It’s been a busy week. Once I recovered from whatever it was that knocked me down last weekend, I had to play catch-up with the to-do list. That included working on an editing job for a client, planning my trip to Austin in April for DEAR Texas Day. On April 12 bookstores in cities across the state will host author and reader events, and I will be in Austin at Malvern Books from 1-6 with other winners of the Texas Association of Authors Book Awards Contest. This is going to be such a nice event, and I’m looking forward to meeting new friends.
Surely you’ve heard of the busload of students from the University of Oklahoma chanting racist slogans and generally being insensitive. In response University President David Boren commented, “It’s not who we are. I’d be glad if they left. I might even pay the bus fare for them.”
Some folks have taken him to task for his stance, citing the issue of free speech. Joey Aenat, an associate professor in media law at Oklahoma State University, said, “The irony here is that Boren is arguing he’s protecting the rights of some students while infringing on the First Amendment right of other students. The speech is offensive, the speech is abhorrent, but the First Amendment protects unpopular speech.”
Sad but true. However, this type of hate speech should be judged from both a legal and a moral standpoint, and the moral judgement should trump the legal one in the social consciousness. As head of the university, Boren has a right, and I say a duty, to take a moral stand and declare, “All legality aside, this will not be tolerated on our campus.”
To me, that is not unlike a parent taking a moral stand and forbidding hate speech in a home.
When speech denigrates a segment of our population, it should stop, period.
Okay, now for some fun.
A few lawyer jokes.
How do you get a group of personal injury lawyers to smile for a picture?
Just say “Fees!”
“You seem to be in some distress,” said the kindly judge to the witness. “Is anything the matter?”
“Well, your Honour,” said the witness, “I swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but every time I try, some lawyer objects.”
A new client had just come in to see a famous lawyer.
“Can you tell me how much you charge?”, said the client.
“Of course”, the lawyer replied, “I charge $200 to answer three questions!”
“Well that’s a bit steep, isn’t it?”
“Yes it is”, said the lawyer, “And what’s your third question?”
“I write about the power of trying, because I want to be okay with failing. I write about generosity because I battle selfishness. I write about joy because I know sorrow. I write about faith because I almost lost mine, and I know what it is to be broken and in need of redemption. I write about gratitude because I am thankful – for all of it.” Kristin Armstrong
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” Neil Gaiman