Are we allowed to have our own opinion and speak our mind anymore? Look at how many celebrities make a statement and retract it within 24 hours. Do we only want celebrities who share our own opinions and beliefs? Or do we just want them to shut up and be pretty? How does that thought trickle down to the rest of us? Are we slowly creeping toward eliminating true freedom of speech?
“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. At some point in time everyone has heard this from their parent or authority figure. I still remember the one time I had my mouth washed out with soap for using a swear word within hearing distance of my mother. We want people to think before speaking and be politically correct in the hopes that we would have a kinder, gentler society. But is there a cost to demanding more political correctness?
At some point you have to get past being politically correct and making everyone like you in order to form your own opinions and speak your mind. We all have likes and dislikes. We all want to give feedback and comment. Every blog and article has space now for people to write, argue, and express their opinion regarding the topic. We want it, we crave it, we demand it. But when someone gets caught on TV or twitter, etc. ranting an objection with a few key words it ignites a firestorm. Victor Cruz tweets about his opinion on the George Zimmerman verdict and has to retract it. Jim Carrey speaks his mind about gun control and has to apologize to gun owners. Orson Scott Card writes a bestselling book 30 years ago which is turned into a movie coming out this fall and people are demanding a boycott because he doesn’t support Gay Marriage.
And what about the response? It seems like the loudest responses are always those who disagree, which inevitably winds up being a rather small percentage of true society anyway. Then have you noticed that the majority of those responses for tolerance and political correctness simply reinforce intolerance? The demand for political correctness and acceptance comes with it’s own line in the sand. It’s “Accept us or we won’t accept you either”. It’s a “love me or I’ll hurt you” scenario. Paula Deen was wrong to use a derogatory slang and we demanded her removal from TV. How is that tolerant?
I’m tired of the blatant hypocrisy. Yes, there are consequences where I shouldn’t expect to be friends if I cuss you out. But I think we’ve taken those consequences way too far. It’s like your mom going from washing your mouth out with soap, to cutting out your tongue. Opinions and personal beliefs are what make us individuals. They are valued and the greatest part of living a free people. If we are constantly regurgitating the same thoughts and opinions that are acceptable by a limited sampling of society, we no longer live as free thinking individuals. What’s the point in believing in something if you aren’t allowed to share it? And what’s the point in having freedom of speech if those who are offended by it take it away?