This was written by mikeqwest, a poster at www.musicrowdemocrats.com
as a response to negative comments made by another poster about Ward Churchill. It is so good, I thought it belonged in this forum:
Then I'm assuming that you belive that the KKK, black radicals like Alan Keyes, and the Kansas church group who travels the country vehemently opposing anything homosexual should be silenced. AARP opposes the President's Social Security reforms, and as such, they have been called hate and fear mongerers, would they be silenced by your standards?
The democratic republic we call the United States exists not because we limit speech, but in spite of it. Saying hateful things is not the same as yelling fire in a theatre, a connection that right-wingers seem bent on making. You are young still and thereby very impressionable. Don't fall for every bit of false logic that comes down the pike.
We are the greatest nation on the Earth because we allow, no, encourage dissent. And, it gets messy sometimes. That is the course of free men. Our founders came here for a variety of reasons, but all of them had a central purpose: To be able to speak openly and freely about all the things that affect their daily lives. At this time, you appear to believe that by limiting some speech, society will be more civil and there will be fewer "problems" The problem is that sooner or later, your voice will be in the minority and the very laws you desire will be turned against you. I don't think that there is anyone here who would want your voice silenced, even if we don't agree with your point of view.
There are plenty of examples of countries that "limit" speech. Saudi Arabia is one, the former regime of Saddam Hussein is another. And, the problems that they cause themselves is readily evident. Again, I'll remind you that freedom of speech is the one universally admired aspect of America.
Please make an effort to meet and converse with someone who was born in a country where speech is regulated. They will make the most passionate pleas to not limit speech. As I spent my three days at Guantanamo a decade ago, I cannot forget the Cuban refugees I met because they were all proud to be in the remote southeastern desert known as Gitmo, where for once, they could say whatever they wanted. Grown men, proud men, weeping with joy at the prospect of coming to America where they could hold and speak their own opinions.
Even on that tiny bit of American territory, the volume of discussion was loud and animated. It was as if they had never been allowed to use their voice for anything, They hadn't. It was there that my epiphany occured. The more voices that are raised, the stronger the group becomes. I cannot forget the man who told me he could hardly conceive of a land where you could disagree with your leaders and wake up in your own bed the next morning. He had the look of a man who had peeked over the mountain and had seen the promised land.
I could never deny that opportunity to anyone, for any reason. I suspect that he is in our Armed Forces, as he expressed that desire when he would come to our soil. I asked him why he would leave a military dictatorship to join the military in another country. He replied that he had no money to give to America, bacause if he did he would give it all to America.
No, he explained, he had only himself to give to a country that is so great that it would allow him to live and prosper there, and to speak his mind on whatever he pleased.
I had met a great patriot, and he had not even arrived on American soil at the time. I sure hope he is still talking, he had forty years of catching up to do. You'll learn so much in Ed's classes and you'll look back and remember it as one of the best moments of your educational life.
Link: http://www.musicrowdemocrats.com/bb/vie ... 1&start=15