A Democrat serving Boston, state Rep. Dan Hunt, has successfully pushed forward for vote a bill, House No. 3719, aimed at banning use of the b-word (rhymes with ditch, hitch and — Happy Halloween to the kiddies — witch).
Well now, at the risk of leading the city of the original freedom fighting tea partier down another path of censorship — holy sh—. (Rhymes with twit.)
Ain’t that a new twist on freedom of speech.
The ban, it should be noted, wouldn’t affect those who use the word in loving context, as in a guy introducing his new gal pal to his group, “Hey, meet my new b—.” Nope; the ban only applies when the word’s about to be slung to demean.
“A person who uses the word ‘bitch’ directed at another person to accost, annoy, degrade or demean the other person shall be considered a disorderly person, in violation of this section, and shall be subject to … penalties, ” the pertinent section of the proposed amendment to Section 53 of Chapter 272 of existing General Laws states.
And all the rappers go — umm. So, too, Elton John. And the Rolling Stones.
And all the free speech advocates.
“Beacon Hill Democrats like (Rep. Dan Hunt) are fearlessly taking on the biggest problems facing the commonwealth,” the Massachusetts Republican Party mocked in a tweet.
Who knew casual slinging of the b-word has been such a big deal in Bean Town?
Hunt, Inside Sources wrote, “declined repeated requests to speak … on the record — an interesting decision for a government official proposing a government crackdown on speech.”
But Hunt’s office said the bill had been filed on behalf of a constituent.
No doubt, a woman.
Or maybe, a female dog.
Nope — it was a woman.
She spoke here: “Takiyah White of Dorchester who works in community service told InsideSources she asked Rep. Hunt to file the bill, and she absolutely believes using the ‘b’ word should be a violation of the law.”
“I hear the word used every day,” she said, “and I’m hurt by it. … At the very least, using that word is harassment.”
Oh, whah. Where were the legislative gate guards on this one?
It seems this might be a good teaching moment about ye olde First Amendment.
It seems, too, this might be a good teaching moment about the old adage, “Be careful what you seek.”
If White thinks the b-word is “hurtful,” needful of banning, just think what other words there are that could come as substitutes.
An example? Rhymes with duck.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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