Anti-Semite John Galliano Would Have Gotten Better Punishment in America

John GallianoJohn Galliano may be an anti-Semitic jerk, but I kind of wish the former Christian Dior creative director was living in America these days. A French court found him guilty of public insults for reasons of religion, race, or ethnicity. They fined him $8,500 (although they then suspended the fine) for his outburst at a Parisian bistro this past February. It's on video. It happened.

There's no doubt he's guilty. In France. If he'd been here in America, he probably would never have been in a court of law to begin with. But mark my words, we would have punished him too. And how.

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There's a lot of griping about where the bounds of freedom of speech lie here in America. We love our freedom until someone says something we don't agree with. Then suddenly we're incensed, furious, ready to throw out the very protections that allow us to disagree so vehemently.

There are some who are saying today that the French rules that allowed Galliano to be punished in a court of law for referring to one woman as having a "dirty Jewish face" and calling another patron a "f--king Asian bastard" should come to America. Ironic, isn't it? If America truly clamped down on hate speech, our gnashing of teeth would be swept off the web. But we don't need new laws to take care of the likes of John Galliano. We have our own.

As it stands, what Galliano said was hateful. But it didn't incite a riot -- which is punishable by American law. It didn't reach into the man's workplace -- which is punishable by American law. It didn't constitute a threat -- which, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll remind you, IS punishable by American law.

On the other hand, it did anger his employer, who promptly fired him. That too is protected under American law. He could try a wrongful termination suit here, but it would be dropped faster than Snooki can pound a shot. If they hadn't fired him, American law would also allow us to mount a boycott of Dior or some other peaceful means to show our displeasure with Galliano. As it stands, we're free to write the man off -- and WRITE off scribes about the man. Becoming persona non grata is a punishment in and of itself. Just ask John Edwards. Or Casey Anthony.

That's proof that our system does work. We don't need a court of law to fine an anti-Semite simply for speaking. We have courts that will take care of someone who becomes violent, and we have a means for individuals, private citizens and corporations, to show their displeasure with the lack of a man's character. Galliano would be punished here too. Not in the same way, but perhaps even better than a suspended fine.

Do you think America's laws are strong enough to deal with this kind of thing?

 

Image via YouTube

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