This comic perfectly explains why Laura Ingraham's 'free speech' fight is nonsense.

The best vacations leave you feeling renewed and invigorated, ready to take on the world.

You spend a week on the shore somewhere or at Disneyland or at home binging Netflix and return to work feeling newly energized and inspired.

You know what I'm talking about? Laura Ingraham sure does.


After taking a "pre-planned" Easter vacation (which just so happened to coincide with advertisers dropping her show after she mocked Parkland survivor David Hogg), Ingraham returned to Fox News on April 9 to deliver a searing rant about how conservatives are being persecuted and shut down in America.

Ingraham's return to the air included a vow to "protect" the First Amendment.

Upon her return, Ingraham revealed that her show would feature a new segment. It's called "Defending the First," and according to ABC News, Ingraham has promised that she'll "expose the enemies of the First Amendment, of free expression, and every thought while showcasing those brave voices making a difference."

Ingraham followed this up with an impassioned plea for anyone who's been the subject of First Amendment violations to call on her for aid: "If you have been subjected to threats or intimidation because of your speech, I want to know about it," she said. "Tweet me, because without free speech and a free conscience, we are not truly a free people."

Is a boycott really a violation of the First Amendment though?

In her speech, Ingraham referred to herself as a "victim" of a boycott. The reality, though, is a little different. Ingraham's speech was not curtailed by the government, which is what the First Amendment is about.

Whenever this subject is brought up, I think of this XKCD comic, which is a nice reminder of which rights the First Amendment protects. (Hint: It's not the right to a TV show.)

Comic by XKCD, used with permission.

Let's break it down further:

Had Ingraham been arrested, thrown in jail, or otherwise detained by agents of the government, then yes, she would absolutely have a point.

As the comic perfectly explains, however, as much as Ingraham may like to think of herself as a victim, freedom of speech doesn't protect you from the consequences of the things you say. Nor can it force anyone to listen to you if what you've said isn't to their liking.

So if you malign the survivor of a mass shooting for not getting into a college and advertisers decide that's not where they want to put their money, their refusal isn't curtailing any civil liberties.

Boycotting is a legal and time-honored tradition of voting with one's money.

While Ingraham paints boycotting as something only "liberals" do, we must remember that conservatives are not new to cutting off businesses they do not agree with.

In 2017, conservatives boycotted Keurig (in the strangest way) when it stopped advertising on Sean Hannity's show. They also boycotted Nordstrom after it dropped Ivanka Trump's line. When Target announced a move to be more inclusive of the trans community in 2016, a boycott reportedly led the chain to lose millions of dollars.

President Donald Trump is no stranger to calling for boycotts either. While campaigning in 2015, he suggested Starbucks should be boycotted for not putting "Merry Christmas" on their cups. And in 2017, he called for NFL fans to walk out of games if players kneeled during the national anthem and said that protesting players should be fired.

Will Ingraham be championing those that have been hurt by these boycotts as well?

Let's not forget that Ingraham was making these points on her nationally broadcast talk show.

The idea that she's a victim feels a little hollow when you realize Ingraham's speaking from a national pulpit and earning millions of dollars while demanding compassion and righteous indignation from her legions of supporters — supporters she is allowed to speak at on a regular basis without fear of repercussions even as she refers to those who oppose her as "Stalinist." (FYI: Stalin would have never stood for this kind of free-wheeling invective on public media.)

You may remember the time Ingraham was accused of doing the Nazi salute, accused Hillary Clinton of doing the same thing in retaliation, and then still ended up with her own show instead of being prosecuted? Sounds a lot like free speech to me.

The First Amendment affords us all the right to speak out.

Defending the First Amendment makes perfect sense, but as XKCD so brilliantly points out, we owe it to ourselves and one another to understand what we're defending first.

Ingraham's talking points will surely rile up her fanbase. But her rhetoric — that any criticism of conservatives is tantamount to First Amendment violation — is disingenuous and divisive.

The First Amendment protects Ingraham's right to say what she wants. It doesn't mean anyone has to listen.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
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Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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