On this day, we take time to remember and observe the struggle of our fellow man to pursue equal rights and civil liberties. Without minds such as those of Dr. King, we would not have abolished the heinous and corrupt doctrine of “Separate but Equal”.
Millions of Americans owe much of what allows them to live such free lives, untouched by the hands of dissenters who used their “morality” and “community standards” as a justification to attack and weaken the rights and freedoms they could personally do without.
In time, we will see the obscenity doctrine, like the separate but equal doctrine, overturned and invalidated.
I think it’s important to remind everyone that Martin Luther King Jr. has been terribly whitewashed by American education.
MLK was not a pacifist, in fact, he was what many modern conservatives would call a ‘‘radical leftist’’. MLK was not only a socialist but he fully supported the idea of American minorities arming themselves to fight against the police and the state.
A year before MLK was assassinated, he was rated as the most hated man in America. 67% of the U.S Population believed he was a ‘‘threat to American values’’ and this was 3 years after the civil rights act was passed.
It’s true, he did carry with him and own firearms, but it was all for his protection. He was a hated man, after all, and did survive an assassination attempt when a woman stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener.
Even more of a reason to overturn and discard the obscenity doctrine. They hated him because they perceived him, and his movement as a threat to an established social order, in much the same way these conservatives and prudes see sexually explicit speech. I just got done reading about Texas obscenity statutes being used by police to extort people who happened to own sex toys.
There is no debate. The obscenity doctrine was a mistake.
The First Amendment was DESIGNED to protect that kind of speech, just like the Constitution was designed to protect the equal rights and civil liberties of ALL Americans, regardless of race.
The obscenity doctrine is to the First Amendment what “separate but equal” was to Due Process.