Speech in New Mexico
or as Bugs Bunny would say,
"I must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque"
Some of you posting to the NM
Page appeared confused about what happened here. That is not surprising. The inception of the
BMS and LLMS pages, the resulting news stories, my refusal to remove the
pages, and then the removal of the offensive posts, happened in the space
of only a few days.
For the story on how this came about, see
the March 20, 2001, "open letter" page in
the sidebar. I do not apologize for my words there, but I admit
they were a little strong. I was stunned that so much effort was
made to shut down the entire site, yet no one bothered to simply ask me
to remove the pages at issue. So I took a stand on the First
It soon became clear that, despite their
efforts, no one could
force the closure of this site, as it was constitutionally protected
speech. That point being made, on Saturday, March 24, I pulled the posts from three different
message boards after being moved by requests from certain students and a
Los Cruces attorney. The students asked for a second chance.
So I created a clean new board.
The new NM page
became something different over the weekend - people posing as me, my friend Paul
(aka Agent Smith) and
as other characters to stir things up (as if that were necessary). The
students generally left during the weekend. It was just banal
banter between unknown parties pretending to be other parties.
Kind of amusing, but mostly pointless.
On Tuesday, March 27, I came home to find
the students (or someone) at it again, and more explicit, brutal, and demeaning than
ever before. As I stated I might, I removed the names
of the persons slandered, and made the page unusable for posting.
I realize from reviewing the March 27
"student" posts (which read a little differently than all previous posts) that it
was likely a non-student who posted them. I said I would pull the
page if student-naming hateful posts appeared, and that seems to
have been the impetus for the hateful comments. If that is the case, it only means that
the true poster trusted
my integrity, and was trying to use it to fit his or her agenda. Good
for you. That officially makes you a bad person.
In reviewing the original "Have a
Nice Day" posts now, I recognize
names of Belen students being posted as far back as November,
2000. This had been going on for a long time before the posts
became rampant and I deduced the source. The site stats reveal that only
a few people were involved in posting to the BMS page during the weekend
prior to all the press exposure - probably less than 20 and possibly as
few as 10. The number of people who thought the posts should stop
was much greater.
In the coming weeks, I will re-post the
original messages (edited), as well as the myriad e-mails of (mostly)
support which I received during this debacle. This will be an
essay on free speech and hysteria.
It should be obvious that irony reigns
supreme here. I was forced to dig in my heels and defend a few
students' right to say things that they probably wished they hadn't. The
BMS page was on no search engine, and would only be accessible to those
who knew about it. This could have been dealt with quietly and only a
few would have ever known. The press coverage only brought in the rest
of your community (and some others) to view the damage done. This story
did not go national, I did not gain from it, and I have no intention of
touting it here in San Diego. It was a tempest in a teapot, and
except for on this site and my new domain www.FirstFuckingAmendment.com,
I intend to keep it that way.
All will be documented later on an essay about the seamy-underbelly
of free speech, as exhibited by those who feel the need to cower
anonymously and blurt out awful things.
Skeeky Webo, Jr.
Posted 3/27/01 - edited to reflect my
current understanding of the facts 3/31/01