The Supreme Court is hearing an interesting case relating to the freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
On January 18, 2017, the Supreme Court heard the case of Lee v Tam. The “first Asian-American dance rock band” is fighting to be able to name their band, “The Slants.” In 2011, they started the process to try and get the name trademarked. “The Slants” is their appropriation of a common racial slur against Asian people. The trademark office denied it because of a 50-year-old law that bans “disparaging” trademarks.
The court declared that rule unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment. The ruling said, in part:
“The government cannot refuse to register disparaging marks because it disapproves of the expressive messages conveyed by the marks. The constitution ‘protects even hurtful speech.'”
This is a ridiculous form of censorship, and I’m glad the court struck it down. They should be allowed to point out these silly Asian racial slurs. We should be allowed to enjoy some self-deprecating humor.
Featured image via Twitter.