Freedom of speech

Since learning the Pledge of Allegiance to United States of America the issue of the freedom of speech has always been in the forefront. As a police officer. I often had to listen to some person rant and rave about a particular issue. Many times, it was racial slurs directed towards me and my fellow officers. I can’t tell you how many times that I was called a Nazi. It seemed to never fail, that the person who pick up the phone and called for the police would end up yelling at the police and calling them names. I have on many occasions had to respond to a location where the Ku Klux Klan was trying to speak. The rhetoric was disgusting and hateful. But the reason that the police were at the location, was to keep the people that were not in agreement with them from hurting them. It always seemed that the Ku Klux Klan would show up in a bus with maybe 30 people aboard. The crowd that came to tell the Ku Klux Klan that they were not welcome ln their town was always about three or 400 people. The reason that the police were at the location was to keep the citizens from harming the Ku Klux Klan men.
It seemed ridiculous to me at the time and I really wanted to let the people just have their way with the clan. But there’s a thing called the Bill of Rights and a guarantee citizens freedom of speech. If there was no violence to go along with the hateful speeches, those despicable clansmen had the right to speak their mind. As much is it disgusted me I was there to protect the clan from the citizens.
There are many different issues where people use hateful and hurtful language to incite reactions that many timely turned to physical harm. Whether it is a religious reason or political reason there always seems to be someone that’s out there on the edge of the issue that wants to cause problems. The hate and the damage that those groups can cause could easily turn into a physical riot and the death of people on either side of the issue.
I mention all of this because of recent events in Charlottesville. Both sides of the issue were present and both sides are ready to do physical harm. The event escalated from the shouting and the hatred of one side to another. I have experienced that those that do the harm are young. You don’t see a lot of retirees out there swinging clubs and throw one objects at the police. These young people have not experienced enough of life to fear or understand the outcome of their actions. For many assists the issue and the fact is that they want their side to win. But like in all things, it takes two people to start a fight. In this case it took two sides to start the chaos that led to the death of three people. Once again, the police were called in to try to keep the peace and control the young hotheads on both sides. Once again, the police were asked to keep a low profile and to allow the two different groups to demonstrate for their cause. In this case, the young people came with weapons and shields to the event. The demonstration got out of hand quickly. This happens when the young hotheads don’t seem to think that there is anyone, including the police, capable of stopping them from their goal. One person pushes another and then another person jumps into help that person which starts a domino effect. The next thing you know, there are hundreds of people involved in a battle.
My thought is that both sides are to blame for the death of three people. We cannot afford to tell one side of an issue that they are to blame, when it is apparent that both sides are responsible. Pres. Trump tried to make this statement. Instead of the media and other politicians concentrating on the issue of violence versus free speech, they were quick to find another way to bash the President. Both sides are one side to be blame and to be held responsible. If we the people truly believe in free speech, we cannot allow only certain parties and people to express that right. As disgusting as it is there were always be an extreme version of either side of an issue. If both sides just want to have the freedom of speech they should be allowed to do so. No matter how disgusting they are if they are US citizens they have freedom of speech rights. I don’t think that the media or the politicians should blame this incident on one side of the issue. Both sides came ready to do battle. Both sides went into the event ready to go to battle. Of course, the police were asked to keep things calm. There was no forceful plan to keep the people away from each other. Even though, the permit allowed one side to take a certain route. That side violated that permit. This may have been the point where the police could’ve stopped the march. But if the police would’ve stopped the march, they would have been accused of violating those people of their right of free speech.
For justice to be equal both sides should be held responsible for the death of three people. Both sides should be investigated and are held responsible. If you want to be a United States citizen then you must believe in free speech. You also must believe in the right to assemble to voice your opinion without the government throwing you in jail.
I would hope that the issue of free speech is what the politicians and media would focus on. But I also know that there will always be two sides to every issue. And there will always be people on the extreme edge of both sides. I see the use of force while exercising your freedom of speech will only increase soon. Unlike after World War II when the citizens of the United States found a common bond and worked for a better future, the current generations will find reasons for a greater divide. I would hope that it doesn’t take another world war to bring the citizen of the United States together.
I believe in the freedom of speech, I also believe that those extremists who cause physical harm and death should be held accountable and prosecuted. As discussing as the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis are, they do have the right of freedom of speech. Those people that attend events with the intent of causing physical harm or death to others should also be held accountable and prosecuted.
I fought for freedom of speech I hope you will too.
Pops

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