Swinging too far?

Here at MetroBlogging Minneapolis, we’re in the business of speaking, and speaking quite freely, to be honest. We’re afforded this ability through the First Amendment to the Constitution, granting us free speech. So I whole-heartedly embrace the concept. I can make fun of whoever I want, spoof whatever I want, and even damage some people’s reputations (depending on truth, how famous they are, and other subjective qualifications). But there are limits to this free speech. They say “the right to swing your arms ends at my face.” Those are probably the official legal terms…

A Minneapolis Activist yesterday was awarded $3 (the minimum) after winning a free speech case against the Minneapolis City Council (story found on Star Tribune). The activist, Al Flowers, had his public access TV show removed from the air after a guest said “all ‘house negroes’ should be killed,” referring to city council member Don Samuels. I’m not a lawyer, but isn’t claiming that someone should be killed swinging your arms into someone’s face?

The city council was also charged with paying legal fees of about $50,000.

1 Comment so far

  1. Erica M (unregistered) on December 3rd, 2007 @ 8:53 am

    Without knowing the particulars of the situation, it seems weird that the show host would be punished for a statement made by one of his guests. A $3 decision says the court is making a point.

    There was lots of discussion on this on the Minneapolis Issues Forum. Pretty hot topic.

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