The Death of The Freedom of Speech

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Bennie Anderson
The MIzzou Sexual Harrasment case has sparked a major debate on the importance of Freedom of speech.

Bennie Anderson

The MIzzou Sexual Harrasment case has sparked a major debate on the importance of Freedom of speech.

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The society that we live in has become so focused on making sure that we appease the masses. We’ve come to try and accept and make everyone feel safe, which is a good practice.But at what cost?

While our society attempts to appease everyone, it actually appeases no one.

In this world, it’s like walking on eggshells. Everything I say, do, tweet, or post, I have to make sure that I don’t offend anyone. Or else I’ll end up like Kevin Hart and be forced to quit my dream job after a tweet from my distant past comes out where I say I don’t want my son to be gay.

Junior Justin Fuller had this to say about being politically correct, “I feel that it’s important that people are able to have an important discussion about important topics because without people sharing different ideas and viewpoint real change cannot happen.”

Part of that has to do with the society being geared towards making everyone feel accepted and cared for. Accepting and caring for others are good things, but when they are taken to the extreme, problems begin to occur.

Recently, deposition from the former Vice-Chancellor at Mizzou surfaced where she says, “That it can be considered sexual harassment when a tall man asks out a shorter woman.”

This is not to discredit sexual harassment or those who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. But to me, a 6’4 270-pound man, this statement is alarming and to be quite frank, ridiculous.

As ridiculous as this may be, this is just one example of what can happen when we start to see a restriction of our Freedom of Speech but more importantly freedom of opinion.

One of the founding principles of the United States of America was to create a place where we can talk and express our uniqueness freely and openly. That we can talk about sharing our differences and opinion with one another. That’s just simply not the case anymore.

We have these “safe spaces” which at its heart is a good idea to people who need to have a place where they can go and feel welcome. The term “safe space” is defined as, “a place (as on a college campus) intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations.”

That does not really sound like a safe place to me. To me, it sounds more like an emotional shield protecting those who are not strong or courageous enough to stand up for what they believe.

According to this definition, a safe place is a bunker where people go in retreat so that they can feel comfortable in their own skin and/or reject the notion that their beliefs might be wrong,

What’s the point of even having an opinion when all you’ll have to hear is someone say, “that’s a microaggression.” And the whole entire conversation gets shut down. A microaggression is defined as, “A direct, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group”.

An example of a microaggression is being followed around a store by a worker simply because of my race or my size. Not when someone has an opposite viewpoint or criticizes my stance on a particular subject matter. But that is what that this word has come to represent.

The other day at a local store in Chesterfield Valley, I walked into a store looking to find a pick for my hair and left feeling victimized simply because of my race and my size. The cashier proceeded to follow me throughout the story questioning why I was there and she was clearly on edge and nervous about my patronage at this particular store.

This is an example of a microaggression.

Because of our inability to contribute to positive conversations about important topics and issues that make people uncomfortable; society has suffered.

Instead of actually addressing problems we hide behind this veil of protection to hide our own insecurities and the fear of being wrong and having our beliefs proved wrong.

I strongly believe that if people had the courage to speak up for what they believe is right then the ignorance that we see in today’s society simply would not exist.

But who knows maybe that’s just a microaggression.

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