On free speech, racism, and other ramblings

Let’s talk for a moment about “free speech”. In the USA, you are entitled to free speech (Well, to an extent. Free speech is not absolute and there are laws as to where it ends and so on and so forth but I digress) and that is grand! I love living in a country where I have the freedom to say and write what I want. There are a lot of problems in this country but our constitutional rights are fantastic. Having said that, freedom of speech doesn’t offer you protection from criticism of your thoughts and opinions. I’m bringing all of this up in light of the recent David Sterling shenanigans. This is a man who has said some extremely unsavory things about people of color over the span of years. He owns a team that is predominately made up of minorities. Why is it so hard to understand why some people are calling for him to step down? Maybe because of that undying white privilege attitude– “my opinions are more valid than yours”– and in the process, marginalized people are trampled over.

There’s nothing wrong with accepting your white privilege. It doesn’t make you a bad person. But people get really defensive about it. I know I did and sometimes still struggle with it at times. Me, privileged? But I am a woman! But I am also white and can never understand the challenges that a person of color faces every day just because of the color of their SKIN. I am given the benefit of the doubt because I am white. And that is sometimes hard to come to terms with.

Use your privilege. Know better and do better. Fight against racism and for the rights of marginalized people who so often get shushed in the name of “free speech”. This is our right, too.

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