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Free Speech: It May Be Old-Fashioned, But So is Fascist Censorship

THE DOCTOR IS IN - Contrary to popular opinion among the Left, Elon Musk's actions simply mirror what most educated free people have demanded since the Renaissance: 

Free speech, and the ability to say something as simple as an opinion, a joke, a sarcastic comment, and the like (even ill-informed opinions or bad jokes) without fear of censorship, being socially or financially harmed, or threatened in any way. 

Which doesn't mean that one can say anything and everything without fear of retribution by one's private employer, or by those seriously harmed by one's statements. It's often difficult to discern what's a peccadillo or downright destructive when one makes a statement or joke, but: 

When Alex Jones of InfoWars states that the horrific Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax (and he really doubled down on that assertion), the grieving and heartbroken parents had and have every right to sue him, and he will pay a huge, life-altering professional and personal price for what he said. Deservedly so. 

Kathy Griffin's poor attempt at gallows humor comedy with the mockery of Donald Trump's head? Pretty much an easy call that some might consider that a call to violence--and her career took a nosedive even in a Hollywood/entertainment industry that probably despised and hated Trump with a white-hot passion. Because she crossed the line...hard stop. 

Much less certain, and more debatable, is the stupid and ill-advised quip Roseanne Barr made about Valerie Jarrett's appearance. It is very easy to prove that Hollywood stars have said much worse things, and have paid little to no price whatsoever...but the producers of "The Roseanne Show" have every right to take action as her employers, and face the fallout by firing her. 

It's disheartening to hear Terry Crews (one of my all-time favorite actors, as an aside) apologize for what was anything BUT a controversial tweet about his concerns about Black Lives Matter, as Yahoo entertainment writer Stephen Proctor wrote. 

Although is Terry Crews' appearance of a problematic apology really one of an abject "I was wrong" or was/is the problem the title of the article by Procter and Yahoo? 

Because many agree with Crews (including yours truly) that destroying downtown neighborhoods, with black Americans disproportionately hurt and harmed, is hardly a way to respond to the death of George Floyd. 

I'll go one farther: I think that Black Lives Matter has the right message overall, but has absolutely the wrong (if not downright corrupt and divisive) people running that organization. I thought the election of Barack Obama (who I helped vote into office) was going to end racial opportunism and exploitation. 

I'll yet go even farther: It's downright illegal, and perhaps dangerous to society in general, if a mob had yanked George Floyd's killer, Derek Chauvin from his home and strung that man up...but I wouldn't have shed a tear. It's also downright illegal and dangerous if Chauvin has something horrible happen to him in prison...but I won't shed a tear if it happens. 

Free speech...it's a pretty wonderful thing. 

Twitter censoring then-President Donald Trump while covering up the New York Post's discovery about Hunter Biden's corruption and collusion with foreign nations and organizations...and very likely with his father Joe Biden knowing (or even enabling) it? 

Pretty awful. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' "Disinformation Board" that sounds like an Orwellian Ministry of Truth? 

Also...pretty awful. 

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook "fact checkers" and "fact police" after playing such a large role in the 2020 presidential elections. 

Also...pretty awful. 

Imagine if the same censorship came from the Right? 

Pretty awful, in my opinion. Seriously--censorship from the Right or Left, or from ANYONE, is pretty awful. 

So let the free speech, and its liberating (but sometimes controversial, and certainly debatable) begin. 

And if Twitter, Facebook, and the like become transformed as much as Alex Jones' InfoWars...well, that's free speech, too.  

Because Free Speech is nothing new. And Fascism from the Left (Nazism, Communism, Socialism, etc.) is also nothing new. 

But at least we'll be able to debate about it all, both in public and without fear of being censored or cancelled.  

 

(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 9, years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees for 10 years. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)