My friend Huma on her fashion blog that sometimes talks about law stuff:
Crying ‘freedom of speech’ every time anyone has a problem with someone else for hateful or racist or offensive remarks gets us nowhere, unless it’s an actual case of a First Amendment violation (again, by a government actor) because, really? We all know we have a right to say pretty much whatever we want. We even have a right to defame people, really (as long as it doesn’t stray into the narrow scope of hate speech as defined by SCOTUS) – but those we defame have a clear right to sue us for it.
She makes a number of really good points about free speech as it relates to Tracy Morgan’s ill-considered comments about gay people (hint: free speech has nothing to do with it). This is me at pretty much every party where someone brings up Constitutional Law. Except taller and less articulate.