Sunday, October 24, 2010

Protection against the consequences of free speech and opinion are not guaranteed

One of the tenets upon which our country was founded, and upon which we most highly cherish, is the freedom of speech… the right to express one’s opinion. We, Americans, may surely speak our minds on any number of issues without fear of incarceration or persecution by the government, but we must deal with the consequences of our expression. Neither the Bill of Rights nor the Constitution protects citizens from any retaliation that may be lodged against someone for speaking their mind, expressing their beliefs, or, unfortunately, even having an opinion. Because potential retribution looms for whoever possesses or subscribes to an unpopular position on a controversial topic, it tends to mute contrary expression and/or public dialog on that particular subject. Bottom line is that the potential for suffering consequences for certain thoughts and opinions are routinely kept in check out of fear of being subjected to backlash.

This matter came to the nation’s awareness recently when NPR (National Public Radio) commentator Juan Williams stated during an interview with Fox News that he was uncomfortable whenever he saw Muslims dressed in their traditional garb on airplanes. NPR executives viewed this comment as being unethical and undermining his credibility. Personally, I do not share the same phobia as Mr. Williams regarding Muslims traveling by air, and I did not find his remarks to be offensive. He was merely stating an opinion of his, which I felt had no relevance to his credibility. NPR should not have focused on this benign, but candid expression of Mr. Williams. Certainly, he should not have been fired… at least in my opinion.

Fear of retaliation for taking a position is very real in this country and can be best exemplified by the Nifong-phobia. There is no doubt in my mind that the majority of intelligent and sensible people in North Carolina are of the opinion that Mike Nifong was selectively and unjustly disbarred (especially in consideration that he is the only prosecutor to be disbarred by the North Carolina State Bar since its inception in 1933). However, the play given to the topic by the mainstream media and the punitive, draconian, and irrational treatment of former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong by the Attorney General’s Office and other state agencies, makes it clear to the well-informed that to take a side with Mr. Nifong is to possibly invite serious and catastrophic results… the most feared being loss of employment. There are many attorneys who are of the opinion that Mr. Nifong was unjustly disbarred, but they are not going to publicly say so because they realize to do so would put their license to practice law in serious jeopardy by the unregulated and out of control State Bar. Civil rights leaders and religious leaders in their pulpits avoid taking on the injustice to Mr. Nifong out of fear of losing financing and donations, support, and/or tithe.

What sets aside the Mike Nifong issue from many others in the arena of public discourse is the fact that the media has defined the debate by taking a position and pushing it on the public. This drive to destroy Mr. Nifong was spearheaded by Rae Evans, mother of Duke Lacrosse defendant Dave Evans. She held an executive position with CBS News for more than a decade, but this has never been disclosed during her appearances on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program, and the media has been hush-hush on the topic, as well. The PR and media blitz by the Carpetbagger families of the Duke Lacrosse families have produced a jihad against Mr. Nifong that is complete and without comparison. So successful has the media been in defining what opinions and expressions about Mr. Nifong and the Duke Lacrosse case are acceptable, and what positions carry untold risks, that the state’s director of the American Civil Liberties Union is afraid to express her opinion on the topic. A couple of years ago at a public debate on freedom of speech at NCSU, I asked the ACLU’s Katy Parker, to opine in writing about Mr. Nifong’s disbarment, specifically asking if his actions were as egregious as other prosecutors who had not been disbarred. She was aware that I was a supporter of Mr. Nifong, and when I handed her the questionnaire, I asked her if she was going to fill it out. She responded, “It depends on the questions.” Evidently, she did not like the questions as she did not respond (I even enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope). But neither did the three other law school professors at event to whom I personally gave the questionnaire.

This is very telling, because an agency like the ACLU which is willing to protect the civil and constitutional rights of Nazis and Ku Klux Klanners is afraid to go up against the powerful Carpetbaggers by expressing its opinions about Mr. Nifong’s disbarment. Mr. Nifong’s unjust disbarment is a topic that is even off-limits at law schools. Law professors, even with tenure, are unwilling to breach the topic in a public forum. It is evident why the subject of Mr. Nifong is institutionally and universally taboo… because Mike Nifong’s disbarment was selective and unjust. This is a conclusion that anyone using a modicum of rational thought and knowledge of the issue would reach.

