Democracy is based on the idea that in a free exchange of ideas, the truth will win out. Speech designed to mislead, misinform, or intimidate is an anathema to our purpose. We are guaranteed a right to free speech and we should use it wisely.
Free Speech: We won our independence from England and established a democracy that allows for a peaceful change of laws and leadership by ballot. The one time we tried another path, we had the Civil War, the most destructive war in our history. Recently, we seem to have forgotten our motto “E Pluribus Unum”. There are some who wish to divide us for their own purposes. Speech designed to mislead, misinform, or intimidate is an anathema to our purpose. Democracy is based on the idea that in a free exchange of ideas, the truth will win out. We are guaranteed a right to free speech and we should use it wisely. –
Free Speech And Responsibility: “It is absolutely the responsibility of every political figure, media personality, inclusive of all social media outlets and inclusive of all their respective contributors to use their freedom of speech wisely and in a manner that is considerate of the fact that there are delusional and unbalanced people in our midst who may interpret some statements too literally and seek to act upon them in a tragic way.” by Tom Vermillion
Discourage Hate Speech: There have been a number of articles and posts in the aftermath of Congresswoman Giffords being shot. Many wonder if it may have been the result of hate speech by some of our public figures and media entertainers. Whether the incident turns out to be caused by hate speech or not, now is a good time to try to put an end to hate speech. Several people have suggested things we may do. The one we can surely do something about is to stop using or encouraging hate speech ourselves.
The Americans United for Civility Petition below is a nonpartisan effort to encourage civility in our private and public speech.
WE THE UNDERSIGNED American citizens,
Mournful of the deaths of many at the hands of one in Tucson,
Inspired by the bravery of heroes who risked their lives to save others, and
Mindful of the present state of incivility which exists in public discourse;
Do hereby call upon elected officials, all media, and fellow citizens to:
Reflect upon the recent tragedy,
Examine their contribution to our present political climate, and
Commit to discourse that is civil and does honor to the United States of America.
. by Stephanie Hampton
If you think this is a worthwhile cause, you may sign the petition online at: The Americans United for Civility Petition. And, please pass it on to others.
More You Can Do: No matter your affiliation, hateful, misleading, or disrespectful speech by our leaders and representatives is unacceptable. Write your representatives and ask them to go on record as condemning it. Let those who do it know it is not acceptable. Speak up when it comes up at town hall and campaign meetings. Point it out in letters to the editors or on your local newspaper’s web sites. Stop supporting candidates that use hate speech and let them know why. Refrain from using inflammatory language in your replies and focus on the issues and the facts. Our nation has many problems that need workable solutions. We must join together to solve them.
(C) 2011 J.C. Moore
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