Freedom of Speech is not Freedom to Speak

Too often I see people shut down by others who have the popular crowd mentality. (This is speaking from purely a United States environment, but I am sure any country with any sort of nationalism will have people who gobble up media coverage as fact without fact-checking for accuracy or, to be quite honest, a less biased view.)

I have come to the conclusion that the Freedom of Speech is not the Freedom to Speak. What we really feel is masked due to popular sentiment backlash—where open views are tolerated only if your opinion is the majority opinion—or stifled so you don’t get unwanted criticism because who wants to defend their every statement? The effect of crowd mentality is overpowering, overbearing, silencing, and leave most who disagree disgruntled and grumbling on the sidelines, but never doing anything about it. (I’m one of those people. Politically and activist-ly silent. Not wanting to make a ripple in the pond. But I’m changing that little by little just by reading more on current events from less politically-fueled sources.)

Then there are those who furiously study and become learned on just one side of the whole story, spread it like some virus, win some converts who pick up on that misplaced confidence as wisdom, and then BAM, an entire legion of agitators is born. The problem has much to do with people needing to be right and to win, not so much the desire to inform.

In light of recent events,

I felt that a history lesson would be enlightening to a lot of us.

Make an unbiased, informed decision for yourself. A Detailed Explanation. And even MORE detailed explanation.

The first link goes in-depth about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, answering questions you might have thought a little basic to ask. (There are no such things as stupid questions—only badly-timed ones.)

The second provides the backdrop for what’s going on with Iraq/ISIS today. (News flash: It’s part of a centuries-old conflict that the West has inserted itself into thinking they know best.) This is a pretty darned-long article, but it’s chock-filled with informing and entertaining footnotes, and the author, Tim Urban, writes like he’s talks—interspersed with the occasional expletive.

I’m still finishing the second “Wait But Why?” link, but I thought they were so insightful that I wanted to share!

Happy Saturday and Happy Reading :)

(And by the way, what a glorious Saturday morning it is! I’m happy to see clear blue skies and be breathing in yummy, fresh cafe smells.)

– Shirley

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