Elected public officials, who are compromised by their lust for public approval, display absolutely no courage when it comes to taking a public stand on the issue of Mike Nifong’s disbarment. Although the First Amendment protects their right to express an opinion on the subject, they undoubtedly act like politicians by cloaking their unwillingness to discuss the issue by pleading that the protocol in place restricts their ability to comment.

The heat surrounding the topic of Mike Nifong’s disbarment is so high that even having a view that is supportive of Mr. Nifong can lead to mistreatment. It happened to me at Duke University School of Law in April 14, 2010, when I attended an event which was open to the public. I was kicked off the campus, for no reason other than being a supporter of justice for Mr. Nifong. The attack against me by Duke was premeditated, malicious, and unwarranted, and illustrates the depth of contempt that has been generated by the media and the state against Mr. Nifong and his supporters. A university, especially one of Duke’s stature - not to mention that it is law school, should be a beacon for independent thought, opinion, and ideas. Debate on differing views should be welcome in such an academic environment. I’m sure that, generally speaking, it is on the Duke campus. But, again, when it comes to the topic of Mr. Nifong, open expression or even privately held opinion supportive of Mr. Nifong is squelched. Because I believe that Mr. Nifong was selectively and unjustly disbarred I was nearly arrested.

Tar Heelians, especially in Durham, know the score and are timid when it comes to speaking out on behalf of Mike Nifong. They realize that doing so could cost them a promotion, opportunity, or even their jobs and livelihood. The vindictive reach of the Carpetbagger Jihad is long, strong, and venomous. That is what makes members of the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong special. Each individual member has the conviction, and courage to back it up, to lend his/her name and face to the cause of obtaining justice for Mr. Nifong. Justice for Mike Nifong can be defined by action on part of the North Carolina State Bar to unilaterally and unconditionally reinstate Mike Nifong’s license to practice law in the state without restrictions. And that is the goal of our committee, which has been in existence since June 2008.

Like Juan Williams, I have experienced backlash because of my position in support of Mr. Nifong… discrimination against me and my near-arrest on the Duke University campus in April 2010, being one of the more recent. Because of the fear of retaliation, the Powers-That-Be, especially with the assistance of the media, will continue to determine what opinions the citizens of this state are considered acceptable to harbor and/or express. For those who elect to give an opinion that is not held in the mainstream, brace yourself and prepare to suffer retribution. Keep in mind that expression of opinion is free, but you oft times will end up paying the consequences for doing so.

25 comments:

Kilgo said...

. . .









V I C T O R Y ! ! !








. . .








Mike Nifong



is



VINDICATED ! ! !







. . .

Anonymous said...

Kilgo = Troll

Kilgo said...

. . .






V I C T O R Y ! ! !








Kilgo the Troll



is



V I N D I C A T E D ! ! !







. . .

Anonymous said...

Kilgo said:

"Kilgo the Troll...."

What do you know? A Kilgo post I (at least partially) agree with.

Lance the Intern said...

"This is very telling, because an agency like the ACLU which is willing to protect the civil and constitutional rights of Nazis and Ku Klux Klanners is afraid to go up against the powerful Carpetbaggers by expressing its opinions about Mr. Nifong’s disbarment"

Did you consider that Ms. Parker chose not to register her opinion because she did not agree with you?

Anonymous said...

"It happened to me at Duke University School of Law in April 14, 2010, when I attended an event which was open to the public. I was kicked off the campus, for no reason other than being a supporter of justice for Mr. Nifong.."

Well, that and unauthorized solicitation, which has been pointed out by Duke officials and others.

Nifong Supporter said...


Lance the Intern said...
"'This is very telling, because an agency like the ACLU which is willing to protect the civil and constitutional rights of Nazis and Ku Klux Klanners is afraid to go up against the powerful Carpetbaggers by expressing its opinions about Mr. Nifong’s disbarment'

Did you consider that Ms. Parker chose not to register her opinion because she did not agree with you?"


I do not believe that is a reason not to give an opinion. I do not expect only people who agree with me to give an opinion. If Ms. Parker were to ask my opinion on an issue, I would gladly give it. Ms. Parker's problem lies in the fact that she agrees with me, but doesn't want to put it in writing because it is unpopular.

