Monday, August 1, 2016

The First Amendment does not extend to private enterprises - or Bermuda (another Ayo Kimathi story)

Large companies often conduct anti-harassment training, and my employer is no exception. Our session, moderated by an outside attorney, made the important point that the First Amendment to the Constitution can be misinterpreted. Yes, an employee has a right to freedom of speech - but the employer has the right to terminate the employee if it doesn't like the speech.


As I noted back in 2013, things are a little more complicated if your employer is the U.S. federal government. In that year, it was revealed that Department of Homeland Security employee Ayo Kimathi had advanced the following opinions about his boss, President Barack Obama:

a treasonous mulatto scum dweller … who will fight against reparations for Black people in amerikkka, but in favor of fag rights for freaks in amerikkka and Afrika

Because "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech," Kimathi (in effect, an agent of Congress since DHS was authorized by Congress) was not separated from government employment immediately. I never did learn how he left his job; he may have resigned rather than been fired.

But Kimathi has learned that the First Amendment doesn't do a lot of good when you leave the United States.

Washington speaker Ayo Kimathi has been placed on Bermuda’s stop list by the Minister of Home Affairs in light of a speech he gave condemning homosexuality and interracial marriage.

Kimathi was invited to Bermuda to give a lecture on African history - but veered off on to another topic. (For those who have followed Kimathi, this sounds familiar.)

...the subject veered off to include claims that homosexuality originated from white Europeans along with other forms of “sexual deviance” including child molestation, bestiality, rape and interracial marriage.

In this election year, it appears that we've found one thing that Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, John McCain (Jack's dad), and Ted Cruz can all agree on.

They're not with Ayo.
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