Tea Party Sues To Ensure Equal Access To School Facilities For Raving Bigot
The rest of this story is that Dakdok is a full blown Islamophobe bigot, a birther, an anti-gay bigot, and all of this is easily discerned from his own website. (Alternately there’s a television interview out there where he calls all Muslims “Demons” and “Jihadists”.)
I stand firmly in the corner of free speech, however you have to also weigh where this was to occur, and the type of danger populist hate speech presents. Dangerous demagogues shouldn’t be allowed to speak at high schools since there are plenty of other venues where demagoues at the edge of acceptability can speak - venues where young impressionable children won’t attend classes the next day.
Very few would argue against this school board if they had canceled a speech by David Duke instead of Usama Dakdok, but in essence it’s the same thing. Dakdok is a Christian Supremacist who hates all muslims and gays, just as David Duke is a White Supremacist who hates all non whites.
Both preach a dangerous flavor of hate that treads at the edge of incitement to violence and justification of extra-constitutional treatment of whole classes of people. The only difference right now is that among a segment of the US public it’s seemingly ok to hate Muslims and Gays. Among populist demagogues and even some political party leaders talk of essentially denying gays and Muslims equal protection as guaranteed by our constitution is not just uncommon, it’s encouraged. That’s not just hate — it’s plain wrong and pure evil.
If our constitution can’t protect extreme minorities from the masses, then it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. That’s what equal protection is: guaranteed protection of some enumerated rights down to the level of the individual no matter what the masses want at the moment.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Cleveland, the Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association claims the Mansfield Board of Education and its Supt. Dan Freund, violated the federal civil rights of the tea party and its members when they allowed opposition to a proposed speaker dictate a decision to deny the tea party the use of the high school auditorium.
A press release by the tea party says on March 28th, the tea party was scheduled to host a seminar by Usama Dakdok titled “Freedom or Surrender” in the Mansfield Senior High School auditorium.
Despite the fact the auditorium is regularly made available to private organizations and the tea party has reserved the auditorium weeks in advance, on the morning of the scheduled event, Supt. Freund withdrew the previously granted permission to utilize the auditorium.
The decision by Supt. Freund to deny the tea party the use of the auditorium came about only after vocal opposition to the seminar by Mr. Dakdok was spearheaded by the Cleveland Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Mansfield Chapter of the NAACP and other organizations.