LZ Granderson writes a weekly column for CNN.com and is a National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association journalist of the year (which makes me wonder, how exactly do you prove to the association that you’re really a lesbian or gay… a home video perhaps? But I digress)…
Not because he doesn’t like Barack Obama but because he got up in front of a group of people and insinuated he would attempt to assassinate Obama if he’s re-elected. Or let’s put it this way: A man with a truckload of guns has threatened the life of our president while the country’s at war.
Nugent’s words were: “If Barack Obama is elected, I’ll either be dead or in jail this time next year,” which sounds to me like he’s open to directing his disapproval of Obama in a way that is violent and unlawful. When you see that statement next to Nugent comparing Obama and his colleagues to coyotes that needed to be shot, as well as the need to “ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November,” I don’t see how that rant cannot be looked upon as a threat on the president’s life.
I don’t care how you feel about Nugent’s music or Obama’s policies, it seems that if there were a First Amendment line to cross, that would be it. And yet, the reality is the Secret Service will spend a little time investigating Nugent, determine he’s not a true threat, and move on. If the Supreme Court can rule in favor of an 18-year-old man who, in voicing his opposition to being drafted for the Vietnam War, said: “If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is LBJ,” then it’s doubtful anything is going to happen to Nugent.
At least anything involving jail time.
People are still free to organize boycotts and express disapproval. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech but it cannot insulate folks against the social and cultural repercussions that come from saying something offensive.
Nugent should be in jail. But he’s just a piece of low-hanging fruit. We already know he’s a wild man who makes inflammatory remarks to stay relevant. We also know he’s not the only media figure who shocks for a living.
The bigger question is why is it OK to say you’re going to kill the president, and by OK, I mean legal?
Actually Mr. Granderson, the biggest question might be why it’s OK to say someone said they’re going to kill the president when in fact there’s no real substance to the claim?
Ted Nugent isn’t exactly my cup of tea for a variety of different reasons but it’s the Mr. Grandersons of the world that are more of a threat to liberty than anything Mr. Nugent might say or even do.
Mr. Granderson… you’re a noob.