Free speech is the cornerstone of any democracy, it is a societal imperative to protect as a right if a people who consider themselves to be free would remain so.
We hear things everyday that we may not agree with, that we may be offended by whether it be on the news, the lyrics of a song, part of the dialogue in a movie or television presentation, words in a book, even in conversation or voices emanating from a crowd in the Mall.
I heard a lot of things I didn’t like growing up and still do, but I’d rather know where a person is coming from than not to.
In a perfect world we would all walk around singing kumbaya smiling and hugging one another but perfection isn’t the nature of this imperfect world we live in, and while it is a worthy cause to strive for perfection it isn’t possible and ain’t going to happen.
I have no desire to see a world of thought and word police for the slippery slope that has historically been shown to be – I don’t want books redacted, banned, or history ignored, watered down, covered up, or revised.
Our response to events should be thoughtful, not knee jerk reactions or driven by what become the memes and sound bites of the day.
If you think about it for it a moment the white nationalists at Charlottesville by exercising their right to free speech shot themselves in the foot – they set the wheels in motion to ramp up the national conversation and accelerate the removal of monuments they rally around – I’d say that’s a good thing and it’s to their distinct disadvantage not to now crawl back into the caves and slime they emerged from.
Not only have the results been something other than they desired but it clarified the character of this president if there was any doubt left.
The follow up rally in Boston attended by a comparative mere handful of these nationalist “patriots” serves as a proof that more is accomplished when they speak than when they don’t.
Free speech and freedom of assembly have led in the aftermath to neo nazis posting youtube videos sobbing about how their lives are ruined in the midst of attempting to portray themselves as mere non violent idealists even as they have attempted to ruin the lives of others and admit they “talk a lot of shit on the internet” but……..
I want to know who people like this are rather than having them exist in secret. I prefer for them to be visible, to be seen and heard rather than burning crosses and churches in the night or hiding in the dark web.
In the midst of roiling the waters a clarity is beginning to emerge as economic and arts advisors leave the current administration en masse, and wonder of wonders conservative pols scramble to denounce what they’ve preferred to avoid addressing – that too attributable to the exercise of free speech by bigots and the current president.
Change seldom if ever comes in the form of manna falling from heaven, meaningful change is capricious often extracting a sacrifice – at Charlottesville it was the loss of life of a young woman and two law enforcement members – perhaps if statues are to be set in place they should be of those who fell at Charlottesville.
The below link is a prime example of making lemonade from lemons.