Can you hear me now?

I heard recently on the radio that next year, the city of Asheville is considering establishing a “free speech zone” at Bele Chere. This is in response to some people’s complaints about protestors and/or preachers during the event.

Apparently, some people were affronted or even felt uncomfortable when in the vicinity of a protestor and/or preacher. Apparently, this a bit too diverse—even for Asheville.

A free speech zone is an oxymoron. If speech is confined to a small, roped-off area, that ain’t free speech, folks. In fact, we already have a free speech zone: It is called the United States of America (see: Amendment 1, United States Constitution, adopted 1787).

— Joseph Howard

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8 thoughts on “Can you hear me now?

  1. nuvue

    Hi Mr. Howard
    I was at Bele Chere with my family, and we witnessed the posters of the protesters. While I believe in free speech, i was appalled that my daughter and friend had to see this poster. We have movie ratings for movies, and usually can pick and choose what you want your child to see. We monitor internet and tv and can also pick and choose. I don’t think the posters were appropriate for a family festival. The protesters were allowed (and protected by the police) to show their offending placards. I mentioned to an officer that I was offended by the picture and didn’t think it was appro-po. He said he could do nothing about it. I would support some sort of area for this type of protest and leave the festival go-ers to pick and choose…

  2. LOKEL

    So, nuvue, if I choose to wear a t-shirt with an aborted fetus in full color on it, and stand in front of or near your family, would you expect the Police to “do something about it?”

  3. Jose

    Why all the fuss about the aftermath of an abortion? It’s legal, protected and celebrated as a fundamental human right…at least for the adults involved. Why the need to hide it–unless it really is that brutal and horrible? Nuvue, I say it’s lucky for your daughters you chose not to have an abortion. They did get to see what might have happened to them –had you ‘chosen’ differently. They did get to see what happens to millions of unborn children. This is reality– not Disneyland. Wake up.

  4. nuvue

    I was meaning the picture of the guy on the street with his brains knocked out. It was not a picture I would “choose to see” I didn’t like it and neither did my kid. I agree it is their right to protest anyhow they see fit, but it is wierd for a supposed “christian” to flaunt such profanity for all to see. In my opinion (which I am thankful I can share) it was gross, profane and uncalled for in a “family” festival. The same group would hate to see me walk naked down the street. I wouldn’t be hurting anyone, but it is beyond free speech. The US President doesn’t want us to see the coffins unloaded back on US soil either.
    And no, I don’t want to see an aborted fetus on a tee shirt at Belechere. But you can wear it if you would like to show how vile it is. I will certainly steer clear of you, esp. if my daughter is in tow.

  5. chalkbox

    Right on Jose, Bele Chere is the perfect place for dead fetus t-shirts. I came for the music and funnel cakes, but walked away with entire different look on life. Thanks Jose, your the best!

  6. rjimmy

    Anyone upset by the idea of “Free Speech Zones” might be very frightened to know that they were used at both the Republican and Democratic convention.

    They looked like this (from the Dem’s 2004 convention)


  7. travelah

    The control freaks (who feign progressive freedoms) will regret the day given time.

  8. Gary

    Free speech at a scheduled event where people are going to enjoy their time and family? I was reminded that I was “going to hell” at the Hendo Apple Fest recently by some guy that looked like he just got back from hell himself. Mean face and everything and becoming a “religious celebrity” in their churches (you get praised for telling people they are hell bound). Then again at the state fair with my little ones. This is the Bible belt. I have 100’s of local independent fundamental baptist churches that I can go in on any given sunday to get condemned, told I am not doing good enough, give more money to the “building” fund, etc. I dont go in public to hear this. Thank you.

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