Jarret Liotta is a writer. His essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Connecticut Magazine. He recently completed his 1st novel.
He’s a blogger, with an incisive voice and view of the world.
He calls himself a strong advocate for free speech.
But — on the heels of an incident in Fairfield last December, when 3 masked men carrying Nazi flags and shouting obscenities tried to disrupt a public Menorah lighting — Liotta has also become a strong advocate for legislation banning the public display of the Nazi flag.
The Staples graduate has written an op-ed piece for the Minuteman. He’s spoken with Jim Himes.
Now he’s trying to drum up broad-based support.
As a writer and thinking American, I understand the value of free speech better than anyone. At the same time, we as a society have determined that some things stretch beyond reasonable bounds of appropriateness.
We don’t allow the public display of pornography on American streets. Why then should we tolerate the public display of a Nazi flag? It’s a terribly potent international icon, in a class by itself for what it represents. To me, it’s a gross aberration that an intelligent society such as our should allow it, especially in 2010.
Regarding free speech, Liotta does not understand how it deserves constitutional protection any more than a written death threat.
The events of 9/11 have prompted much less tolerance in the area of threats, regardless of the validity behind them. Displaying a Nazi flag has an implicit threat, based on its intense history. They don’t allow it to be displayed publicly in Germany, its country of origin. Now, in the 21st century, in our civilized country, I see no good reason to still allow it here.
As a writer, Liotta says, he spends most of his time observing.
But when I learned about that grotesque event in Fairfield last December, I was frightened, shocked and sickened. I think it takes some emotional passion to get one active for a cause, but I also really saw a weird illogic there — that these mutants were actually allowed to display a Nazi flag in a public park like that. It just felt like some kind of strange mistake that somehow got overlooked — like somehow as we moved into the 21st century, someone forgot to repair this little bit of broken civil law.
Now I just feel compelled to try and help right that wrong.