Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Don't you find it funny that folks really think we have this thing called "free speech" in this country.  I can't tell you how many times I have heard that old cliche when a friend, someone on the local news or on a local radio talk show, or in the grocery store, utters that tired line making some vague reference to having free speech rights.  This is especially true after they make a mildly controversial remark (usually whispered) and follow it with their statement of justification.  "We have free speech in this country," or "I have the right to say what I want because I have, "free speech." 
But do we really have free speech?  Can we really say what we want regardless how controversial or inappropriate it may be?  Can we offend people, a religious group, an ethnic group, minority or even a blond, without having to worry about repercussions or consequences?  I believe the short answer is a resounding. "NO."   Just ask Carrie Prajean a Miss USA contestant who was asked a question and gave an honest answer and caused a nationwide firestorm.  So much for free speech in that case.
Think about the situations in your life where you might want to say something even mildly controversial or divisive.  What is the first thing you do?  You know what it is, a quick look around the room and a whisper of the words in your head, then another glance around the room to be sure only the intended party was the one that heard you.  If true free speech existed, at least the kind we pretend we have, this kind of behavior wouldn't be necessary.  Now there is no need to pull out your little booklet with the Bill of Rights inside and wave it in the air to show me it says so in the First Amendment.  Yes, I know it's written there in black and white but don't take that to mean it actually exists out there in the real world.  
Now with our government passing all these ethnic intimidation  and hate crimes laws, one must be even MORE cautious is using this so called "free speech" thing or else face the possible wrath of some form of consequences such as losing one's job, losing a friend or perhaps in a worst case scenario, facing charges of some kind.
There are many myths in America today which people grab on to because they make us feel better or give us a false sense of security  As our population becomes less educated regarding history and government, there are more people walking around with these misconceptions about things like free speech, limited government and rights to privacy.  It's time for a wake up call and a dose of reality and to realize that what appears to be, actually isn't.

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