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A Few Thoughts on Free Speech

The greatest thing about America is that we are free to speak our minds.

I bring this up because of recent controversies regarding athletes who chose to protest unjustified police action shootings of unarmed black men by either kneeling during the national anthem before sporting events or raising the “black power” fist as symbolized in the 1968 Olympics by  Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony.

Some folks call it disrespectful and say they shouldn’t protest.   I call it exercising your rights.

If someone has a problem with something this country is doing, they have every right to peacefully protest.  Remember the Tea Party rallies back in 2010?   And to get mad when someone peacefully protests and exercises their first amendment rights seems a little misguided.  And dare I say, almost anti-American?   They have the right to speak out, just like you have the right to speak out against them.

Now with that said, while I do think these athletes, just like anyone else, have the right to protest, I think they should also be mindful of exactly what they’re protesting.  I have no problem with the protests of what someone thinks is an unjustified police action shooting, but how about we also protest the fact that African-Americans are disproportionately a  majority of the the murder victims in this country.

Have you seen the local news lately?  And my hometown of Chicago has been in a murder free-for-all, and I can assure you the bulk of those murders weren’t done by someone wearing a police officer’s uniform.   I think those types of incidents deserve as much attention from the protesting crowd as unjustified police action shootings.

But at the end of the day, we all have the right to speak out and protest what we think is a societal injustice.  And you yes, have the right to peacefully protest them.  And then someone has the right to protest you.  And someone has the right to protest them.  And so on. And so on.

America is an awesome place.


  • malercous

    Time, place & manner. I’d add using discretion & a bit of class. I sympathize with Kaepernick, et al, but I question his discretion–not classy.