Right to not be Offended?

A license plate was proposed commemorating Palmito Ranch, the last battle of the Civil War, May 13, 1865. But someone’s offended. Texas law disallows any plate which offends “any member of the public.” Yes, any. So, the new “right” of the 21st century seems to be the right to not be offended. (see George Will column)

In 2011, the Supreme Court held:“The Constitution does not permit the government to decide which types of otherwise protected speech are sufficiently offensive to require protection for the unwilling listener or viewer. Rather … the burden normally falls upon the viewer to avoid further bombardment of (his) sensibilities simply by averting (his) eyes.”

Not good enough, says NewThink. A growing number of people, organizations and government entities seem busy creating a new “right.” What’s so wrong with not being offended? How do you define it? When the government tries to preempt offense you open an Orwellian can of worms.

Do we have a right to go through without being offended? How do we do that in a pluralistic society? What if the cause that moves your heart offends me?

What happened to free speech?

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2 thoughts on “Right to not be Offended?

  1. Does N. Korea have a right to be offended by a movie about their leader’s assassination? Not that hacking is justified, but really, killing the leader of a country is funny? Even if Sony were to show the movie, I’d never go. Hollywood is desperate.

  2. Threats to kill–or suggestions of killing–merit much more than be offended. I was referring to Americans new wish to not see, hear or touch that which offends them. For example, clearly throwing paint on someone for wearing fur is assault, but has a person the right not to even see fur or leather worn in public? Or certain words, songs, colors become “triggers” for being offended?
    Some people are trying to offend others. Not all offense is in the mind of the beholder.
    I saw a preview to “The Interview.” It struck me as sophomoric. I certainly wouldn’t have watched it, but does that justify North Korea’s action? Of course, we’re talking about a country run by probably the most unenlightened despot in the world. They think execution is the appropriate way to manage the leadership’s family tree. Like Medieval Europe.

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