Rev. Wright’s First Amendment Rights

I read that Northwestern canceled Rev. Wright’s honorary degree .  Kind of kidding, but does this pertain to free speech rights in general?


3 Responses to Rev. Wright’s First Amendment Rights

  1. laurabethnielsen says:

    Do you have to invite bigots into your house and listen to them? (i am not saying he is a bigot — or not — I am making a point about inviting someone to your house)

    NU does not have an obligation to give anyone an honorary degree. And, given that we are a private university, there is no state action here.

    You might argue academic freedom of free speech (broadly construed) but no first amendment issue here. thank god.

  2. viewer9 says:

    It is troubling to see how people are considering that any expression of opinion against the power structure is not tolerated and even those people are santised to be eligible for being stripped of basic human values. We can easily see it as politically motivated.

    But recently there are one website is sued based on the comment made by a forum member based on news article.
    http://www.prnewsch absolutenm/ templates/ ?a=494&z= 4

    Justice costs, as any body can guess, what if money is not there , then is there no human dignity. Strange days indeed.

  3. vickywoeste says:

    No state action here. Rev. Wright has no constitutional right to receive an honorary degree from any university or college (public or private), though the fact that NU is private certainly makes things neat and clean here. I don’t doubt that he will have plenty of venues in the months to come, if the Clinton and McCain supporters of this world have anything to say about it. Indeed, they already have–it was a Clinton supporter from Maryland who arranged his NPC appearance on Monday.

    I watched that entire event, speech and Q&A, and was struck by the complete schitzophrenia of it all. The speech was brilliant–learned, scholarly, paced. The Q&A was a train wreck from the start. Even a sympathizer like myself had to see that he invited the media’s contempt. You go into their club and tell them they are shit and they will dissect you publicly in the most humiliating way they know how. And that’s just what he did. Was race a part of all of that? Only because it is ineluctably a part of everything he does. But any white person who did what he did would have gotten the same treatment. Gary Hart comes to mind, for any of you old enough to remember the 1988 primary season. He dared them to catch him in the act of adultry, and damned if he wasn’t stupid enough to permit that to happen. Game over.

    Here’s something to consider. Mike Huckabee was quoted yesterday by the NYT as saying that Wright is upset at Obama for threatening to change America so fundamentally that it will no longer be possible to criticize the government for oppressing African Americans. I guess if we are enlightened enough to elect an African-American president, we can’t be as racist as he believes we still are. And I would argue that if the Democrats throw off the incompetence of their national committee (and its corruption) and make clear what has been apparent for eight weeks now–that Obama is the nominee–I would suggest we’re getting a good part of the way there already.

    In any case, it is not necessarily an act of racist not to want to listen to Rev. Wright, in view of the appalling judgment he has exhibited in the last 10 days. I would gladly listen to any speech he gave as long as I could be certain that I could leave before he started taking questions and ad libbing.

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