Are you afraid to say what you think?

Many have said we are losing our freedom of speech. Basically, large segments of society don’t want freedom of speech, and they are making it less and less free by imposing penalties for using it. The daily news is filled with stories about people who spoke out and then got fired from their jobs, banned from the organizations they used to call home, or kicked senseless (or worse) on a city street.

People no longer consider there’s any reason to be civil to each other: just look at the name-calling in the social media or the public statements made about newsmakers that are so vitriolic they would have been considered libel a few years ago. It’s not much of a stretch to say that if we–as a society–are now allowing violence under the threat of more violence, we’ll soon de-criminalize violence. One deterrent to Freedom of Speech is mob-enforced political correctness.

This means bands of thugs can torch a building, burn a car, or kick a person to death–all fully documented by videos and eyewitnesses–then they’ll continue doing it because–as one apologist said–violence is pleasurable–and we’ll begin living lives as though we’re all in a jungle of fang and claw. In some cities, we’re already there.

In some ways, the current chaos of violence occurs because people feel entitled to be violent. So it is, that I no longer feel safe enough to:

  • Put a political bumper sticker on my car
  • Display a candidate’s yard sign in front of my house
  • Post about the pros and cons of parties or candidates on Facebook
  • Wear a political hat or tee shirt
  • Be seen with anyone wearing a political hat or tee shirt

The problem is larger than this list, of course. But I no longer feel safe enough to say how much larger it is on this blog. I will say, that most of us see and hear enough stuff daily to know how and why the problem is larger and what it takes to solve it.




7 thoughts on “Are you afraid to say what you think?

  1. I’m certainly afraid to say what I think. I study everything, including both sides of an issue, and often my views end up being on the quiet end of the spectrum rather than the burning-down-buildings end. When I was on FB and shared something interesting that a conservative non-white said, people accused me of being racist rather than seeing that I was just found an alternative point of view interesting especially when it didn’t follow the official narrative. Some people don’t mind causing conflagrations, either real or virtual, but I don’t have the stomach for it. I brood too much. In fact, I’ve been wanting to write a blog mentioning some of the ironies of the current situation, and I simply don’t want to have to deal with the backlash. Or even worse, the quiet condemnations that I don’t hear about until much later. Even more than that, mobs scare the hell out of me, and I certainly don’t want to bring myself to the attention of a flame-wielding, rock-throwing, gun toting mob with but a single mind.

    1. The atmosphere around politics and minority rights and related subjects is toxic and confrontational. It’s not only making us afraid, but it’s causing us to be silent. I’m not surprised at the backlash anymore when somebody tries to say something sane and fair: the mob still shows up.

  2. clinton ferrara

    Wow. My feelings too. It is a sad state of affairs that propaganda has transformed our civil society into a violent one. All done to increase and protect corporate profits.

  3. Pingback: Being Afraid to Say What I Think | Bertram's Blog

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