Free speech can be expensive.

This week has been a challenging one. Not only for me but also for the defenders of free speech. In Louisiana [link no longer available as of October 2021], a proposal to punish those who disturb free speech on the state’s public college campuses was shot down. It is ridiculous how schools now have “safe spaces” for those who are easily offended but do not tolerate those who have a different point of view than them. In Illinois, a well-known university had to cancel a class, because the invited speaker was being protested and the environment was not really safe for anyone. How can this be???

Back in the day, when I was a university student no one thought about protesting a class just because we did not like what was being said during that class. You go to school to learn new things. You go to school to learn how to think creatively. You go to school to learn different points of view and debate. You do not go to school to hear what you want to hear and to be coddled. This is absolutely insane and has gotten out of hand. Why is some people’s speech free-er than mine? What does that achieve? It only makes them think that they are more entitled and that they are right to do/ think what they want. They say they are fighting for what’s different while killing everything that is different than the right kind of different. How hypocritical!

The ICE representative was a PR person and came to give a lecture on how ICE works, and not to deport illegal immigrants. However, that is beside the point. He was invited by a sociology professor, so not only did the students protest ICE, but they also protested the person who they entrusted their education in. Will we soon see customized schools in which you can pick your classes and professors AND students based on your emotional preferences? How fun would that be! Not.

If the ICE representative was indeed there to surprise everyone and apprehend the illegal immigrants shouldn’t the protesters be charged with obstruction of justice? How is it different from aiding and abetting?

We have all seen videos of people expressing their views calmly and then being called names and kicked out of various places. Just because they are not drunk on that PC kool-aid does not mean they are less of a citizen of this country. PC is of course now very biased and is being taken to the extreme. Such are the times we live in. This piece is not meant to be about immigration, but how is it that illegal immigrants have more rights than legal citizens of this country?

Now, onto my personal experiences. It enrages me how my freedom of speech is limited nowadays. I am rather outspoken, while still respectful (to a point), but this environment we live in has tried to turn me into a quiet and mindless follower. It has never been easy to swim against the current, but I do believe that nowadays things are worse. Way worse. People talk about feelings and how you shouldn’t hurt them, but the truth is that you just shouldn’t hurt theirs. They sure as hell can hurt yours in the name of fighting for the “oppressed”. “Anything can and WILL be used against you” had a certain meaning associated with presumably breaking the law. These days it is a rule to remember whenever you talk to ANYONE. If people do not like what you say, they will misconstrue it as something else, and because everyone else is so afraid of being called for example: “racist”, “homophobic”, “Islamophobic”, you will be persecuted. Not necessarily in a law and order kind of way, but in an everyday life. At school or at work you are encouraged to speak up about what you think is wrong, but you better think twice before you do so!!! You are persistent and ask too many questions –> they figure out that you know they are incompetent –> you are told that you are being inappropriate and/ or ungrateful. You do not tolerate stupid behavior and do not bend over for more –> you are labeled a racist and get in trouble with your boss. You try to learn from your experience, so you do not ask questions and pretend to tolerate some people by just being curt –> you are being unprofessional, racist, and deplorable. Apparently, honesty is not always the best policy.

This is exhausting. The current is so strong, and the lifelines are so scarce that it is difficult to not take on too much water into your lungs…

37 thoughts on “Free speech can be expensive.

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  1. I thought this was an excellent point you made:

    You go to school to learn new things. You go to school to learn how to think creatively. You go to school to learn different point of views and debate. You do not go to school to hear what you want to hear and to be coddled.

    If you go to hear what you want to hear then it ceases to be education but rather a reinforcing of what you already know and how sad that would be.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was thinking about this the other day. It’s the same in the society i live in. As soon as you speak your mind about what makes sense to you, you suddenly become some kind of outcast trying to force people into “following your ways”. Wish we could all get along & share our point of views without being too sensitive about it.
    Amazing post, friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s unfortunate to hear that you are struggling with this, too. All we can do is carry on and hope that we will be able to speak our minds more freely in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting thoughts but I’l have to disagree about things getting ‘worse’. While I do agree that there is a lot of censorship and extreme overreactions to certain situations, we live in a far freer society now than ever before. Yes there are still countries that are definitely not ‘free societies’ by most measures but we have a lot more platforms and influence today thanks to social media and the internet. We’re also seeing more rights given to marginalized groups such as transgenders and gay marriage is being legalised in more countries. College campuses and workplace environments definitely need to calm down and examine their quickness to silence and discredit people but on the whole we do have to acknowledge that isms and prejudice still exist. A lot of people (not necessarily you) still entertain racist and sexist notions as ‘normal’ and hide behind blaming backlash as ‘PC propaganda’ to justify their line of thinking. I’m very sorry that you have been treated unfairly but don’t give up hope. With the rise in PC there has also been a rise in backlash against it. As long as you don’t stray into alt right territory, I think you should continue to speak up for what you believe and encourage healthy debate. I’ve written a piece about PC Culture if you want my full thoughts about it. Would love to hear your thoughts! Sometimes I’m too forgiving to PC because I think there are good intentions behind it (like you can’t really make a moral equivalency between extremists in Black lives matter and neo-Nazi because at least BLM started off well intentioned). But I do agree that the PC movement has become oppressive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave such a lengthy response. I truly appreciate your different point of view and sure hope that you are right and indeed things are moving in the right direction. I am a skeptic at heart, in general, not only on this topic. Definitely refreshing to hear that someone still has some hope and positivity left. is the correct link to the post you mentioned. I will definitely take a look once I have some times.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You just hit a nerve.. Adequately put; I don’t go to school to impose my own thinking. I go there because I want to learn new things..schools are suppose to impart education not giving free hands to those who got easily offended by anything and everything. I am absolutely against this idea of shutting people up because my tiny brain can’t comprehend their opinion? This is unfair and against the basic ethic. Speak up BUT don’t shut other people up..Keep up the good work..:)))

