Can we even talk to each other anymore?

America as a free Speech Zone

Amendment I to the United States Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I was raised on this worldview from Voltaire:

‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’

So I find this recent news story on CBS quite disturbing! Apparently some college students will not allow speakers of diverse views express those views on campus. After my own totally negative experience dealing with one spoiled student at Regis University, I feel the need to say, how spoiled are these children? And will their inability to tolerate a world that does not coddle them and their way of thinking destroy our democracy?

free speech and our feelingsI am reminded of a phrase that represents to me the ultimate spoiled child worldview: “I want what I want and I want it now!” There is a whole world of individuals who disagree with me and you, but democracy requires that we all get to express ourselves. Even if we find others’ views completely offensive, we need to all have the freedom to hold our own views of the world. Without that right we are no better than places like Russia and China where there is really no freedom at all.

What right do you have to silence the ideas of those who disagree with you? I believe that is called fascism. 

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14 thoughts on “Can we even talk to each other anymore?

  1. Agree. Just like the white supremacists and KKK groups who so love Trump..as much as I HATE what they stand for, we must allow free speech because if not, it would depend on who is the ruling party at the time.
    And what about the freedom to get medical care not based on your sexual orientation. Kindness and assisting our fellow man should be the first priority.

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  2. Yes, I agree that we need to maintain a public forum that allows a spectrum of opinion–as long as people don’t incite to violence or practice hate speech. I was just in a discussion about the efficacy of the flu vaccine. I recognize that there is a spectrum of opinions about this, and all should be able to articulate their view.

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  3. I applaud this post and that is a favorite quote about defending free speech. Saying only nice speech is free and allowed is the opposite of freedom of speech. College should be about learning about differing views, defending your own views, learning to debate, and yes, thinking.

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    • EXACTLY Terra! If those who consider themselves well-educated don’t know that, we are ALL IN TROUBLE! Teachers are not doing their jobs if the kids think freedom of speech isn’t necessary…

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