Freedom of Speech Missouri Knights of the Ku Klux Klan vs. Kansas City

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Dennis Mahon, a member of the KKK, was trying to exercise his freedom of speech, through airing a television program called “Race and Reason.” The reason the Missouri Knights group chose public cable access to broadcast their show, was because it had no editorial control from the cable company at all. The show ran for five years and had even reached 50 cities. Their original request to air the show was denied because the company had regulations that required that programming on Channel 20 must be produced locally. They accepted this rule and therefore the group changed the show’s name to “Klansas city Kable.” The main focus of their episodes dealt with racial issues and exposing government and the corporate system. In Kansas City, the cable company studio was in a neighborhood that was 95% black. American Cablevision was concerned that violence would occur, aside from that, their other concern was that viewers would cancel their subscriptions.On the other side of things, Reverend Cleaver did not believe that “Klansas City Kable” was an exercise as free speech. Instead he believed that the KKK was creating a terrorist organization. According to the Supreme Court, " the struggle between the fear of violence provoked by speech and the promise of the First Amendment has produced perhaps the most famous principle in all of constitutional law: the “clear and present danger” test, the idea that government cannot punish speech unless it creates a clear and present danger ". Since freedom of speech is the most protected, it was hard for Reverend Cleaver and his allies to cancel the show. They then proposed the idea of eliminating the public access channel altogether. The proposal went through, and the channel was canceled.
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