I am an American. Not a European-American or a Caucasian-American or anything else in front of American. As such, I enjoy a special set of freedoms that exist nowhere else in the world. Freedoms added to the Constitution of the United States as the Bill of Rights.
It is because of these amendments that I am able to write whatever I want. The very first amendment to the constitution addresses the right to speak freely, even against your own government. A heady concept in the seventeen hundreds where people were arrested and charged with treason and sedition if they spoke in any manner against the king or his representatives.
If you chose to write any criticisms? Well, that was of course far worse. Not that many could read back then, but those that could, would read the articles of the times against the king and spread the word like wildfire. It was a heady time before the colonies declared their independence.
Did our founding fathers declare independence for those they represented as an altruistic gesture? In truth, I highly doubt it. These were men interested in their own agendas much like businessmen and politicians are to this day. They use the platform they are given to advance their own goals.
Goals often conflicting which led to the debate over the ratification of the constitution in 1787-88. Seems James Madison, upon review of the objections by the anti-federalists, discovered deficiencies in the original constitution he felt needed correction. Corrections he had to fight for since many opposed such changes to the constitution.
I recommend all Americans read the history behind such things as the Bill of Rights. I find myself appalled that more time is not spent in the schools of this day and age about such important histories. That few who graduate high school know as much about American history and the important decisions which allow them their basic rights as those who choose to become U.S. citizens.
I personally found it interesting how the articles in the Bill of Rights became amendments and when. How many opposed what we take for granted and why. These were things people of the times openly fought about.
Another point of interest in that the Bill of Rights only applied to the federal government. The states could do what they liked. It wasn’t until 1925 that the first amendment was applied to the states under the fourteenth amendment in what is called legally as incorporation.
Imagine it. Until 1925, years after World War One and only a few years before the Great Depression, the states could limit your right to free speech, your right to worship as you wished, you right to bear arms. So much history about our basic freedoms and the people who have tried time and again to take them away.
Currently the right to free speech is under attack by groups who use the word “offensive.” If something is considered offensive by anyone for any reason the legal machine goes into motion to ban the use and rewrite history if necessary to appease whichever group has screamed it offends them.
Here is an example. The word nigger. When Paula Deen admitted to using the word nigger in her past, the world exploded against her. A woman raised when the schools were segregated in the deep south would have used the word in her past. She would have been surrounded by it. Now here is the important point, she would have heard it from all sides. Both whites and blacks used the word freely.
Deen was ostracized, her books removed from the shelves, her shows cancelled, and a slew of lawsuits filed against her by former and current employees for her racist actions.
In a heartbeat, her entire world turned upside down over something she said decades ago. Meanwhile, rap artists use the word freely without concern of ostracism or repercussion. No one removes their albums from the shelves of Walmart.
I recently was doing an inspection inside a school gym where several basketball players for a high school were practicing. While I was there, the coach kept using the word with his players. Told them to stop being stupid niggers and learn how to play ball. The players didn’t even bat an eye over the use of the word.
I hate censorship. I hate political correctness but what I especially despise is hypocrisy. It is the very basic right under the first amendment which allows the basketball coach to shout the word at his players.
In this day and age of fear, that’s right, I said fear; people are so afraid of saying or doing or writing something which might be considered offensive. Offensive over race (which is not color by the way. The Irish are a race as are the Jews), religion, creed, color, sexual orientation, or one of the many other reasons people use to say they have been offended.
I refuse to bow down to such pressures. I personally hate racist, sexist or any other comments meant to inflame or cause harm or set about such hatred it spreads. I did grow up in the sixties. I saw firsthand what real hate is and I am seeing it grow in this country once again.
I don’t believe we can remove the hate by banishing words. We have to face them. Address the hate behind the words and do what is necessary to remove that hate.
Hatred surrounds me. I am a white heterosexual American man who is unafraid to speak my mind. Who doesn’t hate me?
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been called a “cracker” these last few years. Called by people who don’t even know the origin of the word or why it was used. All they know is it depicts a white man as bad. It is a racist word but one resurrected by those who feel they have the right to call me such things. A word they use to make themselves feel better than me, or above me, or display their need to tell me they hate me. Something protected under the first amendment by the way.
Yet, these same people find it offensive when I call them out for using the word. Who feel they have the right to call me a cracker but that they can’t be called any form of a racist comment. You can’t call me a cracker if you are afraid of the words nigger, wop, kike, wetback, etc. The list of insulting hateful words fill entire dictionaries.
Strangely enough, these people often cite the first amendment as their right to use such words. As long as they are the ones using them that is. If anyone they don’t like uses them, then it is offensive and should be punished like Paula Deen.
See my problem with hypocrisy? It has gotten so bad I sometimes miss the days of open hatred. When blacks openly hated whites and vice versa. When the Japanese openly hated the Chinese, and the Italians hated the Irish and everyone hated the Jews. At least then you knew where you stood.
My desire sometimes for the bad old days is why I miss Martin Luther King Jr. so much. I miss someone who stood for actual equality. Who fought for it peaceably. Who withstood the hatred and made a true difference. Whose influence caused many to drop their hatreds and join him in trying to end hatred in this great country. Men and women of multiple races and credos and religions who also withstood the hatred of their own kind to see this great country united regardless of color, creed, or religion. Who fought to uphold the basic tenet of the first amendment to the constitution.
I find I must ask myself this question – Do we live in an age where we actually have the right to speak freely?
I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.