May 18, 2015 – San Francisco, CA – PipeLineNews.org – In an incredibly dull-witted piece authored by one Stephen Amberg [unremarkably, Stephen Amberg is a member of the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas . He also is an associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio ] he goes after Pamela Geller’s AFDI, hammer and tong for what appears to be in his estimation, malicious exercise of the First Amendment.
Amberg charges [see, Protect 1st Amendment, criticize provocateurs , MySA] Geller’s organization with being ”a mirror image” of the two jihadi yahoos who attacked her free speech event in Garland, Texas, and thankfully were quickly rendered room temperature by an alert member of Texas LE, where apparently marksmanship is still valued.
The central criticism that the author makes is:
“…that attitude makes AFDI the mirror image of the extremists they claim to abhor…Our defense of the First Amendment does not mean we have to defend the AFDI’s tactics. Nothing in the First Amendment requires us to refrain from pointing the finger at leaders of the AFDI, blaming them for trying to provoke a violent response and deliberately engaging in rhetoric that demonizes Muslims and the Islamic religion. To the contrary, because government cannot censor, we must defend our values…”
Note that Amberg can’t bring himself to use the term “Islamic terrorism,” we assume this is self-censorship…
Amberg’s is an odd opinion to have; attacking someone who is expressing First Amendment freedom of expression likening the attack to defending said Amendment. It’s especially suspect given the ACLU’s record of supporting the most expansive view of the First Amendment imaginable in the courts.
Consider the following:
“The practice of flag burning as a form of political protest emerged during the Vietnam Era, prompting nearly every state in the nation to invoke little-used provisions making it a crime to 'desecrate' the flag. It wasn't until 1989 that the Supreme Court decisively struck down such provisions on constitutional grounds in Texas v. Johnson. The case arose when Gregory Lee Johnson was arrested for burning an American flag at a political demonstration during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas. The ACLU represented Johnson in his lower court appeal and later filed an amicus brief supporting his Supreme Court case…” [source, ACLU History: Flag Burning, ACLU website]
Defending the “provocateur” in court doesn’t seem to be quite the same thing as denouncing his actions in print.
Regardless, in our opinion if flag burning is protected free speech [and it is, as the Supremes have so ruled] then drawing caricatures of a dead Muslim should be virtually sacramental and [ACLU bigwig/Assoc. Professor] Amberg should be on his knees, tongue extended…
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