Considering how worked-up some people on the right get about protecting the Constitution, they don't seem to be very interested in reading or understanding it.
I'm no Constitutional scholar (unlike, I don't know, the President) but I know the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits laws abridging the freedom of speech, religion, the press, and to assemble and petition the government. You can read it here if you'd like it straight from the founders.
I mention this because Dr. Laura, she of the PhD in physiology (the biological study of bodies) and the radio show, is resigning after a controversy involving a racist tirade on her show including eleven uses of the n-word. But rather than accept that an "I'm sorry" can't erase a spontaneous outpouring of hate-thought, Dr. Laura says she is stepping down at the end of the year because her First Amendment rights have been violated.
"The reason is I want to regain my First Amendment rights. I want to be able to say what's on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I'm sort of done with that," she told Larry King on Tuesday.
Coming to her defense is none other than noted constitutional scholar Sarah Palin, who tweeted her support: "Dr.Laura:don't retreat...reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence"isn't American,not fair").
Yes, that's right, after her outburst, Congress called an emergency session to pass a law saying any white person using the racial epithet would be jailed for 90 days per offense, and sent FBI agents to arrest the phony doc. Oh, wait — none of that actually happened. That's because in America you can legally say pretty much anything except libel, slander and yelling fire in a crowded theater.
But that doesn't guarantee a consequence-free existence. Spew venom on the radio and people have a right to boycott your sponsors, call your network and register their displeasure, and generally tell you that you suck. That's free speech too.
Dr. Laura has had quite a run as an equal-opportunity offender: Referring to gay people as "biological errors," calling anyone who dares consider pre- or extra-marital sex a slut, and generally berating women to shut up and do whatever their husbands want. I once heard her tell a childhood rape victim to shut up and stop whining. Dr. Laura doesn't just think black people are "hypersensitive." Dr. Laura would probably call the average Navy SEAL too sensitive.
So it must have been a surprise to her that saying mean things about black people could actually be news. But don't worry, lady, you can still say all the awful things you want — from the privacy of your own personal soapbox.