No freedom of speech for the politically incorrect
A few weeks ago Iran's president Ahmadinejad was invited to speak at Columbia University despite his numerous and public pronouncements vowing to pursue a contemporary genocide by eliminating Israel and denying that a deliberate genocide against Jews occurred during World War ll. Academic freedom to provide a forum for controversial ideas, freedom of speech sputtered the apologists, justifying his appearance. With this seal of approval Ahamdinejad spoke to a mostly cheering audience--they did boo him when he suggested that Iran didn't have homosexuals as in the US--and soiled precious academic freedoms.
A British government minister, scientists and a human rights activist condemned James Watson's comments as racist, and London's Science Museum canceled his speech
In an interview published in the October 14, 2007 edition of the Sunday Times, Watson was quoted as saying he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa." "All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours -- whereas all the testing says not really."
joined a throng of other institutions and researchers that said his comments were offensive and scientifically incorrect.
"I am mortified about what has happened," he told a group of scientists and journalists. "I can certainly understand why people, reading those words, have reacted in the ways they have."To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Friday the head of the Justice Department's voting rights office should be fired for saying minorities often die before they reach old age. (snip)In a letter to the Justice Department sent Friday, Obama called Tanner's remarks a disgrace and asked Acting Attorney General Peter D. Keisler to dismiss him."Such comments are patently erroneous, offensive and dangerous, and they are especially troubling coming from the federal official charged with protecting voting rights in this country," Obama wrote.
It is well documented that black Americans-particularly black males-have shorter life expectancies than whites. But blacks do live to become senior citizens.A black person born in 2004 had an average life expectancy of 73.1 years, about five years less than for whites, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Justice Department spokesman Erik Ablin said Tanner has worked for the department's voting section since 1976, the last two years as its chief. Tanner's tenure also includes a stint in the White House counsel's office during the Clinton administration."Mr. Tanner is an attorney who works to protect civil rights on a daily basis," Ablin said, adding that the official has won numerous awards from African-American groups. "Nothing in his comments deviated from his firm commitment to enforce the law, and it is unfortunate that they have been so grossly misconstrued."Ablin said the Justice Department "continues to have full confidence" in Tanner, effectively rejecting Obama's demand that the voting chief be dismissed.