November 03, 2005

It's not *CENSORED*

I need to go off on something that has been bugging me for a couple of weeks now. It has me so pissed that it’s interfering with my ability to think logically and control my uncivilized impulses.

Why do people that claim to be using their freedom of speech get so bloody upset when you voice a dissenting opinion and claim censorship? The best example I can give that most people will remember is when the Dixie Chics made their comments about G. W. Bush about 4 years ago. They spoke their oppinions; they had every right to do so. I don’t agree with what they did/said but it is their constitutional right to do so. Where they pissed me off was when their fans and radio stations disagreed with what they said and spoke out against them.

When the public voiced their dissention of what the Dixie Chics had said, these “freedom of speech” fighters claimed that people where trying to censor them. BULLSHITE! Those people were exercising their freedom of speech to say they disagree or to tell the Dixie Chics they where wrong. Why is it when they said something against what the President was doing it was freedom of speech, but when their fans said something against what they did it was censorship? Isn’t that a huge double standard? I believe it is. If burning the American flag is covered by the first amendment as freedom of expression, then bulldozing thousands of the Dixie Chic’s CD’s is also a freedom of expression covered by the first amendment. This however is old news.

There have been a couple of incidents in the last month that really set my blood boiling. I feel people have the right to preach/evangelicalize/”spread the word” about their religion. This is part of freedom of speech. But when you start preaching at me and I tell you I’m not interested, and then you persist to preach at me; you are starting to cross freedom of speech into harassment. When I tell you to get off my property and not come back because I think your religion is nothing more then a glorified cult, that is NOT censorship. Just like you have the right to tell me that I’m going to hell if I don’t follow Jehovah, I have the same right to tell you that you’re a nut job and to get off of my property. It’s all covered under freedom of speech.

People that have political beliefs have the right to stand out in front of stores to promote their beliefs and hand out fliers. (If the store approves, it is private property) The other day walking into a local store some hippy love child… well I don’t know he was a love child, but he looked (i.e. smelled) like a neo hippy. He was handing out fliers trying to get people to join an anti-Bush protest rally in Rockford, IL. He was also trying to promote some local vast left wing conspiracy newspaper. (To be honest, I always thought it was the right wing that are the conspiracy theorists. j/k) He had the right to stand in front of the store smelling like patchouli and body odor to spread his message. I had the right to tell him I’m not interested and walk right past him with out hearing another word. Freedom of speech/expression does not necessarily mean words have to be involved. By my ignoring his presence, I “spoke” volumes. This is not censorship. Freedom of speech does not give you the right to sit there and hammer me with a barrage of words in which I don't want to hear. Freedom of speech gives you the right to talk to an audience, it does not mandate that the audience has to stick around and listen to the message.
There is a Green Bay Packer flag hanging off my truck antenna. It is my freedom of speech to support my team proudly. Living in Illinois, this does come with some ribbing. Freedom of speech gives the local Bear fans the right to do so. See, that is how it works. I’m promoting my team, which is my freedom of speech. A Bear fan gives me a hard time for living in Illinois and not supporting the Bears, that is his freedom of speech. Now when the militant Bear fan tells me I should take that flag down because “the Packers suck” and I remind him the Bears haven’t exactly been a stellar team over the last two decades, I’m still using my freedom of speech.

To be honest this cretin didn’t say I was trying to censor him, but he did verbalize a hostile retort about doing something unpleasant with that flag and my lower digestive tract. But, it helps to explain my point. Now we had a whole freedom of speech back and forth there, until he threatened physical harm… or I guess in Illinois that would be considered Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault. Then you get into other legal issues that have nothing to do with freedom of speech.

My whole point to this convoluted post is that if you are going to exercise your freedom of speech, don’t be surprised if someone else exercises their freedom of speech with an opposing response. That is their right. They are NOT trying to censor you.

Posted by Contagion in Rants and Raves at November 3, 2005 12:45 PM | TrackBack

Stop yelling! I know you are doing it just to oppress me. my freedom of being free from your speech is being trampled on! Have a nice day. :)

Posted by: oddybobo at November 3, 2005 10:54 AM

Well said.

Posted by: vw bug at November 3, 2005 02:11 PM

Wait... there was an anti-Bush rally in Rockford? When did this happen?!?!

Fuck, there goes a perfect opportunity for me to use some hippies as stress reduction targets....

Posted by: Graumagus at November 3, 2005 02:30 PM