Quite recently, in HW: #TuesdayThoughts: Lies – Their effect on our lives., I told you that my parents always tried to foster honesty in me. That is not to say that I never told a lie. Sometimes, as life goes on, you learn things. Hopefully. And I, throughout my life so far, have learned that sometimes telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth can be challenging and inconvenient. In the comment section of that post, we talked about white lies and situations in which it is considered socially acceptable not to tell the truth.
As a byproduct of my honest upbringing, I had no filter. I did not see it that way, but others did. No matter what my intentions are, people insist on only hearing words. And if those words are anything but positive, they get offended. No, I do not say “I have no filter” like some do, to excuse themselves for being rude. But I do wish that people opened their ears and actually listened without jumping to conclusions. If you want to read more on this topic, feel free to check out: Listen to me, not the words., and/ or An apology.
No, I do not run around using racial slurs in the name of honesty and free speech. As you should know, I am very thankful for the ability to access the Internet, write whatever comes to mind, and to then read your views on the topic. That is free speech to which not every person on this planet has access. Some might say that their freedom of speech is restricted because they cannot write an inflammatory post without getting banned (here, on Twitter, Facebook, etc.). To a certain extent, I agree. “Terms of conduct” are written in such a way that things that should not be CAN be twisted into something “inciting hatred.”
You could say that I developed some sort of filter in the past decade. Is that something I was happy to do? No. Did I feel like I had to do it? Yes. Is that a violation of my free speech? Absolutely. There is a post I wrote a while ago that you could read to find out more -> Free speech can be expensive.
What is freedom of speech to me? It is about being able to express my thoughts and feelings on ANY subject, no matter how uncomfortable that might make the other human being. As someone who strives to be a good human being, I do not encourage you to spew hateful words 24/7/365. Opinions can be expressed deferentially. And if someone is not respectful by your standards, stop and think if it is intentional. Yes, feelings can get hurt, but are you going to outlaw heartbreak? How would you do that?
Recently, things went a little further than the usual racial slur. If you plan on traveling to New York, you need to educate yourself on what you can and cannot say. It just might cost you $250,000 if you utter the wrong word. If you live in NY, I hope you already know about this. Share an insider view with me on this in the comment section.
The USA is definitely a special sort of country. Even though smoking marijuana under federal law is illegal, some states say it is just fine.
The First Amendment of the US Consitution says: “Congress shall make no law (…) prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” What did New York just do? It made the phrase “illegal alien” illegal. If you use those words in a derogatory way (huuuuuuge opening for interpretation), you might be fined $0.25 million. Threatening someone with ICE can have the same consequence. It does not matter if the person you are referring to is in this country lawfully or unlawfully. You do not have the right to confront them or spread the word to others.
As you can see in the below Tweet from the NYC Human Rights, anything and everything CAN and WILL be used against you. I have nothing against other people per se, but shoving everything underneath the “discrimination” label is too much. Mainly because it goes against federal law in more ways than one. Saying “Go back to your country,” even in a joke, will also get you in trouble.
A couple of years ago, at my workplace, we were told that no language but English should be spoken. The reasoning? It might offend customers/ other people. If you want to get offended, anything will do the trick. However, have you ever been to a place of business where people speak a language you do not understand as they serve you? Did you not feel a tad bit suspicious that they were plotting against you? Especially when their facial expressions were less than friendly? I think it’s a matter of being courteous and respectful.
In New York, hotel owners cannot tell their maids not to speak their language (if it is other than English). That law also forbids landlords from threatening their tenants with ICE if the tenant complains about anything. On the surface, it is an excellent law, enabling free speech. But in reality, it is far from that.
Next time you go to a restaurant and do not understand the server, walk out. No. Do not. It might prove that you are discriminating against someone whose English is less than perfect (or nonexistent). Do not ask the person to repeat, either, because the same as above might happen. Do not point to the menu, because the same as above. Anyone has a solution that would not lead you to face a potential fine of up to $250,000?
Do not call people “illegals,” even if you know they are not here legally. Close your eyes to anything and everything around you, and do not speak. Or else…
Repeat after me: There is no legal immigration. There is just immigration.
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