Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Remember your rights!

  All to often we get self absorbed in our world views and think that those with different voices need to be silenced.  When ever you find yourself thinking "Someone needs to shut them up!" or "Why are they being allowed to protest?" then I ask you to step back and think.  We live in a society that was designed by our forefathers to give a voice to the minorities in the community.  To establish a mechanism where they can air their grievances in a peaceful manner.  The for fathers where very purposeful in their doctrine to guaranty these rights to all not just to those that hold the same view as yourself.

  I find myself torn in many situations.  I think to myself "Why do we have to put up with Westboro Baptist Church?" or "Why do the police let those Neo Nazi's gather like that?".  But then I remember that while I find these people morally reprehensible I'm sure many people find me morally reprehensible when I support peoples rights even if they are sexually attracted to someone of the same sex.  I'm sure many people find me morally reprehensible when I support Muslims when they want to build a mosque near the former World Trade Center.  I'm sure many people find me morally reprehensible when I advocate for the teaching of main stream science like the modern theory of evolution.  I'm know people find me morally reprehensible when they find out I am an atheist.

  I've voiced my support for movements like Occupy Wall Street before not only because it is a good example of peaceful protest, but also because it is against a system which is responsible for a large social injustice in our society.  Many people complain that such and such of a group is "Un-American" because they protest against the government.  Ironically when those exact same people protest because they don't agree with the current administration they are "exercising their constitutional rights".

  All people should be weary of the subtle changes that we are seeing in our society.  The introduction to Free Speech Zones just boggles my mind.  It is a perfect example of limiting oppositional voices under the guise of things like "protecting the safety of the public".  In the past we've had some tragedies when the government has tried to stop peaceful protests under such pretences.   43 years ago at Kent State University where members of the Ohio National Guard fired 67 rounds into protesters killing 4 kids and wounding 9 others.  29 out of 77 the guardsmen present admitted to discharging their firearms into an unarmed crowd.  Two of the four young adults killed, William Knox Schroeder and Sandra Lee Scheuer, were not even protesters   They were just walking between classes.  One can only be thankful that either most of those 29 where really bad shots or that they purposefully missed their targets or this tragedy could have been a lot worse.

  In today's day and age we have to remember that peaceful protests are a very valid way for people to air their views.  The government should not infringe on those rights.  Even if you don't agree with what the protesters are saying.  Especially if you don't agree with what they are saying.  Because the same bills that you may support today that would stop people, who have different world views then yours, from protesting could be used against you later when you find yourself wanting to let your own thoughts be known.

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