Comments about ‘Ostracized expression’

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Published: Monday, May 5 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Onion Daze
Payson, UT

Mr. Bender's closing statement:

“To try to put into our society any kind of law against anything that may prove to be offensive or hurtful to someone is patently ridiculous and wrong.”

Child molestation and anti-slavery laws address activity that “may prove to be offensive or hurtful to someone...”.

The closing statement in Mr. Bender's letter is nonsense.

He does address some genuine problems in 21st century America.

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT


Everyone has free speech, everyone also has the freedom to the reprocussions of what they said. Without holding people responsible for their language, society would do harm to those to whom bad or inaccurate things were said.

You are responsible for what comes out of your mouth. You must pay the price if it is something that is abhorred by society. If you believe in what you say, stand up for yourself. If it is something that proclaims your ignorance, learn what you need to. If it is something that shows your comtempt for a segment of society, that is no longer acceptable - as it should be unacceptable, and you will pay the price for saying it.

Cleveland , OH

The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech... or the right of the people peaceably to assemble..."

The government took no action against Mr Eich. He made a contribution he had a right to make. People had a right to stop buying the product his company sells when they found out about his donation. The board, fearing loss of sales, had a right to ask him to resign.

The CEO of Chik-Fil-A publicly donated to certain organizations. Some people elected to stop buying their product. Others stood in line for hours to buy the product. The government took no action. People buying chicken and people holding signs and not buying chicken were assembling peaceably, the government did not interfere with either side.

While I am concerned about the privacy issues in the Sterling case, the government took no action. His employees protested, the customers - those who watch the games - protested, and his fellow owners made a marketing decision to fine him and exclude him from games. Sheer capitalism, no First Amendment violations.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

This is an issue of "Tolerance"... not the law.

There is no law that people be ostracized if they violate this taboo... but there is also no law against it.

It's up to us (not the law) to decide if we can be tolerant of others who may not share our views.

I don't think destroying someone's life because they don't share my views... is appropriate. So I won't do it. But that's my personal philosophy... not a law.


The Left USED TO claim to observe the "live and let live" philosophy... but absolutely not any more. Those times are gone. And they resemble the "religious right" of the 1980s to me... not the "Liberal" live and let live people of the 60's and 70s.

The Left seems to practice even more intolerance of others than the Right today.

Neither being intolerant is OK IMO BTW... I'm just amazed at how they have switched places today... The Right is almost more "live and let live" than the LEFT today!

Virginia Beach, VA


The incessant whining and convoluted thinking of “Conservatives” is just mind boggling.
Let’s look at what you are doing.

You are condemning people for expressing their distaste for “Conservative” views.

In other words, you are condemning people for exercising their first amendment rights, and at the same time, you are pretending to be protecting the first amendment.

Sorry man, but you are living a lie.

People have a RIGHT to dislike the Mozilla CEO and his actions, and they have the right to express their dissatisfaction.

So take your own advice and “choose not to be offended.”

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

It's interesting to see the posts that attack the person instead of the message. When the "message" contains hate speech, the person who originated that message should feel the consequences of what he said. Congress does not legislate what MIGHT be said, just like the police do not confiscate our keys because we MIGHT drive carelessly. Punishment comes AFTER the act, not before.

We may be ostracized if we are careless with our speech, but is not an excuse for others to use hate speech. There are many forms of hate speech. The most common form is found right here on this thread when people attack one person and then smear whatever "group" that person is thought to associate with. That is hate speech. That is something that polite people in a polite society would never do.

Far East USA, SC

"First Amendment rights have been destroyed by "political correctness."

American Capitalism is predicated on the principle that consumers will vote with their wallets and business will cater to those dollars.

In all cases that you cite, free speech is alive and well. Business (NBA perhaps?) is making decisions based on not alienating those dollars and in the case of Chic fil a, it gained some business and lost some business.

But in neither case is free speech being "destroyed".

People are still free to state their opinions and consumers can act on them.

Just like it was designed to work.

Portland, OR

The letter writer does not understand the concept of freedom of speech. The First Amendment's protections apply to government action. Any government in the United States is limited in how much control it has over people expressing their opinions. However, private parties are not subject to such constitutionally protected limitations.

Donald Sterling has been disciplined by a private organization, the NBA. He agreed to its bylaws when he became a member of the team owner's association. He broke some of those bylaws. The commissioner of basketball responded by expelling Sterling from the NBA. None of this has anything to do with government action. So, the First Amendment does not apply to it.

