The debate over free speech in the U.S. is focusing on Pamela Geller this week.
The founder of "Stop the Islamization of America" says she has the right to say whatever she needs to say to achieve the goals the name of the organization implies. She was the coiner of the phrase "ground zero mosque" in beginning the successful effort to to force New York City mullahs to rethink their plan to build near the World Trade Center and 9/11 memorial.Cartoon contest organizer says 9/11 inspired her campaign against Muslim extremism
NEW YORK – Does Pamela Geller regret organizing the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that ended in gunfire?
No, she says confidently. In fact, she plans to host more events just like it, with only one difference: Next time, she'll be wearing a bulletproof vest.
"I will continue to speak in defense of freedom until the day I die," Geller said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press, as a grim-looking personal security guard hovered nearby. "It's just that simple. It's not even a choice. It's a calling."
But in her zeal, she's obviously attracted some detractors. A number of anti-Geller articles have been published over the years.
What Pamela Geller advocates is not free speech
Tea Party event [featuring Geller] booted from Sugar Land Hotel
Free Speech vs. Hate Speech, this being a New York Times editorial published two days ago that claims terror victims "bring it upon themselves." So the Times would vehemently attack a defense attorney who made such a claim about a rape victim, but thinks it's OK to dismiss terror as "your fault" when you're a victim of it?
I don't like everything Geller says. Sometimes she makes me cringe. But two things:
1. She's right, most of the time, even when it's harsh.
2. She has, by the First Amendment, the right to say whatever she wants.
Our freedom of speech is slipping away to attacks from the politically correct left and from "Goebbels-like propagandists" (to borrow a Geller phrase from one of her blogs) who would silence their opposition. Many on the center and right are beginning to buy into the garbage from these two anti-American fronts, and all have Geller and those like her -- those who would demand the right to say whatever they want, even if it is ugly, biased, or just plain wrong -- in their crosshairs, because bringing Geller et al down brings down the First Amendment, which is their goal.
The First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech wasn't meant to be limited to "freedom to speak what I like" or " ... what does not offend me." Freedom of speech is for all speech. If you don't like it, don't listen.