Scoot: ?Freedom of Hate Speech?
There’s a billboard in Idaho that reminds us that we are free to hate. The billboard compares President Obama to James Holmes, the accused Colorado movie shooter.
The billboard displays side-by-side images of Obama and Holmes. Associated with the picture of the accused shooter are the words: “Kills 12 in a movie theater with an assault rifle, everyone freaks out.” Next to the picture of President Obama are the words:
“Kills thousands with foreign policy, wins Nobel Peace Prize.”
The Ralph Smeed Foundation, which is responsible for the billboard, is making a statement about the outrage over the killings in a movie theater and the lack of outrage over soldiers killed in the war in Afghanistan. It’s sad and unfortunate that soldiers give their lives in war, but let’s remember there is a difference between a “war zone” and a movie theater.
In my opinion, the billboard is despicable for two reasons. It not only advances the growing disrespect for the office of the presidency, but more importantly, it shows callous disrespect for the victims of the Colorado movie shooting and their families.
The idea of using such a tragic event to promote a political message is appalling. Maybe we should compare the Ralph Smeed Foundation to Nazis? We do have a right to freedom of hate speech, but we also have a right to condemn hate speech.