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Freedom of Speech, Press and Protest in the Age of Hate

Feb 4, 2019 | Constitutional Rights

After the Charlottesville “Unite the Right Rally,” read a Washington Post article, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination condemned the Trump administration over its failure to “unequivocally reject and condemn the racist violent events and demonstrations.” Read NPR article.For me, the administration’s response – or lack thereof – has shown me they have forgotten many dark times in our history where people lived in fear, and hate groups used force and cries of “fake news” to discredit the press and silence their opponents. We cannot let this happen in our country.

Our country is diverse. Now we need to strive to be inclusive. No group is better than another; no religion is better than another. We are actually more alike than dissimilar. It is unjust when certain groups of people receive preferential treatment and social standing over others, even if this is not intentional but systemic nonetheless. (And there are certainly instances when preferential treatment is intentional.) While our varying backgrounds inform the way in which we interact with the world – and affect the way other people treat us – as Americans we are united in our pursuit of happiness and our desire to be treated fairly and equally. We have a long way to go to achieve this, but there are avenues in which we can make our voices heard.

Protest, yes – it is your right. Assemble in groups, write and express grievances – it is your right. March and rally with those who share your views – it is your right. Respect those who peacefully dissent by “Taking a Knee” at a football game even as you stand next to them. But no one should use force to state their case or make their point. If they do, the same force will be used against them and nothing but chaos will result.

I will never support any misanthropic group that lies and uses force and fear to destroy our democracy.

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