06 February 2016


by D. Denise Dianaty
Artist and Poet and Blogger
Book of poetry, My Life In Poetry

It is the height of arrogance and conceit, and it is deeply ‪‎UN-AMERICAN‬ and wholly UNCONSTITUTIONAL‬ to tell another American to get out of their own country because you disagree with their free speech.

You do not have to agree with me, but you do not get to tell me what to think or say. The Constitution‬ of the United States of America guarantees my Freedom of Speech‬ as equally as it does yours. Your disagreement with my speech will NEVER give you the power to take away my citizenship nor order me from the country. This is MY country too. And I will use my Freedom of Speech in the way I believe best serves the advancement of tolerance, peace and social justice. If you don’t like it, use your Freedom of Speech as you see best. But don’t ever tell me to leave MY country because you disagree with my viewpoint. And don’t tell me to be silent because silence is apathy.

“Apathy is acquiescence is compliance is approval.” ~DDDianaty

“Hands and hearts and minds and voices committed to working for tolerance, peace and social justice everywhere, always.” ~DDDianaty
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by Chad Bittner-Hurt
Poet and Writer

You must be allowed to speak. There is importance in every grouping of words disregarding preference. It will flesh out your perspective — guaranteed. It is a soup that must be allowed freedom in its choice of ingredients to perpetuate a richness enjoyed by all that endeavor to elevate speech. “Yes” — “no” — “maybe” are all necessary to any and all points defined. The infinite combinations in pure duality are required to make any desired point so be thankful for your chance to be heard or even adopted. Thank the counter and everything in between for your sure thing, without them you'd have nothing. So celebrate everything, hold firm to your beliefs, elevate the art of finding your truth in everything. This, to me, is Freedom of Speech.
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by Jennie Baron
Author and Poet

I probably never will be told to leave my country because someone disagrees with me, so I was hard put to define how freedom of speech affects me. I started wondering how political correctness run amok affects freedom of speech.  
In this society everyone seems quick to be offended by, or to file lawsuits over, any real or imagined slight.  
During the holidays we stop and think whether someone is going to be offended if we say “Merry Christmas.” 

In the name of freedom of religion we seemingly attempt to remove anything religious from public life, including school.
Freedoms of speech and expression go hand in hand and are basic constitutional principles, but I fear they are eroded by censorship and book banning in some cases. I can and do write material that might offend some people’s rigid notions of morality. Fine, they’re free not to read it, but given the tone of these times, some wouldn’t leave it at that and would try to suppress what I say. I haven’t dealt with them—so far. We are wound up too tight and need more understanding and tolerance. Those are ideals toward which our nation should strive. That includes respect for the rights of those who are different from us, who have different opinions, who worship differently, who may have come from other nations. Else what does the Statue of Liberty’s torch stand for?
We must realize, for example, that even though we have a presidential candidate spewing hateful and ever more shockingly offensive words, seemingly to test the limits of what he can get away with—he has every right to say what he wants. If we open dialogue among our wonderfully diverse groups, that kind of speech will die the slow death it deserves.
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by Arthur Browne
Author, humorist, and blogger
Ripping my guts out for your entertainment

Freedom of speech seems like a simple and obvious thing. But it isn’t simple at all. Yes, you have the freedom to say anything, within a few well-established guidelines. You can’t yell “FIRE” in a crowded theatre. You can be sued for libel or slander if what you say about someone is an outright lie. At the heart of it, the right, which we hold so dear, to say anything is based on a social contract. We have all, more or less, agreed to conform to at least a certain, minimal level of socially acceptable language, falling under the generic category of political correctness.

You have the right to use racial slurs, but you will be labeled a racist and a bigot. You certainly are allowed to say stupid and inane things, but don’t blame the rest of us if we start calling you an ignoramus. What it boils down to: You are judged by your words. Freedom of speech is basically us giving each other enough rope… or tongue… with which to hang ourselves, should we so choose.

On my blog, I insult people all the time. I tell myself that I am doing it for good reasons, because I mostly insult people whom I find obnoxious, people who disagree with me about fundamental issues. As the author of a humor blog and some books that I like to think contain some humor, I understand the inherent need of anyone trying to express what is funny about the world in words, to push the envelope. Comedians and humorists are constantly trying to find the edge of the abyss and walk along it. Because humor is the weapon that some of us choose with which to battle all that is wrong with the world.

For further the full essay from Arthur Browne, please go to: http://pouringmyartout.com/2016/03/01/freedom-of-speech-some-thoughts/
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by TL Boehm

Let’s face it. On the world scene, the US is obnoxious. We’re a half drunk co-ed with no filter and little tact, flashing our soft underparts for the whole planet to see. It’s how we roll.  Because ‘Merika. Love it or leave it. 

But, there’s a reason for our perceived guns and glory flippancy. We’re a passionate people, descended from those brave souls who were more than willing to fight and die so we could be the free people we are today. A few hundred years ago we fought for the freedom to live without the oppression of state run religion, of punitive taxation, for an opportunity to work the land and leave something for our children. A few generations ago we translated that fight mentality to the world stage defending nations against genocide. A few decades back we fought for the equality of our own citizens. We’re a scrappy bunch, but that’s ok. You see, in defending our rights to things like free speech we may end up metaphorically puking in someone’s pretty little punchbowl. 

Or… We may find the eloquence to stand with each other and with our words to galvanize a generation, joining the ranks of Thomas Paine, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. Yup, I’m an American and I’m proud and humbled to be one. Sometimes I puke in the punchbowl…And sometimes… I speak of dreams as is my right and yours. 

Words are power. What we speak defines us. Our words wait in our future for us setting our path for success or destruction. Why would anyone ever hand that power over to a government or a censor and allow the hobbling of his or her very existence? I choose to protect my future and yours too. That’s how I roll. 

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by Dale Deadmond
Author of two poetry books and one novel

One of the greatest freedoms we were given when the Constitution was written is the freedom of speech. As Americans we always want the right to exercise our First Amendment right to free speech. 

But what about when we don’t agree with what someone else says? What if it offends us? One of the biggest problems in this country is that people want their right to free speech but don’t want people they don’t agree with to be able to express their thoughts.

I believe to be a true American you have to be able to allow others to have the same rights that you believe you are entitled to, even if you don’t agree or it offends you.
I certainly don’t agree with many people. I think they are closed minded, ignorant, prejudice or sexiest in things they may say. I certainly wouldn’t tell them not to express their thoughts. I would just exercise my right to tell them how stupid I think they are being.

So if you don’t believe all citizens of the United States have the right to freedom of speech then look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Why am I so afraid of ideas and ideals different from mine?”

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