Yesterday, it was brought to my attention that my blog post entitled Free Speech that ran in July has disappeared. I contacted WordPress support as well as my best friend to see if I could somehow find a cached copy, she’s an internet security guru, so I figured she might have a way to retrieve it… What amazes me is that whoever reported it completely missed the point of the post.
I have not yet heard back from WordPress, but I have a feeling it was removed because someone complained about it, which was my best friend’s thought on the matter more than mine. Which got me thinking, we don’t mind free speech when we agree with it… But if we disagree we tend to act upon it.
Not everyone, but some people. I have settings on all my HJ stuff where I have to approve all comments before they post in the comments section because occasionally the comments go beyond spam. In March, someone who had a link to a blog on WordPress commented on one of my blog posts that they hoped I was beheaded by terrorists. Well, okie dokie then.
Recently, I had to enact this on FB because someone commented about how they loved D&R but couldn’t read it anymore since in their words, I was a race traitor. I banned the user from the HJ page. I know exactly what they were talking about. Nadine is white. Zeke is black.
What shocks me is I thought we were adults. For eight years, people spewed their dislike of President Obama and I don’t remember anyone getting their panties in a bunch and unfriending people over it. No one ever told me they couldn’t read my books anymore because I actually thought Obama did a decent job as president.
However, I do get those messages regarding President Trump and no one cares why I don’t think he’s fit for the job. I don’t identify as a Democrat or Republican. Those labels are too narrow for me. I vote based on the person not on the political party. President Trump has several indicators that he is a high functioning sociopath or psychopath. And while that is great in the business world and says a great deal about why he is a good CEO, I don’t think it’s as great a trait for running a country, look at Russia and Vladimir Putin who is definitely a high functioning psychopath. As a matter of fact, I have a draft post that records all the incidents that lead me to believe he is a sociopath or psychopath, but I’m fairly sure if I publish it, it will end up like my Free Speech post and probably this post… a waste of time because it will disappear.
Because as a public figure, I am supposed to listen to others practice their right of free speech without exercising my own beyond what I publish in a book… I never write a post intending to offend anyone, I know I occasionally do write posts about things that are controversial… but that is the historian in me and their goal is to make people think. Not react, just think.
See, it isn’t enough to have the 1st amendment, it has to be exercised by journalists and intellectuals or it withers and dies like a starved plant. I said whoever reported it, if that is indeed what happened, missed the point of the post, and they did. Or maybe they highlighted my point. Yes, I called the president an idiot or maybe a moron, but it was done so as an example of free speech, free speech that could be interpreted as hate speech, but was still protected and once we start losing our right to free speech, we will start losing other rights and if they don’t affect you today, they might in four years. In four years, if Trump is not re-elected, if a Democrat is elected, everyone who voiced their displeasure over my post is going to want to use their 1st amendment right to call the new president an idiot or a moron.
However, if we start restricting the first amendment today to protect our feelings about the sitting president, so we are not offended, then later when we want to exercise it about someone or something else, we will not have that luxury if we later want to use it.
For the record, it is okay to be offended once in a while. Hearing opposing views from yours keeps you thinking. Instead of throwing my books in the proverbial trash can or Stephen King’s books in the proverbial trash can, we are supposed to think when we get offended… why does this person not support the person I think is doing a wonderful job? And just shouting about liberals doesn’t cut it, because I have some very conservative views to go along with my liberal ones.
Essentially, what I’ve learned from this is it’s okay for people to call me a n*****-lover and tell me they hope I get beheaded, but I am not allowed to have a voice. Let’s all rally the Gestapo and start referring to each other as comrades. Because retribution for disagreement with someone is the enemy of freedom.