Friday, April 19, 2002

As bartcop points out, today is the High Holiday for the loony right, and more importantly the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

To remember that day, I'd like to post an excerpt of a speech President Clinton gave soon afterwards. I had a very difficult time locating it (thanks for the assist, longstocking). The all powerful google was not helpful. Any attempt to find it led me to page after page after page from the loony right, who in their profound and disgusting ignorance, managed to interpret this speech as a threat to their right to preach hate. It was nothing of the kind. It was a call to arms to the rest of us to speak up. To oppose their message. Well, I'll just let the Big Dog speak for himself, and let you be the judge. It was probably his finest speech.

Excerpt from Clinton's Speech:

In this country we cherish and guard the right of free speech. We know we love it when we put up with people saying things we absolutely deplore. And we must always be willing to defend their right to say things we deplore to the ultimate degree. But we hear so many loud and angry voices in America today whose sole goal seems to be to try to keep some people as paranoid as possible and the rest of us all torn up and upset with each other. They spread hate. They leave the impression that, by their very words, that violence is acceptable. You ought to see -- I'm sure you are now seeing the reports of some things that are regularly said over the airwaves in America today.

Well, people like that who want to share our freedoms must know that their bitter words can have consequences, and that freedom has endured in this country for more than two centuries because it was coupled with an enormous sense of responsibility on the part of the American people.

If we are to have freedom to speak, freedom to assemble, and, yes, the freedom to bear arms, we must have responsibility as well. And to those of us who do not agree with the purveyors of hatred and division, with the promoters of paranoia, I remind you that we have freedom of speech, too. And we have responsibilities, too. And some of us have not discharged our responsibilities. It is time we all stood up and spoke against that kind of reckless speech and behavior. (Applause.)

If they insist on being irresponsible with our common liberties, then we must be all the more responsible with our liberties. When they talk of hatred, we must stand against them. When they talk of violence, we must stand against them. When they say things that are irresponsible, that may have egregious consequences, we must call them on it. The exercise of their freedom of speech makes our silence all the more unforgivable. So exercise yours, my fellow Americans. Our country, our future, our way of life is at stake. I never want to look into the faces of another set of family members like I saw yesterday -- and you can help to stop it. (Applause.)

over to you, Pigboy.