I believe in freedom of speech. I believe that one should be free to say what one thinks or feels without fear or repression, opression, or cencorship. Though I may not always like what another has to say, I will stand up for their right to say it.
Sometimes I will say things that annoy, distress, or anger others. Sometimes I may say things that offend. Sometimes others annoy, distress, or anger me, and I don't always like what they say or how they say it...but never would I tell them they cannot speak their mind. It's counter to my very core, to the basic idea of freedom that I hold dear.
Why bring this up, you ask?
It would seem that there are many folks in the world who would very much like to silence the voices they don't like.
Whether it's a song, a poem, a book, a political point, radio talk show, blog, or other means of expression, if someone finds it disagreeeable they begin to whinge about it being offensive, or hateful and mean, or encouraging "wrong" thinking, and try to shut it down.
Hear that silence?
That's the sound of voices quashed, keyboards gone doormant, music muted and hampered by the wet woolen blanket of "for the public good".
I am not a white supremecist. I can't stand 'em, actually. I think they're crazier than shithouse rats and often question the hatred so frequntly spewed forth by their front men/women. Try telling hem they can't have or express their opinions, though, and I will, I must, defend them. Please don't make me do that.
Even if it's abhorrent to me, I will not seek to silence another's voice.
I don't mind telling someone "Hey, I find that offensive" or "I disagree", but that's a far cry from telling them they can't have their say.
It's freedom OF. folks, not freedom FROM.