To The Daily Sun,
Yes, Mr. Meade, I am concerned and paying attention — are you?
In a recent column, Mr. Meade wrote that “differences between others and ourselves require that we each respect the other in order that we can exist as a community (nation).” Meade continues by stating that, “repeated attacks are being made against free speech ... a person’s right to speak, to express their views and opinions in an open forum” by leaders in academia. “Academia should be the promoter of free speech ... not the denier. He writes of “the march to anarchy ... and the destruction of our democratic republic.”
I respect that hateful, bigoted and racist speech is fundamentally protected under the First Amendment, as it should be. White supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have every right to spew their hate and venom.
It has become very disconcerting to me, however, that the president of the United States, who has sworn an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, has recently suggested that because the media reports news he doesn’t like, they should be silenced — threatening to “challenge” broadcast networks licenses. I don’t think I have to tell Mr. Meade that this is a restriction on practice of the First Amendment rights from those that report news disagreeable to the highest office in the land.
Trump was a free speech advocate, but with his attacks against the media and the NFL protesters, he has become a “free speech is speech that I like,” much like the academia Meade continuously fights against.
Trump has no particular reverence for the First Amendment; it’s quite obvious he doesn’t understand it very well.
Trump has called on NFL owners to “fire” any player who failed to stand for the national anthem. While I would not personally kneel during the national anthem, I recognize that others have the right to do so. Forcing anyone to stand for something isn’t freedom. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Under the First Amendment, players have every right to take a knee, but those that object to it have every right to say they object. The president is calling for penalties for those who practice their right of protected speech.
I’m sure Mr. Meade is as upset with Trump’s abuse of the First Amendment as he is with those in academia — I’m anxious to hear his commentary on the issue.
- Written by Edward Engler
- Category: Letters
- Hits: 176