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Letter: Expect the consequences of distasteful free speech

Expect the consequences of distasteful free speech

The First Amendment does not protect private individuals from the inevitable and foreseeable employment-related consequences of their speech.

An argument I have seen made, inappropriately, is that when someone makes racist, sexist or misogynist speech and faces consequences from his employer for said speech, that this is somehow a constitutional issue. It is not!

When someone faces employment-related consequences for saying our African-American first lady should “return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla,” please, don’t claim the Constitution is there to protect that individual from his own impulsiveness and racism. Only our own sense and empathy are there to protect against these things.

The First Amendment does apply to everyone, as a previous reader noted, but not in the way he thinks it does. For a reading list, I suggest, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says nothing regarding unbridled speech without consequence.

Michael Mezzadri

East Aurora

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