We care a lot about Freedom of Speech here at The Pyrateheart Press. In fact, it is the principle which created us in the first place. Our original aim was to create a place where authors can express themselves freely without constraints or censorship.
Freedom of Speech is a right in the United States guaranteed to United States’ Citizens by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This is the first amendment in the Bill of Rights.
The right to speak freely and openly has taken a huge hit here in the United States in the last couple of years. Americans are facing huge backlashes if they say something which offends anyone. Anyone!
Historically, whenever a person or a business has chosen to use language that is considered harmful or pornographic or hateful or offensive to others then the constraints of the first amendment are forgotten.
Why is that? I have read the language of the First Amendment. I have read the history of it and how it was drafted. The many versions of each clause in the First Amendment. Nowhere does it say that a person has the right to free speech as long as it doesn’t offend anyone.
I find it tragic that in this day and age of supposed enlightenment and ability to find anything thanks to the internet that we are so swayed by public clamor over something someone has said or done.
Take the recent episode with Whoopi Goldberg. Her comments about the Holocaust demonstrated her lack of knowledge and her need to use the event as a means to demonstrate how humans can be so cruel to one another.
Was it a racist comment? I’m not sure. Is Whoopi a racist? Could be. She has shown on many occasions her disdain for white people. Or is that just her own ego allowing her to think she is better than most? A trait often suffered by many who become famous.
Whoopi is incredibly talented. However, she is also quite offensive. I have often considered her to be a racist at times. She is a person who it seems, in my opinion, to hold herself above others.
However, I give her credit for realizing her words carry power among those who listen to her and that the words she chose to use could become misconstrued. Yet, she was suspended after apologizing for her words.
I personally don’t like her using the Holocaust as a means to demonstrate her own opinions about mankind. But? But it doesn’t matter what I like! This is America and she has the right to say what she thinks.
If people stopped talking in a manner, I find offensive, then no one would be talking. Certainly, celebrities often do. So, what. Whoopi has the right to speak her mind publicly and I have the right to disagree with her. I also have the right to remind people that 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis. However, they also murdered 4 million others because they didn’t think they fit into the world the Nazis wanted to build. Something most who speak about the Nazis seem to forget. Nazis murdered Gypsies wholesale. Did the same with communists, homosexuals, and anyone who didn’t agree with them. Yet the holocaust was indeed based upon Hitler’s desire for a final solution to what he considered a Jewish problem inside his Third Reich.
Let’s take a walk back in history. The Soviets discovered and liberated many concentration camps before the Allies did but news of this was not distributed to our own military. To us the camps were rumors. Until our own military began to discover camps. On 15 April 1945 General Eisenhower toured one of the camps liberated. Afterwards he did a remarkable thing.
He knew people would try to tell the world the holocaust never happened. He knew the truth would become useless without proof. So, he ordered the camps photographed and everything that could be preserved, such as the records of the numbers tattooed upon those who survived, be kept.
Did he have it all classified as a military secret? He could have. He could have stuck all the records he ordered to be created shoved into some top-secret hole where no one, not even today, could look at them since they would be classified as national security.
Nope, he made the pictures available. Made sure the world couldn’t cover up the truth. A rare thing for a general and later president.
Which brings me to the flip side of freedom of speech. For years people have been trying to do exactly what Eisenhower predicted. They have been trying to rewrite history. Something I see a lot of these days.
Those who claim the Holocaust never happened use it a means to bring about hate. Hate is a powerful tool. One the Nazis were masters at developing in its culture. Hitler knew the power of the press. Knew that freedom of speech and the press could end his dreams, so he denied both to his countrymen while he ruled. Something which happens in North Korea even as I write this. How many other countries don’t allow freedom of speech?
The United States is a rare commodity in the world. We, as citizens, have the right, the right, to speak our minds whether anyone likes it or not. In a world full of instant access and social media anything we say can and will be used against us. If you dare disagree with someone or speak your mind, then you can expect to be attacked.
In my mind if you have people attacking you for something you have said or written, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I often think about George Carlin and his seven words which were banned from his performances. Seven words we use every day now like they were nothing.
Carlin was arrested for indecent speech I believe for what he said in his comedy performance back then. This is the downside of the freedom to speak or write whatever you want. The willingness to enforce laws which contradict the first amendment because you don’t like them. Because they offend people.
Where people are offended there is hate. Should we try to appease those who spread hatred with their own words? Absolutely not. If we curtail those who speak from hatred, bigotry, anger, then we become them. Most who speak out against something want to control it. Few want to allow the simple freedoms we enjoy so much.
For eight years I was classified as a racist because I vocally disagreed with Obama’s Presidency. Truth be told, I have actively disagreed with most presidents since Nixon. I have the freedom to say this. Is it hate? Nope. Even if it was, it is only my opinion. I have the right to my opinion and to speak it whether or not it offends or angers people.
I truly have two things to tell most people who spew so much crap about being offended. The first? Grow up. Our parents and grandparents had to put up with far more than we ever did. They managed to find a way to change the world so we could live in a better place and what do we do? We act like spoiled children.
The second? Thank the veterans who have fought to preserve our freedoms. It could have been so easy for our military to take over. To rule instead of serving. It would even be easier now thanks to the digital improvements available to them. Yet, no one tries or at least, not that we know of. The military still remains in service to the rest of us. Shake their hand and thank them when you see them. They have earned our gratitude.
Do you disagree with me? Remember, if you do, then you have the right to speak or write your disagreement because of the First Amendment. Never forget how truly awesome this right is.
I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.