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was linked to this through your End of 2017 post. Very well spoken and very true. Being someone who is in college right now, it absolutely baffles my mind. College is becoming the opposite of what it is supposed to be, and professors and administrators are encouraging it! I’ve learned to just keep my head down and stay quiet in class, and I know I’m not the only one. We shouldn’t have to, but it’s what we must do to remain acceptable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1. Yes! I’m glad my “End of 2017” trap worked and people got to read otherwise overlooked posts. Thank you!
      2. So great to hear your perspective – from a person right in the midst of it. I feel really bad for you. Not sure if I could do it now… I sure hope that things change and get back to being more “logical”. For now, keep going and don’t lose focus.
      3. It’s heartbreaking to see that professors (people who should be someone to look up to) are sometimes afraid to open up the floor to any voice. They are too afraid of losing their jobs (ridiculous). But the fact that some of them actually do so out of their own volition is appalling. Thanks again for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice post, and it seems you are referring to political correctness stifling speech. But it can even get worse than that. I’ve had more than one employer threaten me with the loss of my job for having written commentary and having it published in the local newspaper, or for blogging. It is especially difficult for people working in the private sector. The private sector is not bound by the Constitution. Yes there are federal antidiscrimination laws that apply to private employers, but the Constitution itself applies to government actors. If you work for the State, they can’t (supposedly) terminate you for exercising your First Amendment Rights, but a private employer can – especially in an “at-will” state. One can always express themselves, but there can also be “consequences,” even if unwarranted.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true. I am aware. I’m sure you heard about the people who were fired because they were identified in a photo from the Charlottesville march. It does not matter whether I agree or disagree with them, I do not think they deserved to be fired just because of how they spend their free time. It’s not like they were on the clock or representing the company they worked for…

      I personally have never been threatened when it comes to my writing, because I mostly keep it anonymous. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve been here before, and I see I didn’t comment that time. That may have been to avoid conflict, because my understanding is that you believe anyone has the right to say whatever the hell they want. But since you do believe that, I feel liberated to say:

    I disagree strongly with your position. The freedom to spout about one’s own views should not be an unquestioned right. Some topics§ and activities should be discouraged so as to improve society and promote harmony.

    § Here’s a short list of things I think anyone should think twice about, off the top of my head:

    * Bigotry (a tricky one, this: nobody believes they’re bigots; the trait can only be seen from the outside)
    * Hate speech
    * Science denial (climate change, vaccine effectiveness, ‘fake moon landings’, ‘flat Earth’)
    * Suppression of religious freedom (and abusing educational systems to promote religious beliefs)
    * Misleading propaganda (green-washing, presidents and others spreading lies about voting systems)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, I thank you for sharing your point of you. I absolutely welcome and encourage it. While I’m mostly aware of different points of view, I’m always on the lookout for new opinions and arguments to consider. It’s rather difficult in real life to have a conversation with someone who does not agree with you. The talk usually ends… well, … not well. That’s not productive. Here, I also encounter people whom I disagree with and some turn around and leave, but there are others who disagree, lay out their arguments, we might have a discussion, and then either we compromise or not but we meet again on the next post (mine or theirs). And that I enjoy thoroughly.

      With that said – as you mentioned – we do disagree on this topic. I understand your search for boundaries. However, I find them too subjective to be upheld. Also, I’ve been accused of being many things. While I surely might not be aware of certain things, I believe that most of it simply isn’t true. Just because 1 person thinks something doesn’t make it true…

      I believe we need to protect the weak. Absolutely. However, I am against making people weak on purpose. I think we coddle humans too much nowadays, making it harder for them to survive. It’s tricky because they think it’s making the world a better place but in reality, we are just making it deadlier…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not sure where you get ‘protect the weak’ from, nor the ‘making people weak on purpose’ bit. But, on that topic, what I perceive (and I fully appreciate your point about subjective impressions) comes from the opposite direction. From where I sit, I see the strong getting ever stronger (economic wealth bolstering political and military power) — and that is what makes the world ever deadlier, for us all.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Regarding the weak: there’s a lot of talk about protecting people’s feelings by not saying some things. I don’t advocate for being an ass, but it seems that nowadays anything can be seen as inflammatory and/or offensive by someone. The more selective we are about what we say, the more vulnerable people become. It was just me extending my ramble.

          I don’t disagree that the powerful becoming more powerful are dangerous to us.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. (Interesting… ?random brought me here, again, and I’ve been here before. Maybe ?random ain’t so random after all? I might have to start keeping records that I can present to and say, “Oi! what’s going on ‘ere then?”)

    First link (‘In Louisiana’) is 404, not found. The other one is good.

    This comment was brought to you courtesy of ?Random Raiders! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yep, that’s pretty much how things are even today… Free speech is such a complex matter in the States in particular. Everything is put under that umbrella, allowing everyone to protest in the name of free speech just like everyone can say anything they want (controversial/hateful or not) in the name of free speech. It reminds me a lot of a documentary we watched not too long ago called Alt-Right: Age of Rage which pretty much shows the eternal battle between the Alt-Right and Antifa…

    Liked by 1 person

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