The best way to keep someting private is…

…to keep your damn mouth shut, duh.

I suppose it was inevitable that I would comment on the Donald Sterling and LA Clippers debacle. But rather than talk about the racism involved (in case you don’t follow sports or the news, this ought to catch you up) I think the real issue of contention is privacy.

Most of the chatter I hear among people is about whether or not the NBA should punish Sterling because the remarks he made about black people were made in private. As far as I’m concerned, privacy shouldn’t even enter into the conversation because as soon as you tell someone else–even if it’s just one person–something, it instantly isn’t private anymore. It’s left the only true place where nobody would ever know about it–your head–and is now out in the world. It’s insane to tell someone something and then expect total privacy about it. You can’t control other people. Unless there’s a legal agreement between the two people or parties, they are in no way obligated to keep any of your statements private. And hello. If you don’t want something like this used against you, maybe try not telling your mistress. Because I’m sure she’d have absolutely nooooothing to gain by going public with it ever.

The bottom line? If you want to keep something private, keep it to yourself. Seems like a pretty simple concept. Don’t tell another human being, and for the love of God don’t write it down. As soon as that thought materializes into the real world, whether it’s on paper or recorded as sound waves or images, you’ve relinquished control of it.


7 thoughts on “The best way to keep someting private is…

  1. It was stupid and wrong for him to say what he said, but we should expect our private conversations to remain private without fear that what we think and believe will destroy us. If his personal beliefs can be used against him, then it can be used against any of us. Yes, we can keep it to ourselves, but where has our freedom of speech gone? It no longer exists in America, and that’s something we should all lament and find disturbing.

    1. Well, I definitely think he had the right to say what he said, even publicly if he wanted. I guess I just don’t interpret the first amendment as applying to private conversations, only public ones.

      1. The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…”

        Speech is speech, private or public. In a free society we shouldn’t fear that our private thoughts and words can be used to destroy us. Sounds like America is becoming like the foreign nations our forefathers fled.

        The Fourth Amendment says,”The right of the people to be secure in their persons, HOUSES, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, SHALL NOT be violated…”

        Sounds to me like we do have safety in our own homes, and with our thoughts and private words. Sterling may be a bad guy, but those who are persecuting him are far worse and are a greater threat to all Americans than he is. And that’s exactly why our forefathers framed the constitution.

      2. I don’t necessarily agree that speech is speech when we’re talking about private comments or public comments. The spirit of the constitution is to define or limit what the government can or can’t do, not what the individual can or can’t do. It’s right there in the first line of the first amendment: “CONGRESS shall make no LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” The first amendment is explicitly dealing with congress, specifically in regards to the creation of laws that affect personal expression. Was there any law broken by leaking the tape? No. Is anyone trying to pass a law saying that he can’t express himself? No. And I’m not a constitutional scholar, but I believe that the most common interpretation of the fourth amendment is that the government can’t just barge into your house randomly whenever it wants or quarter soldiers in your home–not that your house is some impregnable fortress where thoughts and secrets can never ever escape or be used against you.

        If you admit something to someone in private, can it be held against you in a court of law? Absolutely. The law doesn’t care whether you told your aunt in private that you murdered uncle Bob or the police out in the front of the station. If aunt Bea tape recorded a private conversation in your own home of you confessing to murder, NOBODY is going to say, “Darn it, if only he’d said it in public! Too bad he said it in the privacy of his own home, I guess we’ll have to let this one slide, guys.”

        I think the most sensible way to interpret the first amendment is as a restriction to what the government can or cannot do to it’s citizens. The constitution as a whole details how the government is to interact with the people, not how individual citizens act with each other.

      3. Of course, that’s not to say that private citizens who betray any confidence or trust you put in them aren’t complete douche bags for doing so…

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