On Hulk Hogan, Free Speech, and the So-Called "Pussification of America"

I logged onto Twitter this morning after being away for a few days. One of the first things I saw related to the en masse scrub of Hulk Hogan from all WWE-related material. Reports are stating that Hulk's release may have something to do with either his 2012 interview with DJ Whoo Kid over the infamous "we comin' fo' you" promo that Booker T cut on him (along with how rappers such as Lil' Wayne and The Game referred to Hogan as, well, "nigga"), a newer interview which is more incendiary to the WWE's image, the Gawker case, or some combination of these things. And one of the first things I saw in response to Hulk being removed from the WWE (apparently) was that this was part of the continued "pussification of America."

When I was younger, I believed in the idea of "I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it." Essentially, the idea of free speech as described by Evelyn Hall (and appropriated to the teachings and beliefs of Voltaire). As I grew up, and as more and more ignorance crossed my path, I began to question this philosophy, especially when it came to physical threats upon my person. I'm not going to sit idly and allow someone to threaten my family just because I respect their right to threaten me. That is against human nature.

So, as I stated, I began to question my faith in the Voltairian philosophy. When does "free speech" become more than just words? Why do the same people who often call out this "pussification" (which is another story entirely, equating women and women's genitalia to weakness) and want people to be able to call each other racial epithets often get up in arms when someone burns a flag? They're both, by law, expressions of free speech? Am I part of the problem when I brush off a "racist" joke just because it doesn't offend me? Is freedom of speech truly "free?"

People seemingly fail to realize that freedom of speech isn't exactly a catch-all to go around and spew insanity (on any and all sides of this argument). Therefore, the idea that America is "going soft" is as moronic as some of the people who preach this philosophy. Now, I will say this: sometimes, political correctness and respectability politics do get in the way of hashing out legitimate problems. For instance, respectability politics when it comes to black people working hard to get acknowledged by whites. It shouldn't be about that. It should be about creating equity and bettering everyone, not just those who are thought to "play by the rules." But, to argue that most America, or any country who strives to treat all people like people, is "soft" because of that? I've got a lake house in Idaho with a rocket ship to Pluto I want to sell you.

Now, back to Hogan. Should he have been fired for possibly dropping the N-Bomb numerous times, per TMZ and "other sources" (so take it with a grain of salt) during his pillow chats with the woman he has the sex tape with? Eh...that's a slippery slope. Because WWE is a publicly-traded company, it needs to present itself as all-encompassing (this is, ironically said, as Michael Hayes is still with the company and we saw the controversy with Alberto Del Rio transpire last year). Therefore, racially-charged remarks are probably grounds for dismissal--especially if they're attached to a bigger black eye to the company (the sex tape and its contents). However, what happens if everyone who says something insensitive is fired? Then, do we argue that "Big Brother" is policing us too much? No. We get to the root of the problem, which gets back to respectability politics and people making up words to avoid the elephant in the room: people say and do some fucked up things and should be punished, accordingly, when they do so.

So, while I don't exactly agree with everything you may say, and I may not fight to the death for your right to say everything, I understand your need to do so. Just know two things. First, you must take responsibility for your words and actions and deal with the consequences. Second, when we run from the base of our issue, that is how we get into situations like this. So, talk to me--like a human being--and tell me what's going on. Then, we can (hopefully) hash out a solution for the betterment of us all.

And isn't that is what a Real American is supposed to do: fight for the rights of every man?

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