Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

UConn Students Argue Their First Amendment Right to Say the N-Word

Illustration for article titled UConn Students Argue Their First Amendment Right to Say the N-Word
Photo: Shutterstock

I think it’s safe to argue there is no more racist person than an early 20s white kid all hopped up on Adderall, Prager U videos and Ben Shapiro podcasts. I mean, look at the greys in the comments section and tell me I’m wrong.

Advertisement

NBC News reports that in October, Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj,
two students at the University of Connecticut were arrested for repeatedly yelling racial slurs while walking through a parking lot on campus. A black student recorded a video of the incident and put it on social media. The students were arrested as a result of a Connecticut law that makes it a misdemeanor if someone “ridicules or holds up to contempt any person or class of persons, on account of the creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race of such person or class of persons.”

The arrest of the two students has prompted lawmakers to review the law for its constitutionality. Some say that the law should have been taken off the books as it’s a violation of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. There are others who say that the law should remain in place as white nationalism is a growing threat in this country and it could help dissuade people from engaging in that kind of behavior.

Advertisement

Additionally, the students have filed a federal lawsuit saying that the school punishing them violated their rights to free speech. A judge ruled that the university cannot punish the students while the criminal cases are pending. Amazingly, the state attorney general defending the school stated that the punishment wasn’t about the racial slurs but about them violating the “disruptive behavior” clause of the student code. Even when being sued they find a way to protect whiteness. The school basically went “We’re totally cool with the racism, it’s just the volume at which it was said.”

There is really nothing white folks will fight harder for than their right to say the N-word. On one hand, I get it. The first amendment guarantees the right free speech. Even if it’s speech I personally find abhorrent, you are within your rights to say it. On the other hand, it’s the epitome of privilege to shout racial slurs and expect no consequences. I know there is certain shit I just can’t say or ya boy might find himself unemployed or worse, catching some dudes fade.

I’m at a bit of a loss with this one. The constitutionality of it all just has me a bit uneasy. While I feel these students should face consequences, I don’t necessarily think they should be legal ones. Hopefully, the students lose their suit against the school so the smackdown can be laid on them.

Jr Staff Writer @TheRoot. Watcher of wrestling, player of video games. Mr. Steal Your Disney+ Password.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

According to the Blackstitution of 1865, specifically Article I, Section 2, Clause 1, they also have to right to “catch these hands” if they’re feeling lucky.

Why are they always trying to do the most with us? What is so undesirable about doing sufficiently? These are, of course, rhetorical questions.

It doesn’t cost you anything to mind your own.