The Value Of Free Speech

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By design, my “platform” is apolitical.  Always has been, and I hope it always will.

That said, there comes a time when an issue is so pressing, so important, so critical, that I can’t avoid touching on it.

This is one of those times.

Don’t fret, regularly scheduled programming will return next week.  If you’d rather avoid the politics (I wouldn’t blame you these days), feel free to skip this one.  You have the freedom to choose.  My blog is NOT about politics,  but this particular topic threatens the very existence of my blog (and everyone else who writes), so I’ve decided to dedicate a post to it while I still have an opportunity.  If Silicon Valley blocks me as a result, it’s been nice knowing you…

There are few things more important than the concept of Free Speech, especially when you disagree with an argument that's being presented. Click To Tweet

The Value Of Free Speech

I live in the USA and am exceptionally proud of our bedrock foundation of free speech.  A country where everyone is free to voice their opinions.  A country where folks can agree to disagree.  A country where folks can debate a topic and still be friends. A country where differing points of view are encouraged, supported, debated, loved.

(This IS the country I live in, right?  I know it was for my first 57 years on this planet, but now I’m not so sure.)

It matters not the issue at hand, and I’m not going to touch on the current hailstorm of controversy raining down on this country.  I suspect you can figure it out.  That’s not the point of this post.

This post is about the value of Free Speech.

About your Freedom to voice your opinion.  About my freedom to voice mine.

It matters not if we agree on the topic, but the freedom to voice those opinions matters.

A LOT.

We should all VALUE the opportunity to read the thoughts of people we disagree with, to ponder the arguments made, to incorporate all sides of an issue into our thinking.  To listen more than we talk.

To create our own opinions.

To resist peer pressure, to create our own opinions, to be open-minded.

To Think.

Contrast this with the route so often followed in today’s particularly divisive society.  To attack, to rebuke, to humiliate, to censor, to un-friend.  I’m engaged in a particularly hostile Twitter battle this morning, so I’ve decided to write this post. A friend of mine wrote a controversial post, and I “auto-shared” the article (I’ve been sharing their stuff for 5 years since they were the first bloggers I met and have long considered them friends).  “Sharing” seems to have suddenly become a sin.  An endorsement of an unpopular opinion.  Wow, the blowback is amazing, including the attempted “shaming” of a major force in the online community to not support those with differing opinions.  It’s concerning.

And sad.

Free Speech Be Damned.

The Twitter War started 20 minutes ago.  I started writing this post 15 minutes ago. It’ll hit the airwaves 30 minutes after I typed the first word.  Yep, it’s a rant. Not my normal course, but this stuff is important.  I suspect I’ll get attacked again, and I’m ok with that.

Attacking someone with a view that doesn’t match your own is not what this country is about.  It doesn’t matter what the topic is.  Rather, what’s important is the freedom to say it.  

Importantly, this country is about the freedom of all people to voice their opinions.

Especially those opinions with which you disagree.

Making that statement is worth risking the blowback for saying it.  So blow back, I can handle it.  I’ve got thick skin, and I love my freedom.  You should love yours.  Let’s agree to disagree, and let’s have some intellectually stimulating discussion regarding the issue.  But please, do us all a favor and leave your hate in the closet, where it belongs.

Regardless of where you stand on a particular subject, value having the freedom to voice your opinion.  Consider the loss if your voice were silenced.  If your opinion not heard.  If your thoughts not considered.

Few things in life matter more than our ability to think for ourselves and to voice our opinions to others.  To engage in genuine debate, to challenge the thinking of others in a professional and honest discussion.  That’s true communication, and it’s exhilarating beyond words.  

Recognize the value of free speech. 

  • Embrace it. 
  • Cherish it. 
  • Protect it.

I fear it’s in jeopardy, and I’d encourage you to read these words with an open mind.  

Do you value the freedom to voice your opinion?  

More importantly, do you value the freedom of those you disagree with to voice theirs?

Think About It.

It Matters.

Rant over.

