What free speech isn’t

Philidelphia tour guides are suing the city over a new law that would have the gusto to require paid tour guides to pass a history test before giving tours of public monuments. The tour guides claim the law infringes upon their right to free speech.

Think about this for a second if you need to. It is ludicrous.

The city has EVERY right to require that the people giving the tours of famous historical sights in town know what the shit they’re talking about. If you fail the test you’re still allowed to LIE about the history of the buildings and monuments, you just don’t get to be paid to do it.

The city has an image to uphold, and for a tour guide to feel pissed off because they have to live up to a quality standard is ludicrous.

But why the law in the first place, aren’t tour guides honest and intelligent? The law was signed…

…amid concerns some guides were perpetuating gross inaccuracies, including the false claims that Benjamin Franklin had 69 illegitimate children and that three-time widow Betsy Ross killed her husbands.

Now I’d like to think that your average tourist could detect fable and folklore and tell it from fact, but we are talking about human tourists (and American ones at that). The tour guides are in a position of authority where what they say is more likely to be believed.

A law like this is basically saying that the city wants people to do their jobs properly. Would a receptionist have the right to tell people to fuck off who call the office he or she worked at? Yes, but the employer would then have the right to fire that person.

But what’s worse than telling folklore stories in Philidelphia to unsuspecting tourists? The possibility that US National Parks tour guides could use a decision here to claim that they have a right to free speech to declare to school children that the Grand Canyon is 3000 years old and was created in Noah’s flood. Already young Earth creationist materials have been sold at the Grand Canyon park, but this put the words directly into the ears of the children.

I hope the judge laughs this case out of court faster than these tour guides are going to fail their tests.

2 thoughts on “What free speech isn’t”

  1. I just got back from Mexico and the tour guides there told us that they are required to have a college degree plus 3 years of specialized tour guide education. Also, they have to know at least 4 languages. In comparison, a history test isn’t that bad.

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