We live in a country where we have the freedom of speech, and we are encouraged to use that freedom to voice our views. This is not just the case in our country, but also in many others.
Nevertheless, it seems that in this day and age, the term “freedom of speech” does not count for very much. You are only “free” to speak if you are saying what everyone else is happy to hear.
There are too many occurrences where people are saying what they feel, using the slang terms from their hometown or expressing what is on their minds, and it is scrutinised to the point of ridiculousness or blown out of proportion. Not everyone may agree with what they say and how they say it or what their beliefs are, but it is their opinion and not everyone will agree.
Sometimes people will just make a slight comment on a topic or express their feelings on a situation, and before they can even close their mouth they are being called a homophobic, racist or conformist. Maybe even an inconsiderate individual or someone who hates their own kind.
However, this is just one comment that they have made, which does not determine or define who they are as a person. People have the right to say what they want, without constantly having people jump down their throats.
Yes, some people are homophobic, but just because someone says that they don’t believe gay marriage should be legal, it doesn’t mean they are homophobic.
And yes, some people may hate their own kind, but just because an individual states that they want to lock up all black boys due to the behaviour of many of them, it does not mean that they hate their own kind.
Everyone has the right to live their lives in the way they choose to and on their terms, but no one has the right to enforce their views or their terms on others. Everyone should also have the right to say whatever they want, as we were given a mouth to speak and we are the only ones who should control it.
Don’t get me wrong, not everything that is on a person’s mind should be expressed or said out loud, because it can be hurtful, unfair, hateful or degrading. However, it is up to us to think before we speak and consider that what we say could hurt others or be taken the wrong way in a particular environment.
We have the freedom of speech and it is a beautiful thing, so we should be able to use it (but not abuse it) without being judged, scrutinised or pounced upon. Perhaps “freedom of speech” is just something we don’t actually have anymore…