Free Speech – an oxymoron in the making
When I was a little girl growing up and I would run home crying to mother, because a classmate called me names, my mother would say, “stick and stones my break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Later in my teens, when I was busy sassing mom and dad, I’d tell them “free speech.”
In today’s society, neither applies anymore, at least on the surface.
With the outcry from the recent Garland, Texas shootings still in full throttle, we now know that ISIS is taking responsibility. So jihad has come to the shores of the United States, and with it comes jihadi censorship, not only from the MSM, as shown in the heated exchange between CNN host and Pamela Geller, president of American Freedom Defense Initiative and founder of the website/blog AtlasShrugs.com…..
but also from some of our friends at Fox News, namely Bill O’Reilly, here being taken on by Megyn Kelly.
The AP reported this morning that while it was unclear whether ISIS had an actual hand in the attacks, more were coming as posited by this statement:
“We tell … America that what is coming will be more grievous and more bitter and you will see from the soldiers of the caliphate what will harm you, God willing”
Under our politically correct culture, which actually began during the Clinton administration back in the early 90’s, instead of being collectively outraged at attacks on our institutions and beliefs, many are instead turning their sights on the Pamela Gellers of this world, who are putting their own lives at risk in speaking out against the encroaching loss of freedoms. Sure Pamela Geller is provocative. But so were Voltaire, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes who influenced Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson in their own time.
To borrow a phrase from Al Gore, free speech is one of those “inconvenient truths.” Whether one agrees or disagrees, likes or dislikes a statement or act, that is a prerogative, a right, guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. If one actually thinks about precisely why the Bill of Rights was written, why the 1st Amendment is the “First”, it is to protect and defend those acts of free speech which may be provocative and offend.
I remember reading somewhere, just yesterday, that only 18% of school children are literate about American history. Think about it. Think about the hundreds of thousands of Americans who died throughout our history defending our rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Then look at the videos above and ask yourself what ISIS has learned from them.
So the question begs, when it comes to free speech, which side are you on and how far are you willing to go to defend it. Let me leave you with some words from Mr. Franklin and then you decide:
“If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.”
“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.”
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”