Telling It Like It Is
Censorship has raised its ugly head. I wrote a blog yesterday about myself, about my feelings as to what has been happening in our country in recent days, and about the intense love most parents feel for their children. The piece was filled with I, I, I, because it was about what was occurring for me. It was personal. And, although, yes, I did share my own “up-until-then-private” outrage about kids in cages and about the heartbreaking separation of families, my writing circled back in the end, to me. The blog was about how I’ve been feeling, what I’ve been thinking, and how I am dealing with my emotional response to the current news cycle. In the end, I simply stated a paltry plan of action so that my voice is heard: to write. That’s all.
Eagar to share my blog, I “boosted” it on social media so that the audience reading it would be increased; it would be offered to a broader group of potential readers. Almost immediately, my request to boost was denied. The text and/or imagery you’re using qualifies as political based on the definition we’re using for enforcement. Okay. I accept that position although I still don’t agree that my blog was political. Perhaps it was the title – Caged - One Way Or Another – that caught someone’s eye. Maybe it was the photo of a large, warehouse cage that brought on some editor’s ire. Certainly the photo of tiny fingers grasping an adult’s thumb was innocuous enough. Wasn’t it? Yet, how am I to know another person’s way of thinking?
I’m venting, I know, but, in essence, I feel a bit as thought I have been censored. It was my understanding that suppression of free speech flew in the face of the first amendment. But maybe I’m wrong. As Bob Dylan put it in a much different time, The Times They Are A Changin’. And I’m a bit wary, as are, I believe, a few others.
I was watching the news earlier today and two reporters were decrying the fact that a few folks have attacked them personally for the stories they report. One actually mentioned the old saying - Don’t kill the messenger. These journalists were making the point that their right to free speech is essential. Ethical reporters are duty-bound to deliver the news accurately. As one correspondent pointed out, perhaps attackers of the news media should look beyond the newscast itself to the origin of the story. To whom or what is the story referring? It is not unthinkable that the protesters’ anger is misplaced. More importantly, however, shouldn’t they . . . shouldn’t all of us . . . be thankful for that first amendment right that protects free speech? Surely, it’s not something we want suppressed.
BTW, just in case a reader has forgotten, below are the words of the first amendment. I hope this doesn’t make today’s blog too political.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.