Military Court Upholds Right To Be Racist

An Army soldier who espoused racist views in an Internet profile was exercising his right to free speech according to the U.??S. Court of Appeals. Prc. Jeremy T. Wilcox was accused of making statements that discredited the armed forces and were detrimental to good order and discipline. He was also charged with violating military rules by attending a Ku Klux Klan rally and encouraging others to participate in extremist groups. His profile was spotted by civilian police who informed the armed forces of the material. Wilcox was tried before a court martial and sentenced to imprisonment and discharged.

The U.S. Court of Appeals noted that while Wllcox held views that were disturbing and inconsistent with Army policies, evidence was also presented he had excellent working relations with nonwhites and his fellow soldiers.

The Court decision is consistent with those who believe in the right of free speech to those with whom one disagrees. No evidence was offered which indicated Mr. Wilxcox failed to work cooperatively with other members of his unit. An individual is entitled to his private views regardless of how society disagrees with those ideas. That is the essence of democracy.

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  • Christian

    This is interesting. I’m new to this site and I was expecting you to condemn this man’s actions. Your conclusion threw me off balance a little! I hear what your saying (“No evidence was offered which indicated Mr. Wilcox failed to work cooperatively with other members of his unit. An individual is entitled to his private views regardless of how society disagrees with those ideas.”), but doesn’t attending a KKK rally make these views public? Isn’t a rally by its nature a public display of an adherence to whatever one is rallying behind?

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    I don’t think the military should be supervising where individual soldiers go in their off duty time. Technically, it is against Army policy to be a gay. If a gay or lesbian attended a gay-lesbian rally should they be considered to have violated army policy? the main issue is whether a member of the military does their duty.

  • Christian

    But do gay-lesbian organisations/pressure groups “utilize terrorism, violence, and lynching to intimidate and oppress African Americans, Jews, Roman Catholics, and other racial and religious minorities”? I agree that the off-duty soldier should be free to do as they wish in terms of military judicial consequences. Do you think that the civilian judiciary should deal with this then?

  • http://www.theimpudentobserver.com Fred Stopsky

    Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes used the famous example of shouting “fire” in a crowded theater as when speech endangered the lives of other people. He argued unless what one said endangered other people’s lives, the individual has a right to express him or herself. Hopefully, this is the American way of freedom of speech.