Free Speech – When is it no longer free


Note the phrase “Peaceably to assemble”. The freedom of speech apparently has no definitive limits, but it does, in my opinion, have moral limits. The happenings is Chicago last night were a mixture of violent and nonviolent assembly. There was chanting, poster waving, single digit waving, fist fights and police baiting going on all at the same time. The police, I feel, did a magnificent job corralling and finally disbanding the unruly crowd, while the ruly group stood behind barriers and demonstrated peaceably.

Martin Luther King was the father of peaceful demonstration and was highly respected for it. He got things done as well. Some of his fellow demonstrators last night were certainly not of his teaching. There were whites, as well, of questionable behavior. I noticed at least two demonstrators were cuffed and hauled off, but how can that be when there is Freedom of Speech? Moral limits were reached, police were being battered and that is when the price of free speech reaches its margins and rightly so.

There was one person at that rally that had his first amendment rights shoved in his face and that was Donald Trump. True Mr. Trump can be bombastic and outspoken, but he has never been cuffed and hauled away for his words. I believe he did the humane thing last night by calling off the rally and waiting for another day, or probably another venue. I have no idea what the cost to his campaign was in dollars and cents, but I’m sure it was a pretty penny.

In our current state of division, the people are furious, anxious, fearful and contentious; and it seems like the least little thing sets them off. When I get to that point, I stop and say to myself, “wait a minute, this is the greatest country in world we don’t act this way”. What we need to do is roll up our sleeves and do everything we can do to repair the devistating damages brought to our grand land in the last eight years. We are not viewed as a great country when we do thing like were done last night. Freedom of speech is no longer free when the country and its citizens are damaged by it.