“I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
We are a far cry from this once-acclaimed statement of classical liberalism. Misinformation. Fact checkers. Social media suspensions or total account bans. How soft can society become? I’m not sure if I should even ask because on a daily basis we seem to grow softer.
I believe in free speech. Not like people who say they believe in free speech, “but . . . ” No. I believe in free speech, period. Granted, things others find offensive, I do not. I’m a rather offensive person myself. I cuss, I laugh at the darkest of humor, I create my own dark humor; what can I say, it’s funny watching people squirm or get offended over words. But when being offended by someone’s opinion or statement bleeds into canceling them from all social media platforms or having that person fired simply because you don’t approve? This is where we collectively need to draw a line.
I expect the Left to cancel. They relish the thought of being offensive, but oftentimes they play the offended victim because these days, victimhood sells. It’s typical. But what’s worse than that is seeing people who say they believe in free speech join in with elitists on the Left to finish someone off. It’s shameful.
Who exactly gets to choose what is off limits to discuss? Is it you this week? Will it be the president next week? A social media CEO? Who gets to decide when free speech has been taken too far? These are the questions we should be asking. You can’t pick and choose what is acceptable when it works in your favor and then become outraged when someone else picks and chooses something not in your favor.
It’s simple: free speech cannot work under those hypocritical guidelines.
This is the kind of cherry-picking that got us here. Censoring speech plunges us into dangerous territory that isn’t safe for anyone and just as surely it begins to chip away at all of the other freedoms we hold dear until there are none left. I believe in conversation. While people may say things you don’t want to hear, those words open up conversations that need to be had. If nothing else, the freer the speech the more it brings people’s true colors and beliefs to the surface. I would rather those opinions, good or bad, be out in the light of day than hidden in the darkness. If speech was censored 60 years ago the way it is now, where might we be as a country? Think of the many voices we would never know today; silenced because their opinions were unpopular at the time.
We need to learn how to decipher what is being used as a distraction to keep our focus off of the very real physical acts of evil that are happening right in front of our faces, not just the words coming from someone’s mouth.
Over the last couple of weeks the media has been abuzz with Kanye West and his outrageous statements. Meanwhile, arguably one of the biggest headlines involving minors since Jeffrey Epstein’s Island was exposed but hardly discussed in the mainstream media. To me, the actions in Balenciaga—featuring pictures of children holding teddy bears outfitted in S&M bondage gear, spoke louder than any hateful words. The disturbing imagery that pairs childhood innocence with bizarre sex acts only gets worse the more you research it. A blatant attempt to normalizing something that is exploitative and abusive because to them, it is acceptable and normal.
While people in the industry rushed to condemn and break ties with Kanye and he was suspended from Twitter, the same big talkers were quiet about Balenciaga. I wonder why? Did any of those elitists who quickly split with Kanye mention that actress Salma Hayek is married to François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering, who owns Balenciaga and an auction house that has what is considered “art pieces” of child sex mannequins? Probably not. Are we to believe that she and her husband knew nothing about any of this? Where is the outrage about this pair? Why are these same industry elites who attacked others for words not demanding answers for actions? Is it because the game of deflection works that well? Are we that easy to deceive? They tell us who to look at . . . so long as our eyes aren’t on them.
Yes, words can inspire actions, I don’t disagree with those who express that concern. But actions will always be far more consequential than words could ever be. So, while the world squabbles about what topic is off limits and how best to proceed in canceling those who utter offensive words, I will be fighting against toxic “actions.” I will fight for the children who sit on the backburner while we discuss language. I will share the disturbing actions others are taking to normalize pedophilia. I will continue to push for the client list to Epstein Island to be released. I will continue questioning why those in Hollywood are silent on Balenciaga, on Salma Hayek and her husband, and virtually everything else related to this topic. Focus matters.