94 comments

    1. I totally agree. Sadly, I have watched people back down from their positions and issue apologies for supporting democracy, whether from China on NBA issuing apology for “we stand with Taiwan”, or others(Democrats and Republicans)when they honestly express their opinions.
      I am a 3D and 2d generation American. I love my country and proudly served her.
      My husband of 33.5 years passed away in Jan . I am so glad he didn’t have to see this craziness.

  1. Thank you Fritz for a very timely and concise opinion. I’ve been considering dumping Facebook because I’m so tired of the hate, bickering, and nastiness I see every day. Tolerance is fast disappearing from our country. I pray for a better future for our descendants.

      1. I fully agree with your comments, I do think every individual has an obligation to challenge someone that is being mean or cruel to someone. We people do not stand up to help the oppressed then we have to assume some level of blame and in some cases as bad as the oppressor.

        One movie, I just loved sent the best message, In the movie A Few Good Men at the end after the trail, the one soldier asked why were we kicked out of the Marines, since they were ordered to do the code red. The other soldier quickly responded, because we were supposed to fight for people who couldn’t fight for themselves. The meaning being each person has moral obligation to do what is right for themselves and others around them.

        So again, I fully agree for the right of free speech but not at the cost of others.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I know exactly what you are talking about. I feel like the silent majority is being shamed and discouraged from making any opinion public for fear of the “blowback” you mention. I guess we’ll find out who the majority is in November.

    1. Well said, Fritz. Your experience with this kind of attack s exactly why I am not on either Facebook or Twitter. Life is too short for this kind of discourse.

  3. I am in agreement with you 100%. I am on another retirement blog that has mostly turned political with its posts and has been that way all year. It is very apparent that the owner of that blog does not share the same beliefs as I do but he encourages open, respectful dialog which is refreshing. I do tire of the unprofessional name calling of people who do not agree with some of his followers’ beliefs but he is usually fast to rebuke or delete anything that is unprofessional. As a society, free speech and many of our other freedoms are under attack by people who either do not understand the importance of our freedoms or are working to dismantle them. We must stand firm to not allow this movement to gain any more momentum. I tell everyone that will listen or read what I have to say about the importance of voicing your opinions and using facts to back them up and the importance of voting in all elections to ensure our voices are heard regardless of one’s political beliefs. Thanks for taking a stand for freedom!

  4. Freedom of speech is so important and I value it greatly. Agreeing to disagree peacefully is 100% acceptable. The hatred I witness over and over is not.

    A post is brewing in me.

    I hope you are well, Fritz.

  5. Couldn’t agree more. Common sense has been hijacked by fringe groups that do not possess critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, the elite colleges are pumping our kids with anti-american dogma.
    I speak from experience with 3 graduates of Ivy League schools. To think I paid for these high priced educations which I worked so hard to provide is extremely disconcerting.

  6. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We have to start pushing back at those who shame and ridicule and censor anyone who has a different opinion than theirs.

  7. The most pressing, important, and oh, so critical issue of the day is POLICE BRUTALITY. PERIOD. The uncommon inhumanity and the dehumanization and killings of Black people in this country by those sworn to serve are mind-boggling. Any other “crisis” beyond COVID-19 is manufactured and speaks to a lack of morality. Freedom of speech—while people are dying and being brutalized RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES! Give me a break.

    1. you must not read much. what about educational deficiencies, black on black crime, fatherless families,etc,etc.
      police “brutality” is least of our troubles.

      1. Bob- Attempting to denigrate me will get you absolutely nowhere. I am Ivy League-educated. Your immediate assumption that if I conform to a humane understanding of the world makes me illiterate speaks much more of your own intellectual, emotional, and immoral mindset than mine. I read widely, seeking multiple perspectives in two languages, French & English. I use my mind and empower myself while seeking news from authoritative sources. I don’t let Fox News inform my worldview.

        1. N – concentrating on individual acts committed by law enforcement officers and ignoring the dozens killed in Chicago EVERY WEEKEND is disingenuous. What happened with George Floyd was tragic. End of statement. Is his death any more tragic than those killed in gang violence? No! They are all dead – now. Seems to me like the violence in Chicago doesn’t fit the current narrative so let’s ignore it.

