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Old 02-08-2006, 02:33 PM   #70
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 632
Re: Regarding James Smith

Edwin Neal wrote:
but this is no clearer now... he supposedly disrespected many people on this forum and then disregarded what i would call in military parlance an unlawful order to apologize, when one was not really necessary...
Dear Edwin:

First, I note that you and I are both American citizens, and much of your writing in this case refers quite directly to individual rights, and your apparent sense that they might have been violated in this instance.

I would certainly agree with you that the protection of basic human rights is no small matter. In the specific case of the US Constitution and the First Amendment I would note that in addition to protecting individual rights of free speech, they also protect collective rights of free association.

Personally, I don't know enough about the particulars of the case to comment on the actions taken by the instructor or the association.

But I do know enough about the balance between individual and collective rights to suggest that unless practice with the group in question constitutes a "public accomodation," the group is well within its own rights to insist that those who wish to be associated with it observe such norms as may be set by the group, by whatever method it happens to use to set those norms.

Whatever one's feeling about the particulars, treating the question solely in terms of individual rights is incorrect in principle, and dangerous in application.

Best regards,

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