How Many People Still Support the First Amendment?

You can’t support the First Amendment by supporting freedom only for speech you like.

It seems that people are outraged that a bakery made a cake that a customer ordered which was decorated as a Confederate battle flag.

Wait… People are outraged over that? I thought bakers weren’t allowed to discriminate between customers. I seem to remember a couple who had to pay out $135k for the crime of not wanting to make a cake a customer ordered. So this is freedom, right? Making businessmen slaves as soon as they announce their generic prices. It’s the American way now!

That was in Virginia. In Connecticut we find a new level of madness. A shopper browsing at a flea market saw someone selling some Confederate and Nazi memorabilia… and so he called 911!

So we get this completely un-American headline: “Wallingford police look into complaint about Nazi, Confederate items sold at flea market.”

The fact that they even responded to the call is scandalous. Fortunately, they explained basic American Constitutional law to everyone.

Local police received a complaint when a shopper discovered Nazi and Confederate merchandise at a popular flea market last weekend, according to Chief William Wright.

An officer responded to the Redwood Flea Market on South Turnpike Road Sunday to investigate the report and found Nazi and Confederate memorabilia for sale. He told the complainant, who is Jewish, there was nothing police could do because the merchandise was on private property.

“There was a table set up with this material,” Wright said, unsure of the exact amount, but speculating several showcases. “It’s not criminally illegal, but obviously it offended this person. It causes some people a sense of being uncomfortable. Certainly the owner could preclude this merchandise.”

The complainant, a town resident, feared possible backlash and asked to remain anonymous. He told the Record-Journal that in addition to several showcases there was Nazi merchandise, including German helmets with swastikas, images of Hitler, and Jewish stars of David, in a truck.

“I was shaking and almost vomiting,” he said. “I had to run. My grandmother had numbers,” he said, referring to the Nazi system of tattooing numbers on prisoners.

He also saw Confederate items that he does not believe were authentic Civil War weapons or flags. He said the seller told him “he was selling so much he can’t keep it in stock.”

If you don’t want the Nazis in power then you should defend and advocate the First Amendment, not treat it as an unfortunate obstruction to using police power to interfere with people peacefully buying and selling on private property!

Think about that! Nazi memorabilia is offensive but calling the police to raid a merchant is fine.

The story gets worse:

Jason Teal, president of the Meriden-Wallingford NAACP, said he was not familiar with the flea market and had not heard any complaints about the merchandise being sold there.

“It’s difficult because it’s on private property and it’s considered free speech,” Teal said.

No, it is not “considered” free speech. It is free speech! The same right that allows the NAACP to speak out or organize protests allows a person to sell items of symbolic or historic interest.

The man also contacted Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr., who immediately asked Wright to determine if any laws were broken.

“I had to check with the chief over what is actionable and what isn’t,” Dickinson said. “Unless something violates state or federal law, there’s no jurisdiction for government to do anything. We had to ask, is it something controlled by law?”

In other words, they tried to find a reason to use the police against a guy who wasn’t harming anyone.

Joshua Sayles, assistant regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Connecticut, said selling Confederate and Nazi goods isn’t a moral issue if the merchandise consists of authentic war pieces purchased by a serious collector. But too often, they are cheap replicas and used as symbols of hate.

“It’s not the first time I’ve heard of this,” Sayles said. “It’s unfortunate that under the law people have the right to sell these things.”

Unbelievable. Sayles lives in a country where he is free to speak and publish what he wants, and he wants to end that regime and replace it with one that recognizes no right to such a freedom. It is “unfortunate” that people are free.

What kind of country would be more in line with Sayles view of restricted speech and restricted buying and selling? Nazi Germany comes to mind.

Does no one remember that we have a Bill of Rights and that it is worth protecting and supporting?

We all just want free speech for people who agree with our sensibilities. We don’t support the First Amendment.