The First Amendment should read: Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of thought.
Instead it says: “Congress shall make no law ….. abridging the freedom of speech.”
Why Freedom of Speech but not Freedom of Thought? The idea of thought being a crime was as preposterous to the founding fathers as it is to people living today, but……
Donald Sterling was just punished for some of his thoughts.
Donald Sterling has been punished by for his actions. He’s demonstrated by his actions that sometimes he uses race, culture and national origin in his businesses. He has, for example, refused to rent to non-Koreans in a neighborhood of Koreans called Koreatown.
In November 2009 Sterling settled a lawsuit for $2.7 million because according to the Department of Justice Sterling had suggested Hispanics were poor tenants because they “smoke, drink, and just hang around the building,” and that “black tenants smell and attract vermin.”
That’s speech, not thought. Despite the prohibition of the First Amendment that speech isn’t a crime, Sterling was punished for what he said. Perhaps he had the same thoughts as the words, in legalese the speech he eventually uttered, but in 2009 the Thought Police hadn’t caught up to Sterling. That changed in 2014 when the media collectively with few exceptions, went nuts over Sterlings thoughts as well as his speech. No more were there laws prohibiting government to make laws that restricted speech. As of 2014 there are laws that restrict, control and require thoughts. Shades of 1984, George Orwell’s’ dystopian work of fiction becoming part of the culture.
That would be the “Hate Crimes Laws”. It’s against the law to say certain things including yelling “Fire” in a theatre when there is no fire. There are offensive words and now there is offensive thought.
Some speech is so offensive, accusing a person of a crime when they didn’t commit a crime, for example, that the law considers it defamation and the only issue becomes how much the utterer should pay the victim. So there are laws against speech but those laws do not violate the First Amendment. Thought is a different matter. Thought crime is a dangerous power to give Government and juries. It requires people to read the minds of others.
Hate Speech however is based on motive, not action. Hating people because of their race; hating people because they are homosexual; hating people because of their religion or lack of it, are crimes for which the perpetrator is punished.
Hate Crime Laws are very subtle. They demand an actual crime. If the crime is motivated by hate more punishment is administered.
How does the law prove a person hates people because of their race? By the crime. Not by the thought to commit a crime because of race, by the presumed motivation for the crime. So here we are in America where certain thoughts are crimes.
Do other cultures and nations punish thought? It really doesn’t matter. America does.
The American culture, especially those on the Left but including many on the Right too, have gone paralyzingly insane over thought crime. The existence of imbecilic enthusiasms for hate crime; i.e., for harboring certain thoughts, is worse than idiotic, it’s so wrong that it’s perpetrators are quite literally crazy. It’s a rush to judgment and it’s not over.
Reading minds is not a skill but an impossibility. Never mind. Government will protect you unless it doesn’t.
Donald Sterling wasn’t punished because of the laws. He was punished by the culture. His punishment is a vivid example of the power of mob control. The punishers of Donald Sterling are out there ahead of government. They figured out how to punish people. Is this Vigilante law? White Power Culture? Hate Against White Rich People? Black Supremacy? Thought Crime? Hate Thought? The New Morality?
This issue will be studied in great detail. It will become the basis of many Senior Thesis’. We’ll learn a lot from the fallout.