        2. you didn’t even respond to my talking points. but your ivy league education reinforces my statement regarding same education.
          what I have found is elitists and “intellectuals” cannot be reasoned with. common sense evades their critical judgement.
          unfortunately, Washington, DC is filled with these “holy than thou” morons.

      2. Bob – your comment can be backed up with numbers. “N”‘s comments are not backed up by numbers. Again critical thinking is important. I’m interested in truth. I live in Chicago so I see crime stats that no one ever addresses. Again facts … I agree Black Lives Matter as a principle and think that’s true for everyone so yes all lives matter. As for the Black Lives Matter organization … the details of that came out this weekend and its appalling … all the money goes to Democrat political campaigns. Black Lives Matter should not be a political party but everyone saying we should all be treated equally.

      1. “N”‘s post is literally a textbook example of the divisive and intolerant speech online today – and if taken at word on education, a clear indicator of inability to critical reason through or discuss a topic. Riddled with fallacies and close-minded attachment to a narrow filter-bubble. Let me count the ways; “Mind-reading”, Appeal to authority/external credibility, and most telling ‘hysteria’ that is even conveyed by text – ALL CAPS, emphatic finality “…PERIOD.”, hyperbole galore “while people are dying and being brutalized RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES!”…

    2. No doubt an important issue. Although those sworn to serve kill far more non black people than black people. I know this as fact, without an Ivy league education.

  8. So agree. And I am so saddened by it. I have always been outspoken, proud of it and have been willing to take criticism for it. In the current environment, and at age 67, I just don’t want to fight. Discussion is fine, but not blind, seething hateful discourse. Keep free speech alive!

  9. Social media is a genie we can’t put back in the bottle. Rather than promoting free speech, it has restricted free speech. Why? Because social media is an industry, not a country or government agency. The platform operators are not obliged to observe our constitutional rights, it seems. Add the fact that most of the attackers have courage behind the internet curtain that they do not have in real life, and things can get ugly fast. I just wish people would behave on social media the way they would at a polite dinner. We should all be mature enough to have a civil discussion that exposes disagreements with friends and loved ones without ending or significantly altering our relationships. In return for that good behavior, perhaps there are also people out there who could refrain from discussing religion and politics at the “dinner table” that is social media.

    1. Steve, I agree but the larger problem is that many of those same people don’t have the manners, self respect, or respect for others to debate or converse in a polite manner, even in person. The go to defense of their opinion is to name call or shout down anyone not in COMPLETE agreement with them.

  10. Last night in Cincinnati, a City Counsel meeting over the current budget had to be shut down because the protesters started yelling and drowning out a speaker that had a different opinion. The building was then closed so the protesters went outside and proceeded to spray paint graffiti all over the building.

    Very Sad.

  11. Very good article today. Everyone has the right and the ability to speak up, whether it’s on social media or on the street. Along with that right comes the responsibility to do wisely and rationally, without the personal attacks we see way too often. A variety of opinions leads to a better society, but a multitude of hateful comments and personal attacks does no one good.

  12. Terrific post Fritz! I agree 100%. I have friends that I can have civil disagreements with and I love it. But what I see in our country today frightens me. It’s an either or climate now. Colleges and Universities are shutting out conservative speakers, social media is full of attackers, tv channels are aligned with one party or the other and we’re all becoming increasingly overly sensitive to anything we don’t agree with. I think the media and social media just feed on the controversies. The cancel culture is now in full bloom. If you don’t agree with it…just get rid of it. (some things may need to go) Sad to see where we’re heading.
    Thanks again for your post. I love this country and I sure hope we can recover.

  13. I don’t tweet so I have no idea what the issue was, but I can guess. With that said, and having the same argument with friends over the value of opinions, etc, I would hope if you do not agree with your friend’s opionion that you shared, you stood up to voice your disapproval of said friend’s opinion. Otherwise, if you share the same values as evidenced by your silence on the shared opinion piece, you are no better than that friend for spouting something you do not approve. I share absolutely stupid stuff each day on social media that I have absolutely no illusion is utter BS. But I share my opinion as to why it’s utter BS. To simply pass along BS with no disclaimer makes the sharer a heaping pile, too. JMHO.

