By: Lloyd “Sticks” Burt. We have entered an era where a large segment of the population thinks it’s okay to shut down and or beat down someone that says something offensive. Who decides what is offensive?
Over the past several days I have been debating my Progressive friends via Facebook about the riot in Charlottesville on August 12.
What I am seeing is very disturbing to me. The mantra in the United States used to be “I despise everything you are saying but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” One reason that Donald Trump was elected was his disdain for political correctness. The group that obtained the permit to march was without a doubt trash by any standard. They did however follow the law. Even the carrying of long guns in public is legal in Virginia. The ACLU supported them in court.
Here’s the disturbing part. We have now entered an era where a large segment of the population thinks it’s okay to shut down and or beat down someone that says something you don’t like. I even had one gentleman tell me, “you come to my town to protest something deplorable you should expect to get a beating.” Who decides what is offensive? By that logic the civil right marchers of years ago got everything they deserved. In the 1950’s…what those civil rights activists said was considered to be “offensive.”
Over the past few days I have been called a racist many times because I stand with the right of morons to show the world they are morons. I refuse to claim that everyone in Charlottesville was a racist.
I agree with the president that while there were violent people in Charlottesville on both sides, there were also good people there to peacefully demonstrate about removing what they consider historical markers. The woman killed by the mentally Ill National Socialist was peacefully gathered with others in protest of the National Socialists. But then there were the people that showed up with baseball bats, ski masks and helmets. They weren’t there to join hands and sing “We shall overcome.”
When I enlisted in the United States Navy I gave an oath to “Support and Defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic .”It deeply concerns me to see the number of people that are willing to allow the government to decide what speech is acceptable and what speech isn’t. Under the oath I swore, I must vehemently oppose anyone that claims that the National Socialists had no right to be there. In fact, I make the argument I want them there so I know exactly where they stand. Tucker Carlson called our freedom of speech our national safety valve. Different groups are always going to be mad about something or other. The freedom to peaceably assemble in protest gives people a way to express their anger without resorting to violence.
I have talked to many people unable to differentiate between support for the right to say something offensive and agreeing with the person saying. Have we come so far from the ideals of the First Amendment that we are now willing to strip our freedoms away? We must never forget that speech that everyone agrees with needs no protection. It is that which the majority finds offensive that must be protected. The same Freedom of Speech that brought to light the injustice and evil of Jim Crow also is the sanitizing daylight that shines on the evil of racism, National Socialism, and Communism. Do we really want to drive that evil underground? I think not. If my next door neighbor is a national Socialist I want to see his swastika flag on his lawn. That way I know exactly where he stands. We need more speech, not less.