My Turn: Abridging freedom of speech
By Richard Roberts
The First Amendment to the Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law” “abridging the freedom of speech, along with the right for religion, the press, peaceable assembly, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The Constitution is a first in world history to require government to observe the rules of written law. The thinking of these men in 1776 was this will be a government for the people. President Lincoln reaffirmed these principles on Nov. 19, 1863, in the Gettysburg address in which he said “these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
I do not know nor have I met Mac Butner. I am not aware of any law he broke in the execution of his duties on the Rowan County Board of Elections; however, he was dismissed from the board for words he expressed in his right to freedom of speech.
In the 1930s before WWII, Adolph Hitler became Fuhrer and Reich chancellor in Germany with the help of the Brown Shirts, mostly a collection of thugs; later, the Black Shirts or “Gestapo” was organized as the secret police to enforce thought control. Anyone opposing Hitler or the National Socialist Party was likely to be arrested, thrown in jail, killed by a firing squad or shipped off to a concentration Camp to become slave labor for the government
Today in America the Thought Police are again raising their ugly heads and it’s called Political Correctness. Being arrested or thrown in jail or facing a firing squad or shipped off to a concentration camp will not happen, not yet, but the PC crowd will do their best to destroy you and discredit you. Should you own a bakery, as an example, and refuse to bake a wedding cake for the celebration in marriage of a same-sex couple, because you may believe it is against your principles and beliefs, you will find your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are in grave danger. The PC crowd cannot tolerate any objection to their lifestyle; they require complete acceptance. PC has become so fashionable that if someone can discover a word or a phrase that they find offensive, they all jump on board and are equally offended and require acceptance and an apology for having offending them. Because of the PC crowd, free speech has been abridged, and your freedom of expression is under assault.
The question we should be asking is why do reasonable and intelligent people allow themselves to believe they will be able to ever satisfy the PC crowd? Henry D. Thoreau, in 1849 penned this thought in “Civil Disobedience”: “Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.” Apparently the PC crowd believe they are so right, and too many of us agree. Political Correctness is just the adult form of school-yard bullying. Being right or finding truth is sometimes not so easy and usually hard to come by. We all have opinions and we should be free to express them. Not being able to do this freely is oppression.
Richard Roberts lives in Kannapolis.
My Turn submissions should be 500-700 words. Send to email@example.com with “My Turn” in the subject line. Please include photo of yourself.