  14. Thank you for saying what I’ve been thinking. My own brother sent an aggressive text just yesterday condemning me, without a dialogue, and passing judgement there in. He has also told my other brother to go to hell, and I am unsure of who else he has excommunicated. It is a sad state when we can no longer have mature dialogue, only yelling. I no longer recognize my beloved USA.

  15. I enjoy your blog but am normally not one to comment. It seems that people don’t have the ability or desire to actually listen and consider an opposing point of view anymore. It’s easier to just ignore or shout down those we disagree with. Unfortunately, we lose the ability to learn from each other.

  16. Hello Fritz, great post, and I couldn’t agree more! Freedom of speech in this country seems to be under attack and it is very scary. The constitutional rights we grew up appear to not be as guaranteed as we thought and that is a frightening thought.
    As for the thought that ‘ police brutality’ is the most pressing problem in this country, I would encourage any one who believes that to volunteer at their local police department in their reserve officer program. You go through the same training, then do the same job, and engage with the public in the same fashion as professional police officers. That interaction with the public will give you an enhanced appreciation of how important our constitutional rights are for all Americans. Don’t be too quick to judge the police with a broad brush until you have walked in their shoes. Being sworn to enforce the law is not the same job as being an Economist, I know, I’ve done both.

  17. Due to recent events, I’ve been questioning the value of free speech because it’s being taken too far. Would be peaceful protests are turning into, “let’s destroy historical monument” or “ anything confederate-related is immoral” OR black lives matter turns into the violent targeting of whites.
    I call B.S. on all of that because nothing is peaceful or civil any longer. All of this is the result of radicals exploiting “free speech” to get away with being unruly savages.
    You can have your 1st Amendmenr. I’ll stay silent, but I’ll keep my 2ns Amendment and use that right if and when the time comes…

    1. Wow. Violent targeting of whites? Seriously? Most of the people in BLM are not black. Just look at the groups protesting. And thanks for threatening people with your use of your 2nd Amendment right. That’s not productive nor very nice. You are just adding to the problem at hand. What you just posted is far from staying silent. Not that I feel you should.

      1. Camille

        Fireboy is right, if someone is targeted, it is usually the person he said. I don’t think he threatened anyone…simply stating that he enjoys all of his rights and will not become a victim. You, too, are right, in that it appears that there are a lot of folks of all backrounds who get off on making noise and occasionally destroying things.

        The Mayor of Olympia, WA was bowing and scraping like a good guilty person should do, until HER house was vandalized. She then called the group “Domestic Terrorists”. It just depends on whose ox is being gored.

        I for one intend to keep all of my rights, just as Fireboy intends to. Interestingly, the past few weeks show that we are in the distinct minority, as there has been almost no pushback to the violence, property destruction, and silencing of any opposing views. Tolerance, indeed!

        Sadly, while any rational person mourns and detests Police brutality, this weekend, there will likely be a dozen or so people killed at the hands of other criminals, in each of several major cities and neither their deaths nor their rightously grieving families will be given a moment’s thought.

  18. I agree with your article. It is becoming frightening. The go-to response for some groups is to shout down or threaten those with opinions that they don’t agree with.

  19. Well said Fritz. Regardless of what side of the fence your on, respect and common sense should prevail.

  20. Great post. They should immediately start teaching students the value of differing opinions. Maybe in 18 years we will have a crop of decent new adults to stand up for freedom of speech.

    1. I pray for that new crop to rise up and question what they are being taught and start to question the motives of the educators. I believe schools and the news are in jeopardy if they don’t start to educate with facts and not lead with their political agendas. People need to hear the truth, both good and bad, and then form their own opinion versus freedom being suppressed and allowing brainwashing by those with the money who frankly want to create a different world with less freedom. I’ll search for truth, facts, and keep all of my freedoms thank you very much.