Nifong Supporter said...


Anonymous said...
"'It happened to me at Duke University School of Law in April 14, 2010, when I attended an event which was open to the public. I was kicked off the campus, for no reason other than being a supporter of justice for Mr. Nifong..'

Well, that and unauthorized solicitation, which has been pointed out by Duke officials and others."


Solicitation is the lamest excuse that Duke could come up with. Do you actually believe that handing out a business card is "solicitation?" Do you believe that others have been kicked off the campus for handing out business cards?... not to mention nearly being arrested. I think Duke police have more important things to worry about than people handing out business cards. I do not believe a word of Mr. Schoenfeld's statement regarding the April 14th incident. In fact, by putting it in writing he insulted my intelligence. You can believe that lame excuse if you want. I don't. I was kicked off the campus for having an opinion that Mr. Nifong was selectively and unjustly disbarred. Period.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that Sidney has not been providing recent reports on CGM. What new with our heroine?

Walt said...

Syd,

I generally agree with your take on free speech. Further, Juan Williams was using his personal discomfort with Muslims in traditional garb to set up a more nuanced view of our relationship with Muslims. Specifically, Williams made the point to O'Reilly that we should not view ourselves in a war against all Muslims, no matter our personal qualms. Sad to say, NPR does not tolerate such nuanced views.

However, I must disagree with your attempt to equate this situation to Nifong's. Nifong enjoyed media adulation for months. Long after it was clear to all who were observing the fiasco that he was prosecuting a case for which he had no evidence and not even probable cause. The media was the last to turn on him, not the first.

Walt-in-Durham

Anonymous said...

"In fact, by putting it in writing he insulted my intelligence. You can believe that lame excuse if you want. I don't. I was kicked off the campus for having an opinion that Mr. Nifong was selectively and unjustly disbarred. Period."

IF you had bothered to review the solicitation policy before hand and had attempted to COMPLY with the solicitation policy, you would have a legitimate complaint.
Since you didn't bother, the old saw still stands -- Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Nifong Supporter said...


Anonymous said...
"'In fact, by putting it in writing he insulted my intelligence. You can believe that lame excuse if you want. I don't. I was kicked off the campus for having an opinion that Mr. Nifong was selectively and unjustly disbarred. Period.'

IF you had bothered to review the solicitation policy before hand and had attempted to COMPLY with the solicitation policy, you would have a legitimate complaint.
Since you didn't bother, the old saw still stands -- Ignorance of the law is no excuse."


To my knowledge, Duke's solicitation policy does not forbid handing out business cards. I have been given business cards by others, including law professors, and I have seen others hand out business cards. The fact is, that they are not hassled and nearly arrested. Duke's actions against me were totally discriminatory because I am a supporter of Mike Nifong and seek justice for him. Another main problem with my situation is that the security guard did not know why he was kicking me off campus. That's because Duke had to come up with an excuse after I demanded one regarding my inhospitable treatment.

Nifong Supporter said...


Walt said...
"Syd,

I generally agree with your take on free speech. Further, Juan Williams was using his personal discomfort with Muslims in traditional garb to set up a more nuanced view of our relationship with Muslims. Specifically, Williams made the point to O'Reilly that we should not view ourselves in a war against all Muslims, no matter our personal qualms. Sad to say, NPR does not tolerate such nuanced views.

However, I must disagree with your attempt to equate this situation to Nifong's. Nifong enjoyed media adulation for months. Long after it was clear to all who were observing the fiasco that he was prosecuting a case for which he had no evidence and not even probable cause. The media was the last to turn on him, not the first.

Walt-in-Durham"


Hey, Walt.

I think you missed my point because I was talking about the treatment I received because of my points of view regarding Mr. Nifong. More egregious than Mr. Williams because I didn't even have to say anything. Just being a supporter and holding opinions and beliefs regarding Mr. Nifong was enough for the university to discriminate against me by having the security guard escort me off campus.

I will present an Investigative Report on the incident soon. It will include an audio recording of part of my conversation with the security guard.

Anonymous said...

"To my knowledge, Duke's solicitation policy does not forbid handing out business cards..."

Again, that's because YOU NEVER BOTHERED TO READ THE SOLICITATION POLICY. I simply cannot stress this enough.

