Inciting violence (December 22, 2015)
It’s wonderful we live in America today and enjoy the freedoms of the First Amendment, which protects opinions of people, as well it should. The opinions are as numerous as the people with them. It’s true some opinions conflict and generate opposing view points, evoke negative comments. That is a normal expectation.
However, it is time to remember there are no protections to falsely yell
FIRE in a crowded theater. Likewise, posing threats of violence in today’s environment is equally not protected. With social media being a tool used by organizations, business, and government agencies; do they have any responsibility for the comments publicly posted on their sites?
I believe they have responsibility, and especially when funded with public tax dollars. So when I saw the Town of Apple Valley Facebook page with comments and the four letter
F word posted, I was disappointed they failed to address the ongoing problem when children also look at it. It did not set a good example and was morally irresponsible to use public funds for that. The problem expanded with the lack of responsibility and now is more disturbing. In today’s environment of terrorists threats, and in the aftermath of events in San Bernardino, an Apple Valley resident, an employee with a local animal care facility who receives multi-thousands of dollars as a Town vendor, went beyond stating an opinion of Rancho’s General Manager, and likened him to a
King and suggested anyone reading the comment should
Behead the King is nothing short of inciting violence. Town of Apple Valley did nothing about this and appears they are complicit. Further it suggests those who speak out against the Town should be subject to violent threats and possible death, and serves to silence opposing Town opinions for those who fear the threat of violence.
I do expect the proper authorities to take note of this threat, just as I am sure they would, and rightfully so, had it been a threat to our Mayor. No matter who is subject to such a threat, it should not be taken lightly. It must be addressed to the fullest extent of the law, lest we just ignore and set the same tone for any threats that come to the attention of the public and authorities, be they the Town, police, FBI, or Homeland Security.
— Leane Lee, Apple Valley
Webmaster note: This letter refers to this post on Facebook: