While I’m obviously not a Liberal, nor a Leftist, and I generally disagree with everything that comes out of Bill Maher’s mouth, I will stand tall and defend his most recent scandal where he used, what I’m told as a white man I can only refer to as: “the N word.”
Should Maher have said that? Probably not, it’s insensitive, incites rage and possibly violence, and is accepted the world over as a racist term of degradation towards black people. It was dumb, he shouldn’t have said it, and regardless of my dislike of Bill Maher, I am old enough to have seen his entire career, and I know enough comedians that know Bill to say with a fair degree of confidence that Bill is not the least bit racist in any way.
The biggest positive (maybe the only) about Bill, and the reason that I hold so much respect for him, is that he has always defended the First Amendment. Regardless of who said what, regardless of how tasteless, rude, cruel, or insensitive the speech, Bill has been there to defend the right of the speaker to say those things. Even when he 100% disagrees with what was said. As is often the case with guests on his show like Ann Coulter, Milo, and others on the Right. He will disagree with and argue with his guests, but he has never told them they “can’t say that.”
Because of his unwavering support and defense of the First Amendment, unlike those who tend to only support free speech when its their side that’s talking, Bill defends every one.
Full disclosure, I am a close to 40yr old White man, I’m Southern, Country as Cornbread, I fly the Confederate Flag proudly (Heritage, not Hate,) some of my closest and enduring friendships are with non-white people. Also, my wife is half Mexican, and before any starts crying out that I’m some racist redneck, know that the notion that I’m in anyway some bigot/racist is laughable to not only myself but to anyone who knows me too.
I don’t support Maher saying that word publicly, but I don’t see how it’s so offensive. It was clearly said as a joke, and he was degrading himself essentially saying he isn’t “man” enough to go do hard work. We call that City Boy here. I live under the all or nothing principle. Either everything is ok to joke about or nothing is. It’s a joke, it’s either funny or not. In this case I don’t think the joke was funny, but he wasn’t wrong to say it.
If you’re a proponent of free speech and the First Amendment, you should be on your Twitter, FaceBook or whatever social media you use, defending Maher’s right to say what he said, even though you disagree with his speech. You can’t cry foul when a college cancels the invitation from someone on the Right to speak on campus claiming that the college is denying free speech, then on the flip side attack Bill Maher for what he said just because he’s on the Left and you disagree with him.
The First Amendment is there specifically to protect speech that people don’t like. There’s no need to protect speech that people like. If you want to be taken seriously as a defender of free speech, you, to remain credible in your arguments, must stand up and defend Bill’s right to say whatever he wants within the law. He wasn’t screaming “fire” or saying “lets go kill that guy!”
If you really don’t like what he said, and feel called to action, do so with your remote control, simply don’t watch his shows, don’t pay to see his stand up live. Cancel your HBO so you’re not supporting his show financially. Speak out on Social Media about how you disagree with his use of that word. You fight bad speech with your wallet, your remote, and your own speech.
What he said was wrong, I don’t support it, I don’t agree with it. However the man has every right in this great nation to say it, and I’ll defend that right until my last breath.