together, but he doesn't want to stamp out all the racism. White racism is bad, but black racism must be the fault of white people. It would not surprise me to find out that Damon Lynch would have taken a better stand against black racists if he was on council.