Back in my days at San Francisco State University in 2000, I took a course called, "Issues in Free Speech" (taught by Joseph Tuman, great teacher and active political commentator in the Bay Area) and remember analyzing a whole bunch of cases involving free speech. A number of these issues did in fact take into account free speech that was used as a mean of expressing anger, as well as those which anger was taken further than just free speech: Actual death threats or even acts of violence.
For words like the N word, they are dispicable yet people do in fact use them. Even after decades of Martin Luther King Jr. speeches, the Voting Rights Act and President Obama's first election and second re-election, usage of the word hasn't gone away. Hell, even black people use them and they've been using the N word toward each other even back during the slavery years.
I have a friend living in San Francisco, a black Muslim, probably one of the coolest and most nicest guys in the world with no racist bone, calling a fellow black a "N" although it's in a different context. Hell, comedian Sarah Silverman of all people has used the "N" word but in a different tone and she hasn't been chastized all the time when she performs her shows. Even in the movie "Shaun of the Dead," Shaun's friend Ed says "What's up my N***AZ?" There are different ways people do in fact use the N word and as a result, they never get the short end of the stick. Personally, I never use the N word and don't intend on using it PERIOD, no matter what the context is.
However, it is clear that 22 year old Denise Helms, a former worker at Coldstone Creamery, may have thought she was speaking her mind with the best of intentions and wanted to excercise her First Amendment rights. In the end, she was making a fool out of herself and probably doesn't have an understanding of how complex the world is outside of her own prism.
I think I can sense where Ms. Helms is going with this. First she says President Obama has done nothing for this country, which is completely BOGUS because he's done hundreds of improvements all for the better since he's been president. In fact, since Ms. Helms's city of residence, Turlock, California, is not that far from the Bay Area (where I live), I'm sure people recognize the boom in the Bay Area known as the IT & Tech explosion, something comparable to the boom of the Dot.com years.
I suppose Ms. Helms is not lazy enough to post her "N" word rant on Twitter but too lazy to go onto the website www.whitehouse.gov, which as you guys are aware is the official website of the White House. It's not filtered nor is it a junk news site. It's got all the information you need to know about what's happening in the White House, the Oval Office and President Obama's accomplishments. In fact, accessing and navigating the website can give you a lot of input (as Johnny Five from "Short Circuit" would say):
Obama's Executive Orders
Legislation Obama has signed into Law:
Presidential Actions Obama Has Done:
Instead of getting worked up about nonsense or making claims she can't back up, I would suggest Denise Helms take the time to read through the above links and digest some information. It only takes 10-15 minutes and won't interrupt her day at all, unless she's at the moment trying to find a job. I mean, Ms. Helms is only 22 years old, is young and still has time to wash the crap "critical thinking" out of her system like Samuel L. Jackson's Jules Winnfield washed the tasty Big Kahuna burger with soda in "Pulp Fiction." Yes, I know it will be hard for her but she is still young.
In the meantime, there's a few things Ms. Helms needs to clear up (citation from Huffington Post):
“News keeps getting worse for Denise Helms, the 22-year-old California woman whose racist, threatening Facebook status about President Barack Obama went viral this week. Helms has since been fired from her job at a Turlock, Calif., Cold Stone Creamery, and the Secret Service is now looking into her comments.Yes. Obama will definitely be "......" There have in fact been attempts to attack Obama during his presidency. I'm not sure how many although they were short lived and didn't at all get anywhere thanks to the efficiency of the Secret Service, FBI and Police Departments around Washington D.C. Not that I'm ruling out the possibility but you know, I have my doubts Obama will in fact be "......" See, I'm not saying the word because I don't want to incite to anyone to actually do it.
“Another 4 years of this (N-word),” Helms wrote on her Facebook Tuesday night. “Maybe he will get assassinated this term.”
Sacramento's Fox 40 news crew caught up with an unapologetic Helms on Wednesday.Right Denise. You didn't think it would be that big of a deal. When you're on Facebook, your life is not private like you think it is. In fact, online social mediums like Facebook and Twitter have the opportunity to spread your views across the wider reaches of the Internet faster than you can take a bite of your next Quesadilla. Well, maybe not that fast.
"I didn't think it would be that big of a deal," she said. "The assassination part is kind of harsh. I'm not saying like I would go do that or anything like that, by any means, but if it was to happen, I don't think I'd care one bit."
So here's Ms. Helms acting as her own spokeswoman in addressing the controversy:
So apparently my post last night about Obama got onto Twitter and Fox 40 came and interviewed me cause apparently a lot of people in Sacramento think I'm crazy and racist. WOW is all I got to say!! I'm not racist and I'm not crazy. just simply stating my opinion.!!!"Um, Ms. Helms, when you say the N-Word, use it in the context of our own elected black U.S. President, then tell those perhaps he should get "......" this term and use Facebook to vent your frustrations (and I'm sure her profile isn't set to Private) and the message gets across to thousands of people across the country, it is quite possible you are a racist and crazy at the same time. I don't know it but others might think you are.
And of COURSE Ms. Helms is simply stating her opinion. However, isn't it wise she speaks her mind in front of her own family? That would make it possible for her to get corrected, if by any chance her family was not in fact racist, and she wouldn't lose her job.
Well, it looks like there's no way in hell she'll get her job back:
Cold Stone Creamery@ColdStoneBy the way, don't you guys sense there's an odd coincidence here with Denise Helms and what she's said about Barack Obama? Isn't she a granddaughter or grand nephew of the late U.S. Senator from North Carolina Jesse Helms? Wasn't he a racist at some point in his life?
@poojababyy This employee is no longer w/the company. Her comments are outrageous, completely unacceptable & in no way reflect our views.
This reminds me, Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unlimited" will be released in theatres December 25th. Anyone a Tarantino fan?
By the way, I highly recommend reading Joseph Tuman's "Freedom of Expression in the Marketplace of Ideas." It's the newest version of the book whereas I have the 1996 edition of it titled "Freedom of Speech." You can find both versions available at Amazon.com.