Duke's policy considers solicitation to be ANY act of "interceding into a Duke community member's space in order to request information or communicate information about products, services, or events that are not related to Duke University or its educational mission."

A business card certainly communicates services, Sid.

In regards to seeing others hand out business cards -- If the other individuals were employees of Duke (like a college professor) this policy does NOT apply (although I'm sure there are others that do). If the other individuals had RECEIVED SPONSORSHIP (something you did not do), then they are in compliance with the policy.

The links for this information have been provided in the past, Sid. You should take a moment to read them.

Walt said...

Hey Syd,

I have always stood up for your right to speak freely. Further, I'm on record as deeply disagreeing with Duke's treatment of you. On that issue, we agree.

Walt

Kilgo said...

Sidney Harr and J4N are vindicated.

The whole world knows now the sordid truth
of debauched Duke student athlete behaviors.

Like the lacrosse player who whips out his dick
in a room full of guests, and lewdly fondles himself,

Roy Cooper's corrupt "opinions" are fully exposed
for what they really are- a pornographic display of
legal gang-rape, greased by the corrupt influence
of connections and money.

Anonymous said...

Kilgo -- You seem overly concerned with Duke student-athletes and their d*cks.

I'm sensing a bit of anger (generally recognized as the 3rd stage of grief)-- perhaps at being spurned by a LAX player (or players)?

You should seek appropriate (mental) healthcare to help advance you through this grieving process. Perhaps Sid can assist with that.

Nifong Supporter said...


Anonymous said...
"I'm surprised that Sidney has not been providing recent reports on CGM. What new with our heroine?"


As you may know, there has been a recently formed organization called "Friends of Crystal Mangum" and they have been advocating on her behalf to see that she receives justice when it comes to the February 2010 charges against her.

That has freed me up to pursue other projects which include the upcoming "MisAdventures of Super-Duper Cooper" comic strip, Investigative Reports on issues (such as the discrimination against me on the Duke campus), my continued advocacy for justice for Mike Nifong, advocacy for others unjustly imprisoned,etc. In the near future I will be discussing the case of a gentleman who was unjustly sentenced to two death sentences... and the state tried to convict him of a third capital crime but settled for a life sentence. I believe that he is totally innocent of the third charge.

Nifong Supporter said...


Walt said...
"Hey Syd,

I have always stood up for your right to speak freely. Further, I'm on record as deeply disagreeing with Duke's treatment of you. On that issue, we agree.

Walt"


Thanks, Walt. I never doubted that. Shortly I will present an in-depth presentation about the incident on my Investigative Reports page. It will include an audio recording of most of the incident, along with other documents related to the incident. Hope to have it posted in a week or so. Will have a link on this blog when it's ready.

Kilgo said...

Memorable moments with
the Duke Men's Lacrosse Team
courtesy of Karen Owen:

The Subject dropping his pants whipping his dick out on countless
occasions: "Look...it's touching your leg for free right now!" Tom's quote:"I tell all the girls, like 'hey girls' S*ck My D*ck' and their all like'okaaayyy [high-pitched voice]!' and then I'm all like 'No, wait...I have a giirrrrlllfrieeeennd!"

Anonymous said...

Kilgo -- You should really explore the reasons for your obsession with Duke LAX player genitalia. I suggest you follow the advice of Anonymous@ 9:23am and seek help.

Nifong Supporter said...


Moving right along... next we visit the curious case of SBI agent Mark Isley (of the Floyd Brown case). Using my Holmsian skills, I deduce what happened with regards to his recent N & O scrutiny and bad press.

Kilgo said...

""Look...it's touching your leg for free right now!"

Yessirree, them LAX players are Class Acts.

Who is up for the full unexpurgated text of Ms. Owen's Thesis?

We can then ask ourselves, are the Victim's descriptions of the debaucheries committed in the bathroom of the LAX party house now more "credible"?

Anonymous said...

"We can then ask ourselves, are the Victim's descriptions of the debaucheries committed in the bathroom of the LAX party house now more "credible"?"

The answer, of course, is "No". No victim, no "debaucheries" in the bathroom, no credibility. Silly Kilgo.

Kilgo said...

Shall we examine the lacrosse players'
proficiency with Double Teams and Threesomes
and see how that applies to the 'hook-up' in the bathroom?