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Tuesday
January 19th, 2021
L&T Opinions Page

earl watt mugL&T Publisher Earl Watt

 

Discrimination cannot take place against race, religion, sex, or national origin. Why do we allow discrimination against people with different political views?

Isn’t the freedom of speech a civil right? Isn’t the freedom to have different political views a civil right?

We would never allow a restaurant to prevent black people from being able to order, but we are watching some of the largest violations of civil rights take place right in front of us and are doing nothing about it.

The argument being made is a private company can determine what they allow in their business, but we already know that is not true. Businesses cannot discriminate or violate a person’s civil rights.

Now, we are watching companies tell customers what they have to believe politically to be able to do business together.

That is a clear civil rights violation.

This is not a free speech issue. And this is not a private business rights issue.

Both of those cases are missing the true violation of having social media companies and Internet Service Providers limiting the ability of the sharing of ideas.

This is a civil rights violation, and that is the case that should be made.

I was dumbfounded when I saw a “Facebook friend” make a post saying Donald Trump should not be allowed to speak.

Nothing is more dangerous to liberty than silencing voices you don’t want to hear.

College campuses have become echo chambers that only allow one political viewpoint, and those who support conservative values have been shouted down and called hate speech.

The cancel culture has taken the position that any view that disagrees with their political goals should be outlawed.

And we have sat idly by and watched as comedians, actors, celebrities and politicians have had their careers ruined because of the unilateral control of the entertainment industry.

Could you imagine if Martin Luther King, Jr., was not allowed to share his ideas because the networks of his day believed his ideas to be dangerous?

Civil rights aren’t something that are passed by a vote. A person is “endowed by their Creator” with civil rights. 

You are born with rights that cannot be taken away from you, even if another person thinks your color is dangerous or your words are dangerous.

Private companies do not have the right to violate the rights of others. They don’t have the freedom to determine what words are acceptable and which are not.

Some may make the argument that yelling “fire” in a theater is not protected by free speech, and that is correct. 

Questioning how an election has taken place, however, is nowhere near the same. Asking people to take action against injustice is not the same.

The Black Lives Matter movement is completely challenging injustices they believe are inherent in government, that there is a bias against black people that should be addressed.

If a person disagrees with that position, should they be able to censor BLM? Should they be allowed to prevent BLM from making their case?

Of course not. BLM should be able to share their views whether others agree with it or not, and anyone who questions the validity of an election should be able to do so whether anyone agrees with them or not.

Freedom isn’t about majority rule. That’s democracy. Freedom is your right to have a minority view. Quite often, the ideas that become the cornerstone of a nation start out as minority views. 

We once believed women should not be allowed to vote and that slavery was acceptable. But voices spoke out against such unfair practices, and they had every right to do so.

When a company discriminates against you because they disagree with your God-given rights, they are violating your civil liberties.

America has always been a place where every idea could be shared.

That doesn’t mean pornography should be available to underage children on the Internet.

But it does mean different political ideologies should not be discriminated against by any private business. 

If a restaurant only served Republicans and refused to serve Democrats, none of us would tolerate that sort of discrimination.

But we are seeing big tech do exactly that today, allowing only one set of ideas while banning others.

Ron Paul, a libertarian who questions the federal reserve, had his account blocked because he questioned the practice of banning, and they claimed he “violated community standards.”

Those same claims were made to justify not hiring black people decades ago.

We claim to be woke, but what we really are seeing is a crack down on freedom of thought. We are seeing civil liberties being violated. We are slipping into a gestapo-style partnership between the big government left and big tech.

Violence is never the answer, and what happened at the Capitol was wrong. But that doesn’t mean we can justify discrimination of political thought.

You don’t have to agree with any of this. You don’t have to read it. But I have the God-given right to say it.

The colonists made some pretty crazy assertions in 1776. They believe men could govern themselves and protect civil liberties from a tyrannical government or from the powerful.

We have arrived at a place where that notion is being tested. 

Will freedom prevail or will thought be suppressed? 

I choose liberty. What will you choose?

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L&T Publisher Earl Watt

 

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