Whatever happened to "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," as a principle to live by?
It forms the basis for not only the First Amendment freedom of speech guarantees, but also acts as a foundation for a civil society. We’ve been losing both free speech and civility in recent months.
On Saturday two Texas law enforcement officers were tragically killed after being lured into an ambush shooting. Savannah Chavez, the daughter of Ismael Chavez, 39, and one of the slain officers, wrote a loving tribute to her father — and she was criticized for it.
"Words cannot describe the pain I’m in, but I’m glad my dad is at peace," she wrote. "You were an amazing man and anyone who ever came across you knew that.”
She added, "I’m going to miss you so much. you died doing what you loved most, you died a hero. i love you daddy, see you soon. #bluelivesmatter."
Although she received many expressions of sympathy and support, that "Blue Lives Matter" hashtag at the end brought out the haters.
"Being a cop is a choice. Lmao [laughing my a** off] and last time I checked, blue people don’t exist. Maybe educate yourself?" was one response.
"Blue lives matter was literally created in response to and to undermine black lives matter. There’s no other connotation unfortunately," was another.
"I am so sorry for your loss but you didn’t have to use a racist hashtag," was a third response.
She removed the loving eulogy to her father from Twitter. The haters’ statements remain.
Also over the weekend J.K. Rowling, the author of the "Harry Potter" series of books, was targeted for expressing opposition to something most people would object to — the use of hormones and surgery on "transsexual" children.
"Many health professionals are concerned that young people struggling with their mental health are being shunted towards hormones and surgery when this may not be in their best interests," she wrote.
"Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalisation that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function," she added.
In response her handprints on the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland, cast in her honor, were vandalized.
The handprints — and only her’s — were smeared with blood-red paint. Those of other notable figures were left alone.
The First Amendment really took a hit on Independence Day weekend, resulting in the death of a young, Indiana mother.
Jessica Doty Whitaker, 24, was taking a stroll along the Indianapolis Canal Walk with her fiancée and another couple when they came upon a group of Black Lives Matter protesters.
An argument ensued, and when one of the demonstrators shouted "black lives matter," either Whitaker or someone else in her group replied with "all lives matter," which raised the temperature of the argument.
Shortly after the groups separated, a shot rang out from the BLM group and Whitaker died of a gunshot wound, leaving behind a three-year-old son.
So how did we get here?
Award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson observed that the practice of suppressing disagreeable speech may have originated with the Obama administration.
"Pres. Obama lectured Sony on not caving to violent threats shutting down free speech . . .but. . . ." she tweeted in 2014, adding, “same Obama administration asked YouTube to take down free speech video 'Innocence of Muslims' so it wouldn't incite violence from terrorists."
During the six years since then liberals have taken the lazy-man’s approach to speech with which they disagree.
Speech that others take issue with is supposed promote more speech, in the form of a lively, civil debate. But nowadays disagreeable speech is called "hate speech," and possibly "misogynist," "homophobic," or the ever-popular "racist" speech.
The human race is supposed to evolve, become better. Instead we’re degenerating, and it’s becoming hurtful in some cases, deadly in others.
Most recently it denied the ability of a young woman to honor and grieve for her slain father in dignity, the joy of another of raising her son to adulthood, and the satisfaction of a third in enjoying the accolades of a lifetime of achievements.
The principle, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," is attributed to Voltaire. He would be saddened in the present condition of the human race.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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