When a whining constituent complained about student artwork featuring Malcolm X's words, "You can't have capitalism without racism," state Sen. Tom Davis decided to throw his senatorial weight around in an inappropriate fashion.
In his letter to this newspaper, he says it's not about free speech but context. Upon reading this, the words of the poet Randell Jarrell came to mind: "The toad beneath the harrow knows exactly where the toothpoints go, and if (you give me a beneficent context for harrowing) I will say I know, but let me tell you where the toothpoints go and what the harrow looks like from below."
From my perception of his letter, Davis regards capitalism as his religion and those who feel its toothpoints as prejudiced -- religious bigots as it were. If this characterization of Davis is not true, his "comparable" example, "Islam equals terrorism" fails. The latter is divisive in a school because Muslim students are probably present; divisiveness involving religio-capitalism acolytes in middle school not so much.
Free market capitalism has some fatal flaws that require government intervention. The Great Recession we're coming out of was partially the result of these flaws. So is the presence of growing productivity enervating wage inequality and endemic corporate malfeasance. Davis would consider all of this blasphemy, of course, and as such worthy of censorship. A real true believer.
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David D. Peterson