  21. Spot on Fritz. My undergraduate degree is in history; therefore, I know how to research and determine what is fact or fake. Moreover, I am a Puerto Rican whose grandfather was one of the first Puerto Ricans to volunteer to fight in WWI as Puerto Ricans where granted US Citizenship in 1917 to encourage volunteers. My dad is a Korean War era Marine vet and his two sons, including me, served in the Army. We are appalled at how our constitution has been trampled. My dad left an impoverished island for a better life in America. Did we encounter difficulty along the way like racism and ignorance? Yes. However, we never let that stop us from pursing our dreams. No victimhood from this man who traces his lineage to Africa, indigenous peoples (Taino Indian), and the Iberian Peninsula.

  22. A certain group of Americans were awfully shrill in their screed about some condemning all Muslims for the 19 that took down our Twin Towers and killed almost 3,000 Americans and injured over 6,000.
    That same group is just as shrill in condemning all police for the actions of a few. BUT, they are entitled to their free speech…

  23. I’m a reader, not a commenter, I love your writings but I must stand for free speech. Thank you.

    “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” Thanks to Andrew Marshall.

    Today is my last day at work, tomorrow “retired”
    Thanks for your help and inspiration Fritz!

    Rodney

  24. Thank you for your voice. I agree with you and have my whole life (a bit longer than yours). All of the above comments are eloquent and refreshing to read. Please keep up the quality work you offer us.

  25. My thoughts on the polarization that is becoming more extreme in our society all the time: the mainstream media now has to compete with so many more outlets than they have in the past. As a result, to win more “eyeballs” they need to be more preposterous and outspoken than their competition. Unfortunately we then become swept up in this meanness and disrespect. We take sides. It like some kind of mob hysteria. Your rant was a nice breath of fresh air.

  26. Good on you, Fritz. It’s not just the freedom of speech on social media or among families and friends that’s being attacked; it’s also about freedom of information. When controversial videos or comments are removed from Facebook, twitter, and youtube because it doesn’t agree with the current paradigm we know we have clearly lost our freedom of speech. When search engines such as Google are slanting users’ searches to one particular view and suppressing another, we also know that freedom of information is being suppressed. Net neutrality went out the window in December 2017. https://archive.thinkprogress.org/the-fcc-just-decided-to-repeal-net-neutrality-heres-why-thats-really-really-bad-64e376ea04d3/ We live in interesting times.

  27. Agree with everything you’ve written here. I too am very concerned with our loss if freedom of speech plus the censorship on all social media sites. There are some things we should be able to agree on and this is one. The state of this country right now is frightening!

  28. You, my friend, are right as rain. I’m SO tired of the thought police who want to destroy you for not agreeing with their point of view. What happened to the person you describe is unconscionable and shameful. I think half the people who piled on had no idea about who he was or what actually happened. But when the herd speaks…

    I too am very concerned about the censorship. I posted a CNBC article when the Dr. from WHO contradicted some of the information they’ve published on COVED-19 and how it spreads. My only comment was, “Well, isn’t this interesting.” The next morning when I checked Facebook the first thing I see is the censored post that said the post had “false or seemingly false” information. It was a freaking CNBC article!!!

    If people think this OK and isn’t a problem, I’m even more concerned than before. We are in serious trouble if this continues. When civility and intelligent dialogue disappear, what’s left? It’s what we’re seeing now. And it’s sad.

    Thank you for posting.

  29. When 911 happened, I asked myself what makes us different than them. I read our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, rule of law. The bedrock of American civilization.

    I just don’t understand on the shutting down of free speech. If one’s ideas are correct/valid, wouldn’t one want to avail themselves of ideas they’re opposed to to stay on keel?

    Same thing with shutting down speakers on campus just because of opposing views. But sadly, they don’t even know what the views are because they refuse to listen.

  30. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions, so many people agree but not many as brave as you. It’s risky now a days to have a different opinion. A person takes his livelihood and reputation at risk. Many people with this opinion are being shut down and worse called names – terrorists, neo-nazis, yahoos and supposedly this is ok. It’s a sad world we live in.

