By Chris Barts
America was built on freedom. Freedom is the greatest thing our government is used to defend, and it is the greatest thing we as citizens and humans must defend. There are whole groups devoted to the preservation of the freedoms of certain groups. These groups, while they may have been needed decades ago, have outlived their usefulness, and in certain cases are even harmful these days. A prime example of the harm those groups do is a form of censorship called political correctness', and it is becoming a pervasive madness in the free world.
Political correctness began innocently enough, as a political movement bent on weeding out discriminatory influences in American culture. Back then, discrimination had been ingrained in the culture simply because those in power had been indoctrinated in discrimination to keep power and keep the masses happy. However, political correctness was taken too far, an example of good, if naive, intentions being used to further the personal aims of the most radical adherents of the philosophy that spawned it. Political correctness has been used to literally pull books off library shelves and financially pressure, if not sue outright, bookstores into no longer carrying currently disfavored books. That is censorship, and censorship is morally and legally wrong.
The censorship does not end with books, however. In Gloucester, Great Britain, undercover police agents have gone into restaurants simply to listen for bigoted conversation. In Great Britain, free speech lacks the protections it has here, but even our protections seem flimsy in the face of incidents like the one in Albany, N.Y., where a picnic honoring Jackie Robinson, famous black baseball player who broke the color line,' was protested by blacks who thought the term picnic' was derogatory and made reference to lynchings. The word picnic' was briefly replaced with outing,' but the homosexual activists complained. So now there is no word to describe what, in a free society, would simply be called a picnic. That is sad.
I am not anti-liberal, nor am I anti-equality. I believe that everyone deserves a fair hearing, both legally and politically, and I believe that freedom of expression is freedom of thought. Freethinkers, those who are not shackled by taboos and are willing to speak their mind, are being silenced by groups that pay lip service to freedom and equality while being scared to death of the thought of anyone but them being free, or any ideas but theirs being expressed.
Humans, possessors of rational minds and the ability to understand the concept of freedom, have a grave responsibility to each other. We must give others the ability to speak and be heard; even if what they say offends us or makes us angry. The freedom of expression shines down on all of us, regardless of who we are. That's equality.