As SCOTUS Considers the “Most Offensive Word”, We Consult the Doctor of ...


TODD: So it's quite likely that the... Well, I don't know if it's "quite." It's likely. But the Supreme Court's gonna hear a case on "the most offensive word," and this would be ground on which, I would hope, we'd not tread. But they're trying to discover, as John Roberts' court sometimes does, just brand-new aspects of the Constitution that no one's ever seen. It's the magic Roberts asterisk.

I hope that doesn't happen.

They're trying to figure out if having a really offensive word -- for instance, the N-word or a slur/racial slur scrawled onto the wall of an employer is grounds for employees to sue for hostile work environment. And one would assume that if someone scrawled something on the wall that it was left there for months, that is a different issue than if someone so-called something on the wall that was left there until, well, someone reported it; it was taken down.

This comes from a real live case. The guy worked at a hospital, and from what he describes sounds like a horrible place to work. Sounds like it was a Dallas hospital. From what he describes, it sounds like it would be a very awful place to work. I wouldn't want to see people treated that way, and I don't think you'd want to see people treated that way. But this caught my eye. This is the AP talking about this case.

They say, "Already, the court's two newest members, both appointed by President Donald Trump, are on record with seemingly different views. The case is also a test of whether the justices are willing to wade into the ongoing, complex conversations about race happening nationwide." I'm sorry. There are very few places where there's any complexity to the conversations about race happening in the United States.

Critical race theory de-complexes that. Well, that's a terrible word. It makes it less complex. It makes it too simple because that's the point. It is about dividing people. It's very simple. "The problem with the world is 'whiteness' that's caused by white people, and the problem with white people is they're white." It's a circular issue. There's no complexity there.

Likewise, the other way they're pushing this is Black Lives Matter, Inc., which is very, very easy. Black people never get a fair shake anytime, and all cops are murderers. There are so many complex issues that if we had the bravery to discuss it -- as has been done on this program on countless occasions -- there is nuance after nuance in relation to race. But the AP doesn't want that complexity.

The scrawling of a word on a wall is not a particularly complex issue. It's, "That's a rude and horrible and dehumanizing word," and that does not mean you can sue your employer out of existence. But that's not complexity they're seeking. Now, Rush... Remember when Rush talked about this case involving some frat boys out of OU who were denied their free speech rights by University of For repeating offensive lyrics from a rap song?

RUSH: I remember way back when I was much younger when I first began to intellectually understand and talk about the whole concept of free speech as a constitutional right. I remember running into William F. Buckley, as many of you know, one of my heroes and idols. And Buckley was one of the first people I had heard say that the answer to offensive speech is more speech. The reaction to offensive speech is more speech, not restrictive. The only way to discredit offensive speech, which is specifically the kind of speech protected by the First -- I mean, if everybody said what everybody agrees with you wouldn't need a First Amendment guaranteeing it.

The First Amendment free speech clause exists because everybody knows you're gonna hear things that offend you. And particularly in the political arena, which is what the First Amendment free speech thing was really aimed at, they didn't want to limit political speech in any way, shape, manner, or form. And it's all because you know you're gonna hear things you don't like, you don't want to hear, you're gonna be offended by and just because you were offended was no grounds for stopping it. So the answer, the first theory that I came across in dealing with offensive speech, the answer was, more speech. The answer is not restricting speech. That doesn't help anybody. And I'm starting to see this repeated now as sort of a cycle.

My point is that young people are beginning to articulate the free speech arguments that I first heard when I was their age however many number of years ago.. These kids are parroting, these frat boys are parroting what's already out there. They're not creating it. They're mimicking it. And the people who are not offended by it know that, and to condemn the frat boys would be to condemn the rap music business, which they can't do. They don't want to go there, so they're kind of forced into defending the frat boys.

The frat boys did not invent any of this, but nevertheless they're being defended by people who, just last week, would be condemning the hell out of them. Anyway, I just thought it was fascinating. The point is that if you travel anywhere in America and you hear music, you can't miss these words anymore on the radio now or however people are streaming musical content. If you can hear what they're listening to, you can't miss it. You can't miss the N-word. You can't miss the b-i-itch word. You can't miss "ho." You can't miss all these vile lyrics. It's everywhere.

And I think people are fed up with it. So you have these frat boys who are on a bus. They're probably consuming adult beverages. I still think what are factors here, is they're trying to impress girls. It's what frat boys do. That's why there are frat boys. That's why there are fraternities. They're just trying to impress the girls with their bravery, their courage, their creativity or what have you, and somebody overheard it and blah, blah. I'm just telling you, I think the reason that so many people are coming to their defense...

By the way, that group FIRE, TheFire.org that I could not remember the name or the acronym, is Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. It's an entire free speech movement devoted to freedom of speech in education. It's a direct outgrowth of the censorship that accompanies political correctness. I mean, there's all kinds of backlash, folks, in certain segments of younger generations to all of this PC stuff. I think the reason the frat boys have some usual suspects coming to their defense, namely...

It's because to condemn the frat boys would immediately then force them into a position they don't want to be on is defending the same words when sung by a rapper. I mean, if the frat boys are guilty of vile, disgusting speech, then what about the rappers who are becoming millionaires, multimillionaires, and winning awards using the words? That has to be what the mitigating factor is. No question in my mind.

TODD: And Rush mentions, you know, people hearing this in lyrics.