ND school investigating fans in KKK-style hoods
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A North Dakota high school principal says appropriate action is being taken after three students briefly donned Ku Klux Klan-style white robes and hoods Friday night during a state hockey semifinal game.
The photo caused an uproar on Twitter when it was posted by 19-year-old Shane Schuster, who was seated with some friends at Ralph Engelstad Arena when something in the student section across the rink caught his eye.
Now, first off, I hate the Klan as much as anyone. My grandfather - a Roman Catholic Italian immigrant - was part of the movement that helped keep the Klan at bay in the Northeast in the 1940s. They'd have just as happily lynched him - as a papist who barely spoke English - as a black man.
That said, this is precisely the kind of situation the First Amendment is so critical for. We don't need the First Amendment to protect speech that everyone agrees with. Saying "I like puppies" doesn't need protection from retribution. As much as we might hate the Klan and everything they stand for, it's not the duty of the government to squelch their speech. Hateful speech is still speech, and once we go down the road of saying "this particular speech is offensive so it is banned", it's a short walk to MiniTru.
I hope - and I know this is in an area where there have been white supremacist movements cropping up from time to time - that this is a case where the Klan hood has become an abstract concept. I hope that these students aren't actual Aryans; I hope they just thought it'd be funny to get a reaction out of people with something that their grandparents told them was offensive.
Even if not, the school shouldn't be planning disciplinary action for kids being dumbasses.
That is all.