We Must Protect Our Right to Freedom of Speech

Stop abuse and assault and promote debate and discussion.  Our right to freedom of speech is under attack from both the ultra right wing and the politically correct. Criticism, shunning and book banning have risen to such an alarming extent, dozens of writers have banned together and signed an A Letter on Justice and Open Debate, calling attention to the need “to speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.”

We need these protests against police brutality and inequitable treatment. Every American must join the fight against abuse of power and police brutality. We must not stop protesting until the bad players are eradicated. But the power of the message is lost when the cry is changed to “defund the police.” Just last month police were venerated as heroes and first responders. Then this week two policemen responding to a 911 call were ambushed and killed. Just like all policeman are not heroes, not all are villains either.

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.

The authors of the letter cite the many specific instances of people fired for their opinions, books withdrawn from publication for fabricated reasons, and speakers excoriated on social media for expressing ideas that ‘depart from the consensus.’
History has shown us that consensus changes. What is politicly correct one day (all police are heroes) becomes radically reversed the next.”The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away.” Let’s use debate and discussion. Let’s permit everyone to express their views, even if they are loud, or the majority think they are incorrect and let that exchange of ideas move us to greater concern and care for each other. Let’s learn from the past, vow not to repeat it and strive to progress even further in safeguarding each other’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


© Jane F. Collen  July 16, 2020  IndexCardCure.com™ let all voices be heard


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