Freedom of speech also applies to jackasses

Found this one via Alas a Blog:

Joseph Scott Goldsmith, a member of the League of the South, was fired after making comments to faculty members who he felt were bashing the South during a discussion of the movie, “Gods and Generals,” according to Goldsmith’s suit.

“He expressed some opinions that apparently alerted some folks that he held some very strong views as it relates to Southern heritage,” said attorney W. Andrew Arnold of Greenville.

Goldsmith claims art department chairman Jim Craft told him on June 20 that he could no longer work at the college because he was a member of the League of the South.

The college, a Christian liberal arts college with about 1,500 students in Tigerville, had no comment Tuesday on the lawsuit filed in Greenville County.

The League of the South seeks to “advance the cultural, social, economic and political well-being and independence of the Southern people by all honourable means,” according to its Web site. It has been labeled a neo-Confederate hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I agree completely with Ampersand’s comment:

I don’t care if a professor chairs his local Klan and bakes cookies for the mafia when he’s not too busy organizing bowling night for NAMBLA; what he does outside the classroom ought be his own business, and no grounds for firing. In particular, firing someone for his political opinions outside of class is reprehensible, and goes against the spirit of free expression.

Debate the guy, denounce him, subject him to ridicule and mockery at every opportunity. But taking away someone’s livelihood as a result of their political beliefs and personal associations, as long as they are not breaking the law, is really not the sort of thing anyone should get behind.