High School Social Media and Free Speech

I thought these two New York Times articles were about the same incident. They are similar but not identical.  The first one, “A Racial Slur, a Viral Video, and a Reconing,” was about a high school cheerleader who used the N-word on social media referring to a classmate when she was 15.  The second story, “A Cheerleader’s Vulgar Message Prompts a First Amendment Showdown,” was about a ninth grade girl who failed to make the cheerleading squad and expressed her dissatisfaction with the school in four letter words on Snapchat.

Since both of these stories seem to involve pretty cheerleaders, they might the basis for an episode of “Mean Girls.”  Both illustrate the increasing coarseness of conversation on social media, and often in person, in the United States.  But beyond the question of what is polite and decent is the question of what is legal?  The N-word has been part of the English language for hundreds of years, as have four-letter words.  Whatever happened to the old adage that “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  Before social media, these words and actions would have evaporated into thin air.  Today they are preserved forever.

Does the fact that are not preserved in black and white mean that they are legally different from the same sentiments expressed verbally?  If Facebook has liability protection under section 230, why don’t these cheerleaders?

In the first case, the thought-police who run the University of Tennessee thought it was more important to recruit black athletes than white cheerleaders, and thus denied admission to the cheerleader in the first story in order to help them recruit black football and basketball players.

The family in the first case involving the University of Tennessee probably doesn’t have the millions of dollars necessary to pursue a case to the Supreme Court, or maybe they would just like to go about their lives without fighting the though-police at every turn.  They may not want to repay their accuser, Jimmy Gilligan, with the unbelievable hatred and vindictiveness he displayed in getting the girl refused admission to the University of Tennessee.

To me, these are not hard cases for the Supreme Court, I think they should come down on the side of free speech except in the oft-cited example of crying “Fire!” in a crowded theater.  Actions that may follow disliked words are another matter, but the words should be protected.

 

The Africanization of America

Joe Biden’s election marked the highwater point in the Africanization of America.  Contrary to the misleading reports by the liberal media, Biden won the election in the black inner cities of Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee, America’s “Heart of Darkness.”  Liberal propagandists like Chuck Todd and Nate Silver claim that Biden was elected by suburban, white women.  If that were the case, why was Trump leading in the early vote counts?  It wasn’t until the slowly counted, mail-in, black vote from the inner cities started coming in that Biden moved into the lead.

There is no indication that this black vote was illegal.  The Democrats figured out that 90% of Negroes vote Democratic; so, turning out the black vote was the way to win the election.  Blacks vote Democratic because so many of them depend on government welfare, and the Democrats are the most generous in awarding those benefits.

Although there is no indication that the inner-city vote was illegal, it was largely African-American, and if you look at elections in Africa, very few of them are fair.  Although he made life better for blacks living in South Africa, Nelson Mandela made South Africa more corrupt than it was under the apartheid governments.  South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria are among the most successful African states, in large part because of the relatively benign colonization by the British.  The rest of Africa is a snake pit of corruption, dishonesty, and even genocide in the Congo and Rwanda.  American blacks have had 400 years to break out of that African stereotype, but I fear that they may not have completely acculturated even after 400 years.

Various people, like Christopher Krebs at CISA, and Brad Raffensperger the Georgia Secretary of State, have said that this election was indisputably fair and honest.  However Krebs was only in charge of cyber protection for the election; his remit did not include old fashioned corruption, like that carried out by the Mayor Daley machine in Chicago for years, paying off voters with patronage, etc.  Raffensperger may be perfectly honest, but he was in charge of carrying out a fair election; would we expect him to say he failed at his job?

In any case, the real secret to Biden’s victory was turning out the black vote, and there is no law against that.  Trump is right that the mail-in vote, which facilitated a large black vote, worked against him in the election, but it was legal.  I don’t see a legal challenge to Biden’s election, but I see it as a landmark in America’s transition from being a predominately white country to one where minorities are in the majority, with all the implications that has for government policy.

Biden is saying all the right things about uniting the country, and his calmness, moderation and decency are a welcome change from Trump, but they portend a different future for this country.  This trend is also taking place in Europe, although more slowly, and how that evolves may affect our relationship with Europe in the future.  America was a European country with a special bond to Europe and especially to Great Britain.  Biden says he wants to restore that relationship, but he may represent the old America, and may find it difficult to get the new America to go along with him.