  31. Sorry I roped you into this brouhaha, my friend. But I’m grateful beyond words for your rigorous defense of freedom and free speech. Bravo. You’re a true patriot.

  32. Amen! We cease being America if any of the Bill of Rights are thrown away. Rant on brother.

  33. I certainly treasure our freedom of speech in this country and defend your right to share racist blog posts to your heart’s content. I also have the right to consider you sharing it without comment and some of the above comments as a demonstation of where you & some of them stand. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. And I do, albeit sadly.

    Seems to me that your rant is misguided. I see no Twitter “war”. Some people simply see the blog posting you retweeted as racist and did not like it. Some were simply disappointed you retweeted it. So what? Why are you being so dramatic about them expressing their disappointment with you and their opinion that what you shared is racist? They were simply exercising their freedom of speech, same as the other blogger.

    No one attacked the other blogger’s right to post and make clear his racist and insensitive beliefs. I am glad to better understand his beliefs and unsubscribe to his blog, because it has become way too political and no longer offers me any useful FI info. That is my right, and what is wrong with that? If I see that post as racist and say so, that is my freedom of speech at work. If I see you sharing such a hateful and insensitive post without comment as tacit approval, it is my right to believe you are at a minimum insensitive, or worse. And to say so. So, we are all expressing our freedom of speech, so what’s the problem? It should be seen as a beautiful thing. Is your problem that people expressed their disappointment in you & their dislike of the post you shared, or because you got negative feedback? It seems so hypocritical that you hype the right of free speech, but you & some commenters here are at the same time taking issue with others expressing their differing opinions and then calling it a “war”.

    Buck up, buttercup, and stop acting like what some call “snowflakes”. No one stopped you or the other blogger from saying anything, they just do not like it, and neither do I. Your claim that somehow your freedom of speech is being threatened because we think the posting you shared is racist and we suspect you might be too, is inane. Post what you like & accept that some will like it and agree & others will not. This is not about freedom. of speech at all, in my opinion. Peace out.

    1. Lisa, I agree with you 100%. No one questioned his right to post on Twitter, they just disagreed with him, and Fritz thought that was an infringement on his free speech.

      The post Fritz tweeted was racist and demeaning. Here is a quote from the post and it’s awful – “the position taken here is that black Americans are struggling socially and financially because of poor decision-making, and that decision-making is actually being reinforced by progressive supremacy.”

      Maybe, Fritz, you are not used to being called out on your views. No one, questioned your right to post this, but it seems like your feelings got hurt when people pointed out that your post was racist and maybe advertisers may not like being associated with a person who is endorsing this kind of view.

      I’m sad, but not surprised. We have a lot of work to do in our country. I hope you take a long hard look at your assumptions and consider that you may not know what it’s like to be Black in America.

      Meanwhile, I am free to message your advertisers, affiliates and fellow FI bloggers to let them know what you endorsed.

      And speaking of poor decision making… I think your decisions today were quite problematic and may have negative financial implications for you.

      Posting the racist rant on twitter on Juneteenth, the actual end of slavery in America, was doubly awful.

      1. “the position taken here is that black Americans are struggling socially and financially because of poor decision-making, and that decision-making is actually being reinforced by progressive supremacy.” Now, I do not know the veracity of this statement having been the source of all of this angst, but I do know this:

        After 60 years of the Great Society, Black Americans have fewer fathers at home, fewer per capita business owners, lower literacy rate, and that a disproportionate % of stops by authorities results in a fight. These are all the result of bad decisions in the face of one of the world’s largest and most prolonged transfers of wealth in human history. Many of those bad decisions have been multiplying in other segments of society, too, and are the source for the unending plethora of new laws governing actions that not so many years would have been unnecessary in this country. Thus, I can see no racist motive or slant in the quote above.