There is a trend on the Right to try to use 'freedom of speech' as a pretext to defend racism and other disgusting behavior. Most recently, we saw this defense used to protect Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling. Both of these men were punished by public opinion after engaging in shameful behavior. There is nothing unfair about that. Nor is either of them being deprived of his freedom of speech.

Here, UT

What about all the boycotts by conservatives against Disney and other companies that support gay rights?

Where is your outrage about those boycotts?

Sorry, I smell a rat.

Murray, UT

Amen Russell, Amen!

I dare not say more. My free speech will be screen out. In fact I don't know you got this letter accepted, but great job. You are absolutely right.

Sandy, UT

If you live your life as you profess you should, soon you'll find you won't need to worry about what or how you say it. Your attitude toward those you hate will soon turn and you can finally treat others by the Golden Rule.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT


So... it sounds like you would be perfectly OK with getting fired because you wanted contraceptives, or you got an abortion, or you said something I don't agree with (even in private), or you made a private donation to the wrong political campaign...?

I mean a company is a private organization (just like the NBA, or Mozzila). Right?


You over-reach when you pretend one side thinks the Constitution means there is no consequence for what we say.

I haven't seen anybody say that the NBA has a constitutional requirement to let him say whatever he wants. Like I said earlier... it's a matter of "Tolerance" not the Constitution.

It's "live and let live"... even if my views are not the same as the other individual.


But bottom line... this is an issue of tolerance, not the law.

IF the things Sterling and the Mozzila executive did (in private)... are intolerable and they must be banished from our companies and our society... what is to become of them? Can Sterling not work ANYWHERE in America now?

Should it go both ways? Blacks comments about whites... receive same punishment? Liberal campaign contributions same punishment???

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

1. When someone is harrased or thrown in jail for something they said -- call me.
No government agency is taking away anyone's free speech -- [well, excluding Bush Co. and their Patriot Act]

2. Free Speech does not protect one from STUPID Speech, or immune from the consequences of blabbing your mouth off -- and that's the issue.

3. If Free Speech or Free Press was really in trouble -- Limbaugh would have been locked up 20 years ago, and FoxNews would still be 4th ranked cable network were they belong.

BTW -- Mr. Bender never fails to entertain me.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

You can't have it both ways.

Private corporations mute their employees all the time. Some companies even enact anti gossip rules, or rules punishing you if you discuss your wage with fellow employes.

When company owners or executives spout off about race, gender issues, gay rights, or what ever, they are opening them selves up criticism or economic retaliation. It is only fair that we we have the right to vote with our free speech and our pocketbooks.

Its just the flip side of good old American FREE ENTERPRISE!

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

About 5,000 years ago The Lord gave Adam and Eve a lil thing called Free Agency. Free agency gave man the choice to choose what he could say, do, think, etc. it did not, however, make man immune to consequences. So although we are free to make our own choices we are not free to choose our own consequences.

The godless right seems to want to have their instant gratification while avoiding any negative consequences. They are acting as children, thinking that they can do and say whatever they want but never face any consequences. Just like a 3 year old does.

Unfortunately, life isn't that way. The mozilla guy and sterling, all had freedom to choose. They could have acted to spread love and peace. Instead, they acted to spread hate and conflict. Hate and conflict does not come from The Lord.

Bad choices bring negative consequences. It's that simple.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Try saying something liberal in a conservative newspaper,
then get back to me about being Ostracized.

Andoria, UT

To "Russell Bender" and most of the others posting on this article. I hate to tell you this, but the examples given here are not examples of First Ammendment issues.

The First Ammendment applies to Government regulations, not businesses hiring or firing people, and businesses supporing movements. The Citizens United case is an example of the First Ammendment being upheld.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Maverick, larry, etc,

Sounds like you're perfectly fine with a boycott on a company because they're not Mormon, not white, etc, too. I mean it's our right... and whatever we have the right to do... we SHOULD do... right?

That's what I'm saying... just because we have the RIGHT to do it... doesn't make it the right thing to do. Tolerance of others who aren't like us or we don't agree with... has to come in there somewhere.


I'm not saying it's against the law to retaliate (because somebody donated to the wrong campaign, or because they said something you don't like).... I'm just saying it's not the right thing to do (even if we have the right to do it). It's not the "TOLERANT" thing to do. It's not the "Live and let live"... thing to do.

Does that make sense?


Murray, UT

1. When someone is harrased ... for something they said -- call me.

Mobbed out of a job doesn't count?

I am calling you out now. Being mobbed out of a job is indeed harassment.

You are pure partisan.


You mention "liberal" boycotts of Chic-Filla but not the "conservative" boycotts of Disney and a myriad other corporations. Why is that?

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