A Bastion of Free Speech

Written April 25, 2017

Free Speech. A topic I’ve written about a few times before. I write about it again as more of a plea to protesters. That we need to have calm, rational discussions about our views and concerns that we each have. No more name calling. No more victim shaming(when people show up to eliminate free speech but the other person blamed for the violence). We also NEED to return to sanity. So i ask that you quiet your voices and put down your fists and weapons. Listen to and look at what you are doing. If you cannot hear or see what you are doing, allow me to explain.

To begin with, if you were taught and/or remember your history lessons in school, you might remember why this country was formed – why the nation’s first immigrants came here. They came for freedom. Freedoms that were not allowed because of their oppressive king. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion were the main ones. They wanted to be able to speak and worship the way they wanted to.

Thru the centuries since then, we have continued to fight for this freedom. Today, in 2017, in the fight for Free Speech there’s not much difference as 1790, 1897, 1918, 1940, 1969, and 1996. There are other dates in between but I picked some of the more notable dates. I will let you look up the information on those and other dates because “The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” ~ Alexandra K. Trenfor (History of Freedom of Speech in the United States–https://www.thoughtco.com/freedom-of-speech-in-united-states-721216 )

Today the fight for Freedom of Speech takes on a new challenge. Allowing protesters their right to speak freely, even tho it frequently sounds like hate speech. They have also been given the right to be violent and to be obstructionists while they are silencing other voices of differing thoughts and opinions.

We see this taking place more often in places like college campuses and town halls all over America. We now have hecklers who boo and shout down their representatives at town hall events. Rallies held in support of our president turn violent as protesters against our president show up and instigate violence with those who support him. Instead of silencing the opposition, why not engage in a respectful yet spirited debate?

This violent protesting has also found its way to our college campuses, controversial speakers are being shouted down and violent riots break out. College campuses are continuously protesting or shouting down speakers and essentially silencing people who have been scheduled to speak. Why? Because they have different views than those who are on the opposite side of the political aisle. The list of people who are silenced keeps growing practically by the day. People like Charles Murray, Milo’s Yiannopoulos, Ben Shapiro, Heather Mac Donald. And now one more was added to that list. Ann Coulter.

The recent protests and riots at colleges in the country perplex me. Especially at UC Berkeley. Why that college in particular?  Because of events that happened in one of the years I mentioned above – 1969. The events that took place at that time is why UC Berkeley has been named the Bastion of Free Speech. A bastion is a group that defends a principle. It’s an organization of defenders that provides resistance against attack. Now, because of recent events, UC Berkeley is where Freedom of Speech has died.

Something else that I find ironic is that these people chant against fascism, yet they are the ones who are doing that very same thing. Don’t believe me? Look up the word. It’s a sad day when we view supposed anti fascists with black ninja and face coverings as some sort of champions for good. It’s been said that a certain group of people from one side of the political aisle are tolerant, accepting and tolerant. Seems to me that this isn’t entirely true.

While I could continue on, I fear this post would sound more like a rant and this would not get us anywhere. As I said in the beginning, I’m begging everyone to talk rationally with each other. Yes, you do have that right to not listen to what I have to say. But just because my views are different than yours don’t hold a rally,protest or shout me down. Instead, walk away. Don’t listen. I will do the same. But if you do, at least consider what I say. Don’t use your right to squash my right because that’s just not right.

I find it very difficult to believe that those of you who are protesting enjoy being angry all the time. You don’t have to be. You have two other choices. Either walk away from what you don’t want to hear, or stop and listen. I mean REALLY listen to someone with views that are different from yours. You may find that person also has some good points that are worth listening to.  

Thought for the day: Perhaps the Former Democratic President John F Kennedy said it best, “Let us not seek the Republican answer, or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

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