#Freedom of Speech

Grunge American flag backgroundHappy 4th! Happy celebration of freedom! My favorite freedom is granted by the First Amendment, and it’s the Freedom of Speech!

As you may or may not know, I was born outside of the U.S., and immigrated here in 2006. I’ve been a citizen for the past four years, and am very proud to call myself an American. When I immigrated here, I was looking 1) to better my life, 2) to be free in any choice I made and 3) to achieve a level of contentment which I knew would give me a sense of satisfaction not only in myself, but in my country of adoption. I left my country of origin because of the lack of opportunities, and the rigid societal structure. I dealt with bullying for my religious background and foreign origins (Dad is Jewish, Mom is German), lived my existence pretty much feeling like an outcast all my childhood and teenage life, and all I ever wanted, since the age of five, was to move here, to the United States. I knew I would find my tribe here. I knew I would be free to be whoever I chose to be, and I would not be judged for the color of my skin (which is olive but apparently here I’m considered Caucasian white, so I’ll say I tan without a sunburn), my ethnicity, my religious beliefs (or lack thereof), my origins, my political affiliations and everything else that make me the individual I am today.

I am extremely disappointed to see the great freedom we have in this country, which is the freedom of speech, which doesn’t exist where I come from (yes, censorship is real and being used) to be soiled, year after year, because a group of people decided saying openly what we thought (within the limits of the First Amendment) was a crime.

Too many feelings get hurt. Anti-bullies turn into bullies themselves. Some people aspire to live in this perfect bubble where everyone is politically correct, with a stick shoved so far up their ass, they will die from a conniption or maybe end up strangling some random dude in a fit or rage one of these days because resentments are very real, and no one is getting over them in a healthy way.

Silent and suppressed anger cause a lot of damage to relationships. We should be able to say what we want and people should be able to respect our opinions, right? In theory, we should be able to defend ourselves against the stupid commentaries from (insert here someone who really gets on your nerves) and free ourselves, once and for all, from giving a shit what people thought about us.

Let me tell you, even when I try not to offend people (and I’m pretty sure whatever I say is very far from something utterly offensive), my stomach does a somersault each time, and I feel like I’m perpetually walking on egg shells. I once offended someone because I said they should comb their hair, which implied they looked filthy, which they did. Fine. Be disgusting, don’t comb your hair and smell your farts all day long. I don’t care. I’m still going to tell you you look like crap because it’s a fact.

I’m not even frustrated because people around me are idiots, and they get butt hurt every three seconds. I’m mostly annoyed and very disappointed because there is no possibility for debate anymore. As soon as someone says something that isn’t along the lines of the majority, that person gets automatically banned, and shunned. There’s no discussion anymore. It has become impossible to voice an opinion, whatever that opinion is.

So the freedom our forefathers fought so hard for over two hundred years ago is being dragged into the mud because someone doesn’t like a particular opinion, and decided to censor it. And the sad reality is, instead of fighting the person who is censoring and clawing out bits and pieces of our First Amendment, more people support censorship. Censorship is very dangerous. You know which regimes love censorship? Dictatorships.

There is only one mind, one mold, one way of doing things. Boundaries and difference of opinions are considered a threat. It’s not even cute anymore. There was a time where I thought, why the heck did I leave my country of origin? There was no point in coming here. Yes, I get it. You want to prevent kids and fragile adults from getting hurt. But this is more than that. This is turning into silent oppression. I had one friend stop talking to me because I disagreed with her on one issue. She didn’t take into consideration my side of the story. She only thought of her feelings. How my words hurt her, and how misunderstood she felt. Meanwhile, she hurt me too with her words. So we both hurt each other, and instead of shrugging it off, we still, to this day, do not talk.

How sad is that?

I didn’t think it’d be so bad. I extended an olive branch several times. I guess it’s not good enough because deep down, I don’t think like her.

So our freedom of speech is turning into some kind of limited warranty like you get when you purchase a vacuum online. My words mean too much to one or several people, and lead them to react to what I say, sometimes with greater passion. I become the target of their anger and frustration. My original thought has probably nothing to do with them! It doesn’t matter. I offended them somehow, and now my freedom of speech shall be censored.

I’ve used this platform for several years now, and have expressed many many feelings because this helps me put things in perspective. I do not use this blog to slander anyone. I speak very often in very broad terms so my point gets across without attacking anyone personally. Little is left to say when I’m ultimately asked to take a post down.

This happened. I was asked to delete a post from my platform. Beyond the post itself, it was my expression of my feelings on my personal platform which was so violently rejected and caused so much turmoil (while the content was so broad, no stranger would have ever known what I was referring to), that I was ordered to take the post down. I’m not going to share the details. The act in itself is enough to leave me bitter and disappointed.

I’m the bigger person. I will let that slide, because I’d rather be happy than right. Deep down though, all I want to do is TP the motherf*cker’s house whose feelings got so hurt by my words they couldn’t stare at their reflection in the mirror without shedding a few crocodile tears. They disapproved of my feelings, making it all about them, and instead of saying, whatever dude, (and maybe, just maybe, consider there was one sprinkle of truth in whatever I said, and this should have sparked a conversation instead of a war), they went down denial road on a battle to make me delete my words, and discard my feelings like they didn’t count. Their feelings, however, counted plenty.

So there you have it. I could go on and on about all the times I said one thing that deviated from the common denominator and I got not only insulted by these people whom I didn’t think alike, but also literally cast off the discussion so that my disagreeing opinion would have no place there anyhow, and they could continue their little banter among themselves.

Then you just gotta laugh out loud when these same people get smacked in the face by their own bullying tactics and they lose ground on whatever issue they fought so hard to defend because the silent (resentful) vote got the best of them.

Truth is I did not grow up thinking everything in life is black and white, and if you don’t like these colors, you can go f*ck yourself. I really like red, but I guess I don’t count. If I dilute my thoughts long enough, maybe I’ll get closer to white or black, depending on which group is the loudest at this time.

There’s really no choice, is there? It’s being stuck between a rock and hard place. Freedom of speech is dying, and I feel trapped in my own head, so my only outlet (for now) is this. These words coming out on a page that maybe someone will read and get offended by. What else is new? Being free doesn’t mean much anymore. So yes, it does feel like home, the original home, and it sucks. I hate it. I don’t even know why I worked so hard to assimilate here. I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.

I hope freedom won’t completely die on us. I hope our words still have meaning somewhere. I feel like I’m part of the Resistance or something. Fighting for what’s right and just against the brainwashing that’s happening these days. Maybe someday true freedom will prevail again.

At this point, all I have left is hope.

 

 

2 comments

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  1. Robert Adams

    Fantastic post! Too few people know what a blessing the freedom of expression is. Too many try to get people with opposing views to “shut up,” not realizing the precedent that sets for them in the future. Happy Independence Day!

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