        To the contrary, the fact that these recent brutal and unnecessary interactions and deaths at the hands of law enforcement have occured and are being protested most heavily and violently in cities which have often been governed for over 60 years by people who have professed to be benefactors and purveyors of “change” and “improvement” only adds to the irony. Exactly how DOES Systemic Racism exist in a city or it’s Police Dept. after 60+ years of Progressive leadership unless that leadership has been pathetically and criminally inept. Protesters should be storming those City Halls, not Police Stations filled with a majority of officers who life’s calling is to daily protect the lives of the city’s citizens. The fact is, studies (often by the most liberal of sources) show that all over our country, deaths at the hands of law enforcement has been dropping for a number of years. A casual study of the statistics would also show that Blacks and other minorities are disproportionately killed by Black officers, and that overall, Whites represent the vast majority of those killed regardless of the background of the officer.

        None of the preceeding is in any way a defense for the recent public spectacles of terrible judgement and heinous treatment of Blacks by police…just a series of facts that lead me to believe that the alleged Tweet regarding poor choices is spot on and in no way racist. BLM needs to look inward for their soul searching. They will find neither truth NOR justice in the electronics department of Walmart.

        1. Scott, I find it ironic that people like you insist on judging a demonstration by a small group of its most violent participants, but refuse to judge a police force by it’s most violent cops. Just sayin’. Ironic.

          1. Lisa

            I did not judge anyone. Other than calling recent actions by police “heinous” (my opinion), I simply presented facts.

            To your point, though, If you cannot separate Seattle’s looting, burning, illegal occupation of private property, depriving people of their livelihood, beating them up if you do not agree with their choice of clothing (think red hats), from some bad cops and place their societal impact on a level plane. To remotely justify, or suggest equivalency or a balanced response between the two, is beyond my comprehension. Please never sit on a jury.

            Are we finally all down to the least common denominator? Judging ALL cops by their worst, in order to discuss the rampant lawlessness of many (I never said all) in the protests, is just an odd repuirement for a conversation. I cannot fathom what causes a person to have that kind of perspective, but believe that you have just shined a light on a mindset that I now suspect is common, and I was previously in the dark about. No wonder it is so difficult to have a conversation in this country anymore.

            Best Wishes on a happy early retirement. I’m certainly enjoying mine.

      2. I am sorry that you see a comment that disagrees with your perception of the topic as being racist just because that comment points out causes that do not align with the narrative you prefer to believe. Instead of coming onto Fritz’s blog to present an alternate viewpoint to his viewpoint in a professional, civil manner, you decided with your own free will to post comments which in no way helped in the conversation but instead likely caused more people, including me, to not even consider your perspective. This type of social behavior and the threatening, and yes sir, your comment above is a threat, of someone who holds a different opinion from you is the key point Fritz alluded to in this blog post. What I observe in your comment, like many others I see on social media platforms, is someone who is unhappy with the opinion provided and wanting to shutdown that person from communicating a different belief and opinion from your own. That behavior is exactly what is common in countries that restrict free speech and opposing opinion discussions where actual understanding and positive change will occur without it being censored. Racism in this country has lost all meaning as it is the slogan used by people who want to shutdown other perspectives and the dialog around those perspective when that perspective does not align with what some people want to believe or hear. I only wish you the best and pray you have a wonderful day. May God bless you!

      3. Jerry, you got to check your progressive privilege. Just because progressives say it’s “racist” to criticize black behavior doesn’t mean it is. Criticizing black behavior is no more racist than criticizing cop or white behavior. But that’s the progressive playbook. Don’t provide a counter-argument with facts and logic, just call people names. I don’t believe black Americans are being oppressed. I then make my case. If I’m wrong, I want to know. Just tell me where I’m wrong. And if you make solid arguments, I’ll concede and salute you. Insults, however, aren’t an argument. Cheers.

  34. Thank you for this. It has seemed to me for a very long time that there is a relentless call for diversity unless it’s diversity of opinion – then all bets are off.

