The other shoe is aloft out there somewhere, because this is the kind of country we are now. Someone is going to read about what the Boston Red Sox did last night -- ban a cementhead fan for life for hurling a racial slur at another fan at Fenway Park -- and invoke the sanctity of free speech in defense of the cementhead.
He has a right to say any vile thing he wants, the reasoning will go. Because, 'Merica.
And boom goes the other shoe.
Of course, the shoe does have a point. Yes, Cementhead Fan has the right to say what he wants. It is the inalienable right of every American to spout any ignorant, hurtful, bald-faced lie he wishes. Our Glorious Leader upholds that right practically every day.
But you know what?
The Red Sox have an equal right to tell him to get lost if he does.
This is because, while there are laws that rightly prohibit discrimination against groups of individuals, no law exists that forces anyone, even a baseball team, to do business with a specific individual. And so the Red Sox reserve the absolute right not to sell you a ticket if you decide to behave in a manner they deem inappropriate or potentially disruptive.
This doesn't mean you still can't be a racist cementhead. It just means the rest of us aren't forced to be around you if you are.
Which is to say: We'll make you a pariah. Because that's how it works in civilized countries.
In America, unfortunately, not so much these days. Taking their cue from Glorious Leader's wink-and-a-nudge embrace of nativist bigotry (or at the very least, his obvious comfort level with it), the usual suspects have been emboldened to spew their age-old nonsense. They even cloak it in some half-assed nobility, claiming that, like their hero, they're striking a blow against the tyranny of "political correctness."
This is the same sort of inside-out logic that fuels the argument that the Red Sox (or whoever) are Attacking Freedom Of Speech when they refuse to put up with Cementhead Fan. Intolerance for intolerance, it seems, somehow is intolerant itself.
Good luck making sense of that.
In the meantime, good on the Red Sox, and the vast majority of their fans, for rising as one to say screw that to all of the above. The night after Cementhead Fan had his say, throwing peanuts at Oriole Adam Jones and spewing the N-word at him, the rest of Boston had its say, giving Jones a standing ovation when he came to the plate for the first time. The Red Sox declared such behavior would not be tolerated -- and then backed it up by throwing out the dope who decided to speak his mind, such as it is, to a white fan who was at the game with his biracial son.
The fan said "oh, hell, no," and turned him in. The Red Sox told him to leave and never come back. And you know what?
Suddenly you were proud to be an American again.