Tuesday letters: Free speech more than a right

July 16, 2013 

People Paula Deen

JEFF CHRISTENSEN — AP

I agree with Terry Tobias that Paula Deen has the First Amendment right to free speech (“Deen free to say what she wants,” July 5). Mr. Tobias goes on to question why is she being persecuted. His observation is completely void of any empathy of the fact that the N-word, which she used, is a form of persecution. The same goes for anyone of any race, regardless of the context.

I believe in a person’s right to free speech, but the person exercising free speech needs to be aware that possible consequences follow. If you don’t believe me, try yelling fire in a crowded theater, making a bomb threat or threatening to harm the president of the United States, and see how far the First Amendment gets you.

Free speech is not just a right, but a responsibility. Too much blood and guts have been sacrificed for us to misuse it for the sake of hearing ourselves talk.

John Hampton

Columbia

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