During the October 1 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage said: "[Y]ou may say, 'Why should we care about homosexuals trying to destroy families through the mock marriage that they perform in order to mock God, the church, the family, children, the fetus, the DNA of the human species? Why should we care about it while we have a financial meltdown?' Because the spiritual side of the downturn on Wall Street is directly related to the moral downturn in the United States of America." Savage also said: "[T]he government has no right to force people to accept homosexual marriage. It is why the West is dying. It is why we're melting down as a nation. It is why there is no -- why we have almost negative childbirth rate except amongst illegal aliens."
Clearly the commentary by Savage is not only homophobic it falls under the category of hate speech. This man has continually been given license to spew his ignorance and bigotry on the airwaves, and pass it off as legitimate social commentary. There are many that would call what Savage said despicable but still advocate his right to engage in free speech.
Free speech is an important tenet of a free and just society. We cannot always be in agreement but suppression of thoughts and ideas, fosters group think and social malaise. So highly do we value free speech that we have confused freedom of expression with the promotion of hate. Savage is not merely advocating social dissent, he is targeting a specific group of people as deficient and in some ways diseased.
There can be no rational relationship between the economy and the sexual behaviour of a group of individuals. Using the potential demise of the nuclear family as justification is also erroneous. His line of thinking assumes that the family is always a positive for all members involved. It discounts things like child abuse, marital rape, domestic violence, the unequal division of labour and the authoritarian nature of the child parent relationship. Simply because something is a common occurrence does not necessarily mean that it is a positive experience for all involved.
The 'society' that Savage fears is dying is the white dominated, heterosexist privileged west. Why else would he be so panicked by the declining birth rate of white women, and deplore that higher birth rate of the so-called illegal alien? In Savage's mind these babies are not legitimate, and it is not because of the citizenship of their parents, it is specifically due to the colour of their skin.
Terming gay marriage, a mock marriage is an attempt to delegitimize it as a pair bonding. Savage claims that it is a threat because it produces no children, but what about couples that are infertile, or that wilfully choose not to reproduce? It is further gender essentialist and racist to assume that all women exist to breed perfect white babies for the cause.
It is quite easy to sit and poke holes in arguments made by men like Michael Savage but does that mean we should continue to allow him and men of his ilk to spread their cancerous hatred throughout society? Speech like this comes at a cost, it certainly is not "free" to the people that are being targeted. When a mosque was sprayed with noxious chemicals last week it was a direct result of hate speech being masked as free speech
The right to individual expression should not come at a cost of human dignity to segments of society. Though he is not specifically advocating violence, such speech can inspire violence on the part of others by invoking privilege as a natural right. It is time to cleanse ourselves of this kind of speech. The perpetuation of hatred and othering is a malignant tumour. Michael's right for expression should not outweigh the greater good.