Speak Freely

I use Twitter everyday… for sports updates. Text links to friends and family often. Post rarely. Forward sometimes. Like occasionally. It’s a great source to bring people closer together… and, unfortunately, drive us farther apart.

Some folks choose to hide behind anonymity and act unlike they ever would in public. Sure there are those who openly shout down protesters – attended a presidential rally lately? There are those who take on road rage and act irrationally on our streets. There are even those who will steal a child’s ice cream cone, if given the chance.

Yet on Twitter too many of those are vulgar, disrespectful, condescending, threatening – and any other adjective you can pull from the thesaurus – when they disagree with someone’s point of view.

Friday night, during a preseason game, the San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback made a political statement about what he believes is the unfair treatment of minorities: choosing not to stand during the national anthem. The next day, Colin Kaepernick – and those who tried to explain the reasons behind his actions – was ripped mercilessly in the Twitterverse.

Supporting Kaepernick should not subject one to scorn. Disagreeing with him should not require a mean response.

It’s an interesting paradox that those who so severely criticized him were exercising the same 1st Amendment rights. Some 225 years ago, the Founding Fathers looked into the future and saw a day when there would be those who tried to suppress free speech. That’s been a great gift through the decades.

Maybe it’s time to dust off the Constitution and read it again.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


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