Invoke choice to keep mouth shut

The world we live in offers so many tragic ironies. Last week a teenage boy made a racial announcement at a Wal-Mart in New Jersey. He said, “Attention, Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store, now.”

The same week, a Tea Party protester called an elected official the “n” word and spat on him. How can we be so horrified at this youth’s behavior when this same kind of hate is being so conveniently modeled for him? Of course, the Tea Party protesters no doubt feel they were exercising their freedom of speech (except maybe for the spitting part — I was under the impression that attacking an individual with bodily fluids was considered assault).

What a sad thing for our nation. Just because we can shout racist language under freedom of speech doesn’t mean we should. Would we feel as justified burning the American flag? Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

Lisa Osborne