Tuesday's newspapers reported on a proposed House Resolution, signed by Stanley Torres and 8 other members, to castigate Ron Hodges for opinions he expressed publicly.
It is the representatives who should be castigated and censured for their tactics of intimidation and repression.
As reported, the resolution gives a nod to the First Amendment. Obviously the representatives have heard of the right to free speech and freedom of the press. Equally obvious, they don't understand what these mean.
I don't know Mr. Ron Hodges personally. I've read his letters in the paper, like many other people have. His letters stand firmly for the protection of human rights, whether the humans are citizens or not. He finds fault with our government leaders and others in the community for failing to accord basic human dignity to their fellow workers who happen to be aliens. And he has expressed frustration at what he perceives as unfair treatment.
I often agree with his sentiments, if not with the details of his proposals. And his "spit in the soup, graffiti everywhere" tirade was one of those expressions of frustration that I disagreed with. As did others who wrote in response with reasoned and heartfelt opinions.
Mr. Hodges responded to their objections, also with reasoned and heartfelt considerations.
This is what the marketplace of ideas is all about.
TO OUR REPRESENTATIVES: We are smart enough to hear ideas and think about them intelligently. We don't need you to protect us from ideas that you find offensive.
I find the Representatives' statement that Mr. Hodges should "not avail himself of island living anymore"--i.e. go back where he came from-- far more offensive than anything he said, and a good example of racism and bigotry in office, trying to stamp on constitutional rights.
I hope the resolution is not passed. And I will never again vote for any of you who sign or vote in favor of these kinds of resolutions.
It's time you worked on the problems of the CNMI. And the solution is not to abuse your legislative privilege to chill the expression of free speech, to attempt with your "resolutions" to silence those of us who point out what we feel is wrong. The solution is to identify the problems and find ways, within the constitution, to address them.