Matthew Austin

Dr. Laura and the 9/11 Mosque: The Shifting Sands of the Left’s Moral Vacuity

Posted on August 21 2010 7:00 pm

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On August 11, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a radio talk show host of 30 years, used the N-word on the air eleven times to inartfully make a point concerning the N-word.  The consequence, as usual, is that Dr. Laura was labeled by our moral and intellectual superiors at Media Matters and other liberal media outlets as a closet racist. Nothing unusual on its surface, but this latest skirmish in the culture war looks familiar. What is this familiarity? Dr. Laura’s faux pas was discussed on The O’Reilly Factor August 19th, wherein it was suggested that Dr. Laura had a First Amendment right to engage in a debate about the use of the N-Word, but it wasn’t appropriate given the context.  Get it? Does this sound like the debate surrounding the Ground Zero Mosque? With O’Reilly and the Left agreeing on this issue, I was left with one question: why is it that the Left’s support of the mosque is founded on an unyielding moral interpretation of the First Amendment, an interpretation that does not bend with the “changing needs and values of society”, and yet the Left seeks nuance where the First Amendment intersects with race relations?

What we have here is another example of the amoral, so-called liberal-narrative being constructed by the picking and choosing of its maxims to support its perverse view of American history.  In their view the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has an absolute right to build his mosque and exercise his First Amendment right, without qualification.  Why? Because Americans are racist bigots.  But, when an American decides to buck the so-called liberal narrative and challenge the social engineering demands of the community, the First Amendment is no longer absolute. Why? Because Americans are racist bigots.

The obvious counter-argument is that, legally speaking, these are separate issues and are dissimilar, because the Left’s position on the Ground Zero Mosque concerns the Freedom of Religion clause of the First Amendment and Dr. Laura’s “rant” is about her hate speech, which can be regulated by the government in certain instances. But, this is a bait and switch. The real issue is about the rationale for or against either position.  The case made against Dr. Laura is not a legal one, it is an ethical one and it is the same argument being made by those against the building of the Ground Zero Mosque.  Dr. Laura cannot discuss the use of the N-word because the word, in the context she used it, is hurtful and inappropriate. If the Left were making a legal argument, Ms. Hanson’s anguish and hurt wouldn’t be trotted out and exploited by “journalists” at CNN.  If there were to be a legal discussion about Dr. Laura’s rights and limitations thereon, legal scholars would be presenting serious analysis with serious journalists, not Don Lemon.  In addition, the Left isn’t endorsing an all out ban on the use of the N-word, which also would be a legal matter.  Indeed, their focus is how its use made Ms. Hanson feel. Clearly, the Left is making an ethical point and the propriety of the N-word’s use, not a nuanced legal argument.

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