Sunday, November 27, 2011

Whatever happened to I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

When did it get replaced by "I don't agree with you, so I'm fine with you getting pepper-sprayed by the police for no reason"?

I've got to assume if it was middle-aged Tea Party people getting pepper-sprayed without cause, that right-wingers would be going crazy over the Jack-Booted Thugs (remember that phrase?) of the New World Order. And they'd be right. The police are given a legal monopoly on the use of force in situations like this, but that should never translate into a green-light to use it however the hell you feel. Lethal force (and that includes things like pepper-spray and tasers) should only be used in cases of real danger. It should never be used just to force compliance. 

Just as importantly, we all need to understand that people have the right to disagree with us. They may be the Occupy Wall Street people, they may be the Tea Party; they may even be White Supremacists or UT fans. They still have the right to their opinions, just as we have the right to ours. We have the absolute right to point out when someone is full of crap, but we should never celebrate they're being forcibly muzzled.