Another trumping of 1st amendment liberties, this time in South Africa. A “racist ringtone” has been spreading on cell phones and has been condemned by authorities.
Dr Lionel Louw, chief of staff for the Office of the Premier in the Western Cape and representative of the Moral Regeneration Movement, had this to say:
“The form of behaviour reflected in the ringtone is criminal and its perpetrators will feel the full might of the law.” — “It is a minority who participate in promoting this, and such views are not the reflection of the majority.”
The article outlines the message of the ringtone, without actually saying what it said:
It describes how such a person should be tied to the back of a pickup truck and dragged around while driving.
The chorus has a blatantly racist tone and ends with a call to set dogs on the black person.
Without hearing the actual ringtone, it’s hard to judge. But so long as it is not inciting actual violence (as in, the message isn’t asking people in specific terms to take up arms and kill a group of folks with a real intention–mens rea–of bringing about such violence), then it falls into the category of “protected free speech.” Well, in America at least. The rest of the world doesn’t share our devotion to liberty (nor does it share its fruits).
Side note: it’s things like this, ladies and gents, that make me unafraid of the burgeoning economic power of China. Why be afraid of a people who censor Google, and who engineer social control through murderous legislation. What scares me more is if their transition toward liberty, which has been a slow process thus far, isn’t completely smooth…
“Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both in proportion as it is free.” -Thomas Jefferson, Fourth President of the United States
“Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” -Patrick Henry, “radical” advocate of the American Revolution