OPINION: the Murder of Free Speech

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OPINION: the Murder of Free Speech

Emilia DeGroat, VOX Reporter

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Free speech is being murdered; slowly, softly.  America boasts that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” Here, in the Home of the Brave, anyone can say anything anywhere they please– or can they?

Take a second and think about the past decade.  Gradually, subtlety, the way one expresses himself is being controlled– and most times, he is unaware of it.  The fear of offending, or others rejecting or ostracizing one prevents him from being truly open about his opinions, beliefs.

Public schooling institutions are teaching ‘progressive biology’ and terminology to match, attempting to redefine genders and marriage.  Celebrities and vibrant communities that support the movement purposely appeal and advertise to the younger generations.

Gender ideologies and the new-fangled pronouns attached to them are an indirect attack on free speech.  If one doesn’t use the correct ‘terms’, he is considered disrespectful and oppressive.  Jordan B. Peterson, a well-known Canadian psychologist and professor, is battling the Canadian Human Rights Act, a federal transgender-right bill requiring all to use ‘gender-neutral pronouns’ according to an individual’s specific ‘gender.’  He refuses to use any such terms in his classroom, and elsewhere, saying, “I’ve studied authoritarianism for a very long time — for 40 years – and they’re started by people’s attempts to control the ideological and linguistic territory… there’s no way I’m going to use words made up by people who are doing that — not a chance.”

George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, tells of a Communistic ‘superstate’ Oceania.  Everything is controlled — even the way in which citizens speak. The language, Newspeak, is a scrupulous contrivance of grammar, vocabulary, and linguistic structure.  Any departure from it is considered rebellious, deserving of persecution and punishment.  Does it not seem our culture is becoming eerily similar?

Speaking of free speech on a broader level, Peterson went on to say: “If I can’t say what I think, then I don’t get to think, and if I can’t think then I can’t orient myself in the world…”  Dennis Prager, National Review, blames Leftism.  “The suppression of free speech…is overwhelmingly the Left suppressing the Right.”  Common Core education and the liberal culture is brainwashing so many.  Fear is defining what one says, what one does, even what one thinks!  How can this world produce strong leaders and intelligent contributors to society when they are not allowed to express themselves freely?

Camille Paglia, a bold libertarian hated by the Leftist movement, is a prolific writer, orator, and professor. In one essay, she wrote: “All fear of ‘offensive’ speech is bourgeois and reactionary…notions of propriety and decorum [are] obsessed with… conformism.”  In other words, modifying or withholding one’s opinion for fear of affronting another, and compliance to ‘political correctness’, is not justifiable.  A Sott.net reporter agrees. “…Political correctness [is] disguised as tolerance, civility and love, but what it really amounts to is the chilling of free speech and the demonizing of viewpoints that run counter to the cultural elite.”

Politics, religion, sexual orientation– all of these are becoming massively sensitive issues.  “For those ‘haters’ who dare to voice a different opinion, retribution is swift: they will be shamed, shouted down, silenced, censored, fired, cast out and generally relegated to the dust heap of ignorant, mean-spirited bullies who are guilty of various ‘word crimes’,” the journalist continues.  ‘Hate speech’ – which is not always hateful, just words that certain individuals and groups may find offensive– is still protected by the Constitution.  Another conservative journalist, who goes by ‘The Economist’, writes: “…offence is subjective; the power to police it is both vast and arbitrary.” Many (Leftists, mostly) claim they have a ‘right’ not to be ‘triggered’ or offended.  This belief is grounded in Marxism (the basis of Communism), not the individualism and idealistic principles Leftism boasts.

The majority tries to avoid this immediate ostracization by their peers by not broaching certain topics at all.  But “destroying lives over objectionable language is just [another] form of extremism.” This is not freedom.  This is not our promised liberty. This is the murder of free speech.

On January 7th, 2015, two armed men forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo.  They proceeded to kill 12 employees, injuring 11 more. This was a direct response to a comic that mocked their religious leader.  Since when was mass murder an appropriate response to a satire joke? There are consequences to free speech; some may take advantage of this seemingly limitless freedom and insult or embarrass others– but should that cost them their livelihood?  “We can’t live in a country without freedom of speech,” Charlie Hebdo’s top editor Stéphane Charbonnier said following the homicide.  “I prefer to die than to live like a rat.”

We need more to rise and stand firm, grounded in their convictions.  We cannot let the greatest country in the world deteriorate and fall into the limitations of a manipulative minority.  “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.”

Let’s speak now.

 “A world without freedom of speech is a world of slavery and tyranny.”

~Prof. Jordan B. Peterson


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