Do Americans Still Have Freedom Of Speech and Expression?

It’s no accident that our Founding Fathers came up with Freedom of Speech as our first human right. That’s how important it is for we humans to voice our opinions, speak our minds and concerns without fear of any reprisals. BUT, can we Americans do that anymore?

Here’s what the First Amendment states:

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The law specifically states ‘CONGRESS’ shall make no law yada, yada, yada………and to be honest, congress hasn’t been stopping anyone from saying whatever it is they want to say. Regardless. Heck! You can even burn the American flag in Macy’s front window on NYC’s Fifth Avenue for all they care. Congress isn’t going to stop you.

Know who’s going to stop you from speaking your mind? Burning the flag? Or voicing your opinion here in America today? Big, fat, rich corporations, that’s who. And their accompanying rich, billionaire Board Of Directors, including whomever holds the most amount of stock in said corporations.

Don’t believe me? Why don’t you log onto YouTube, Twitter or Facebook and say something nice about our current president? Or better yet, say something opposite of what those big conglomerates feel and see what happens?

Funny, but I don’t remember voting for the likes of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg for a political office. Did you? Same for those two Twitter CEO billionaires, Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams. Were they running for Congress when I took a nap last week and missed it? How about that new, all time silencer of all, You Tube? Which is now owned by Google, which is now owned by Alphabet but is all run by CEO’s Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Sundar Pichai. I don’t recall any of those names on any political ballot yet all of them can tell you and I exactly what we can and can not say.

Lord help you if you are a Christian Conservative. I’d like you to listen to Elizabeth, a woman of poor health, poor financials as she begs her YouTube subscribers, to NOT even leave any political comments on her channel because YouTube took their channel down last week. Apparently her husband, Bill, said one tiny, teeny-weeny political sentence just once on their three-year old YouTube channel, and this financially poor (literally) couple were in danger of losing their YouTube income:

 

What? Don’t see anything? Of course not. This couple is so frightened they even took down their YouTube video politely asking their 36,000 subscribers to keep their mouths shut when it came to politics for fear of YouTube taking down their channel yet once again. Here is a link to the original video Bill posted and then had to re-edit and take out his one political sentence. Read the comments and you will understand what I am talking about.

It’s bad enough  that most of us don’t tolerate what other people say. We chastise them, taunt them, discredit them on social media till they just go away and never come back. It’s nothing new BUT it is getting much, much worse. Back in 2007 when I announced on my then-blog, who I was going to vote for in the upcoming election, I was threatened with death. People commented on my blog that they were going to hunt me down and kill me. I had to take down my blog immediately and lay low for a while (at least till everyone forgot me) Fast forward to this last election and to prove how much worse tolerance has become, expressing my opinions got me banned from my own family (for a year and a heart attack later) when I revealed who I was going to vote for again.

Is the moral of the story supposed to be for me, you, and all of us to just keep our mouths shut? Why is there no more tolerance and respect (yes! respect!) for listening to what others have to say; accepting that we all are different and letting people say what they want to say, without fear of death or retribution? Not only do we have big corporations and billionaires bullying us and deciding over our lives as they take away more and more of our freedoms but none of us can get along with each other either any more.

Personally, I don’t know what’s right or whats wrong anymore. I don’t know who’s good or who’s bad anymore. I don’t know what to say or what not to say. I’m more like a ‘wait and see’ type of gal now. That’s why I want to talk to people, listen to what they have to say, listen to their thoughts, hope and dreams and somewhere, somehow come to my own conclusions in there. It’s called freedom of choice. AND if I voice my own conclusions I don’t want to pay a price for it.

Many of us can’t even leave our comments on some blog/vlog posts anymore. They never get published. The blog authors have their own guidelines on what’s acceptable and what’s not. If you don’t think like them, you are banned. Pure and simple. I know I’m a brutal truth teller and most people just don’t want to hear what I have to say. I get that. They continue to live in la la land and spew their version of mistruths along the way. That’s fine. But if somehow WordPress decided they don’t like what I am saying right here, I may be in fear of losing my last, last platform where I can speak freely.

OK. I’ll come off my soap box. I’ll go back to writing about what I ate for dinner last night or how I saved money buying discounted lasagna noodles at Odd Lots. Those seem to be acceptable topics. But I’ll never connect with someone else’s deepest thoughts or brilliant ideas because they are too scared to enunciate them. We’ll never really, truly know what others think or feel for fear of retribution. I understand that and I’m not blaming anyone. We’re all in survival mode. Except for those deceitful, power-hungry billionaires who have taken over our country, our laws and our way of life. They want to control our thoughts and ideas.

Guess I’ll have to go downtown to Macy’s and burn an American flag in their window for anyone to even notice me.

Oh well.

 

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8 comments

  1. Like it or not, if you own the platform, you control the content. That’s how it always has been, only back in the “old days” you had to be rich enough to own a printing press or broadcast tower and have means of distribution. And also as it always has been, it’s about the money. These platforms are supported by advertisers, who have become well-aware of the power of one person to start a viral boycott that can ruin a business. You are free to create your own website; just don’t expect Google or YouTube to support you if your message has the potential to offend potential customers.

    Like

    • Bonnie, even if you start your own website, some company has to provide that service. The company can take you down in an instant if it doesn’t like your content.
      As to advertisers, when I was with Google I had no choice over who they chose as my advertisements. I clearly stated, however, in my application that I wanted no political ads nor religious ads. Yet, after a few years, for no apparent reason Google demonitzed my sight and specifically told me the advertisers did not like my content. If you are familiar with Google, I’m not part of a class action suit, which Google lost for doing such a thing to me and thousands of other bloggers. BTW, Google lost and I am going to get part of the settlement. Google also withheld my income from that month, which they had no right in doing. I’m getting back that less 30%.
      So, we really do not have any control over what we say or speak. I do not take on any advertising on this Word Press blog BUT Word Press does place their won ads at the bottom of my posts and are paid accordingly off whatever I write. Fair? Absolutely not. They’re benefiting off my work. I suppose, in exchange, I get a free blog. Don’t know.
      As Bob Dylan, so painfully sung: Everybody’s got to serve somebody. And sadly, we all do. There’s no such thing as freedom of speech. Maybe there never was.
      Thank you for your comment.

      Like

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