In a tweet Wednesday, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin suggested that Laura Schlessinger may have had her First Amendment rights violated in the controversy surrounding the conservative talk show host’s repeated use of the n-word.
The tweet reads: “Dr.Laura:don’t retreat…reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence”isn’t American,not fair”)”
The former governor’s response is a little confusing, and not just because of her mangled syntax and excessive use of abbreviations. In February, Palin asked the White House to fire Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel over his use of the word “retarded.” She has also joined the chorus opposing the Ground Zero Mosque. Since she was not in office during either incident, is she not an activist trying to silence individuals and stifle their First Amendment rights?
What Palin apparently doesn’t realize is that the First Amendment is a two-way street. Yes, you can express yourself, but you shouldn’t cry wolf when somebody disagrees with what you or tells you to be quiet. Dr. Laura has the right to drop a racial slur and activists have the right to organize a boycott, just like developers have the right to build a mosque and New Yorkers have the right to complain about it. Palin should have realized that when she hit the send button.
Justin Duckham is a Washington correspondent with the Talk Radio News Service. He was a music journalist in California before making the jump to politics. Justin was a member of UC Merced’s founding class and graduated with a degree in History and minors in American Studies and Philosophy.