Those who criticize Juan Williams’ firing contend that it violates his First Amendment right to freedom of speech. This assertion is absurd for reasons that have been completely overlooked by those who believe it was justified and are therefore in support of it. First, I have not heard anyone make reference to the fact that the same First Amendment rights that are thought to attach to Williams also protect the persons he criticized, namely Muslims.
The last time I checked, “speech” is interpreted to mean expression and clothing and/or appearance falls within the purview of the constitution. Why has nobody made reference to Muslims’ constitutional right to dress as they please? In addition, our constitutional rights extend to freedom of religion, something that our founding fathers thought basic to a free society. A pervasive problem in our society is the tendency to overlook others’ constitutional rights while advocating a particular position. What about my right to be free from the garbage coming out of Williams’ mouth? Finally, and dispositive, is the fact that employment is at-will, and for that reason alone nobody should have to apologize for his termination.
In its Oct. 21 story on Harvard Historian Annette Gordon-Reed, the Bay State Banner wrote: “A year after her 1997 book was published, DNA testing vindicated Gordon-Reed and the Hemings family — proving that Jefferson was indeed the father of Sally Hemings’ children.”
Unfortunately, the DNA testing “proved” something a little less rigorous. It proved that Sally’s last-born child was fathered by someone carrying the Jefferson Y chromosome (thus narrowing the father pool to 25 male Jeffersons). Certainly, a useful piece of additional evidence which many will feel is strong enough to conclude President Jefferson was the father (which is fine), but when the Banner overstates the value of DNA testing like this it’s a disservice to the casual reader.