Friday, May 14, 2010

Making Threats on American Soil

In this day and age you have to be really, really stupid to issue threats to Americans in America via the Internet. Yes, the First Amendment guarantees you the right to Freedom of Speech, but that is limited to actions and words that convey a message like, "I disagree with what you have to say." Once you cross the line and threaten to cause harm because of what other people think, you're going to have a problem.

And so the threats have begun against the advocates for immigration reform on Saipan. The Marianas Variety carries a story about the protest rally to take place this weekend and anonymous commenters are making non-specific threats against the participants:
saipan1haole 2010-05-14 12:38
Your parade is a foolish idea. Do not be surprised when people show up and let you know what they think about you. A guest who suddenly act like he is the owner might not receive a warm treatment any longer. There may be signs you may not appreciate. And I certainly hope that no one decides to shower your parade with food donations of tomatoes or eggs. Your public gloating may bear fruits that you might not appreciate. One should wait until you have your green card in hand before you aggravate the islanders. As they say, it is not over until the fat lady sings.
Too bad the First Amendment doesn't give you the right to violate somebody else's Civil Rights. Another threat made on the website: 2010-05-14 15:03
An explosive situation awaiting just a tiny spark. We know our people and if something goes wrong, please don't say we didn't warn you.
If something were to happen this weekend I hope that the perpetrators are prosecuted for committing hate crimes.

This is how to respond to threats: somebody threatens you in the hopes of making you too afraid to show up. Now you have to show up. If you were waffling on whether or not you were going to go, now you have to go. Now it is about more than immigration reform. It's about Civil Rights, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom. Never, never let some one shout you down to shut you up.

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