I was glad, but not surprised, to see that my recent poll (now closed) revealed that most of my readers still understand our Constitution's first amendment guaranteeing the right of free speech and assembly. The poll question was as follows:
*Are "Confederate Remembrance" events a privilege granted by the government or a right protected by the 1st amendment? The final results were: A Right - 86. A Privilege - 13.
I posted the poll as a result of a comment in a post by fellow WBTS blogger, Robert Moore. Robert wrote:
"Confederate remembrance is truly a privilege made possible only through the courtesies extended by the nation that won the war."
As you can see by reading in the string of comments following Robert's post, he and I had a somewhat heated debate over that comment. We respectfully agreed to disagree and there's no need to rehash all those arguments again here but I wanted to ask a rhetorical question along the same lines. If one believes that "Confederate remembrance" (writing, speaking, and gathering to commemorate Confederate heroes) is a privilege granted by the Federal government, then it follows that the "privilege" may be taken away. Rights, however, may not. That's constitutional law 101.
So here's my rhetorical question:
For those who believe that Confederate remembrance is a privilege, wouldn't logic further dictate the same principle would hold true for Native-Americans, i.e. all Native-American "remembrance" is a privilege, since the various Indian nations were defeated by the United States government?
If yes, then the government could put a stop to all cultural celebrations and disallow any statues which honored their heroes or culture.
Would anyone like to argue what the result would be were that ever attempted? Thoughts, comments? Be civil please. I'd especially like to hear from any attorneys who might be reading this.