Freedom of speech means freedom from consequences or something
In case you’ve been busy this week, cooking and shopping and whatnot, the other day there was some controversy over a young woman from Massachusetts named Lindsey Stone, who posted the following picture to her Facebook page.
She was on a work-related trip to Arlington National Cemetery, standing outside the Tomb of the Unknowns. The sign she posed next to says “Silence and Respect,” so apparently she thought it would be funny to show neither.
As far as I can tell, Stone wasn’t tricked into posing for the picture, or into posting it to the Internet. It was all her idea, and perhaps not the best one she’s ever had. She just lost her job over it.
A Massachusetts company is being applauded for firing a woman who made a vulgar gesture next to a soldier’s burial site, sparking nationwide outrage.
LIFE, a Cape Cod-based nonprofit that helps adults with disabilities, announced on Wednesday that 30-year-old Lindsey Stone was taken off unpaid leave and terminated…
A coworker who took the viral snapshot was also fired, LIFE said.
“Again, we deeply regret any disrespect to members of the military and their families,” the company said in a statement. “The incident and publicity have been very upsetting to the learning disabled population we serve.”
It’s a harsh punishment, but I’m not sure how it’s anybody’s fault but hers. Nobody has taken away her right to free speech. She’s free to be a “douchebag” (her word) and publish it for all the world to see. The world is free to respond. And her employer is under no obligation to keep her around if they think her actions reflect badly on them. There’s no such thing as freedom without consequences.
But if you think what happened to her is unfair, then you should put your money where your mouth is: offer her a job.
No? Why not? Why do you hate free speech?