  35. When my daughter was heading off to college a number of years ago, we had a discussion about viewpoints. She and I discussed the fact that college is largely taught by far left professors and that many of the students would be following that path. The viewpoints that they hold would likely be different from ours. I told her that it was OK for her to have a different opinion than her parents but my expectation was that she would have to be able to defend her position so we understood why she believed a certain way. This meant she had to be well informed on that issue. The problem today is many people are like sheep and simply go along with whatever the flavor of the week is. These people are unprepared to be challenged and as a result they lash out at others rather than face the reality that they can’t defend their positions. Perhaps we need to go back to teaching debate skills but more important is that parents must teach their kids to be respectful of others, regardless of whether they agree or not. It all starts with respect. This should be a requirement for our teachers and politicians but sadly not likely to happen. Great post. I am 100% in agreement about the importance of free speech.

  36. Fritz
    Well said and, yes, an extremely important topic and well worth your time/effort. I opted out of Twitter a few weeks ago when they decided they needed to “edit” freedom of speech and thought. Guess what……..it’s liberating and I start my day happier. I retired a year after you and am a year older than you. Being happy and enjoying life in retirement is what it’s all about! Have learned a lot from your blog and various podcast interviews. Oh, I don’t have a Facebook acct and never will. Thanks for reminding us of one the pillars of this great country.

  37. Couldn’t agree more that freedom of speech and the exchange of ideas is the bedrock upon which this nation is built. But anytime I see “but that’s my opinion”, always remember even today in 2020 with unarguable, indisputable, scientific proof, backed by rock solid, concrete evidence that the world is round, there is a faction that still has the opinion that the world is flat. The moral being: everyone has the right to their opinion but unless it is backed by facts or disproved by facts it could still be the crazy, wack-a- doodle rantings of an idiot.

  38. I was born during China’s Culture Revolution. I’m afraid I will be end in another one in this great country. When I saw Antifa and thugs in our society destroy our democracy, our properties, I saw communists and Mao’s red guards mixed with street thugs. The same thing is happening here. Rewrite history, denouncing one’s own family, destroy anything represents the history of the country, extreme political correctness, lawlessness, single out individuals and attacks, self criticism and apologizing, not allow to not have a opinion, etc, etc. Most of my Chinese friends see the situation clearly. My vote in November is to stop turning our USA into another communist country.

    1. Thank you W. Mao. As a fellow minority in life and perhaps in this comment trend, I feel your exact sentiments. According to the 2018 US Census we have an estimated over 45 million immigrants, a record number and percentage. We allow over 1 million to per year enter legally. The waiting list is 5 million which does not include those already working on visas wanting to stay permanently as well as those illegal. The great Economics Science Noble Prize winner Milton Friedman stated, “people vote with their feet”. The reasons are simple: economic and political freedoms that are guaranteed in our constitution coupled with the rule of law. This is worth defending in my opinion, and I did so serving my country for 11 years

  39. Fritz, this is your best & most important post ever. I’m new to your blog, but this is the most important topic ever discussed, (although many are important & informative). The freedom we have as Americans, especially free speech are precious & need to be protected. Thank you for this.

  40. It’s ok to have your own opinion, as long as it agrees with that of the mob. Just ask Drew Brees.

    1. Perhaps it is time for those who value truly free speech to create our own social movement mob. Let’s be vocal about the great importance of free speech to the health of our country. Let’s break the silence and call out those who would stamp it down.

  41. Somehow today we should only speak out if we agree with the loudest opinion. The loudest want all who decent to be silenced. That is fascist.

    I love a good discussion, but it is harder and harder to find those who disagree but are still willing to discuss.

  42. Never apologize for respectfully disagreeing with someone else’s opinion. What a mad world it is some days. Thank you for being a light in the darkness.

    Your friend north of the border.

  43. Fritz – I do not follow twitter so I do not know what your particular “hailstorm of controversy” is all about (though I can guess). Regardless, I greatly appreciate this post on free speech. It is downright frightening that many in our society cannot bear to hear, much less seriously consider and potentially learn from, an opinion that is different from their own. Thanks for speaking out on this.

  44. Fritz and his racist blogger friends are free to say racist things. All you posters who are breathlessly supporting Fritz’s sanctimonious post about free speech may want to read the illogical blog post from a white guy telling black people that there is no racism that he shared.

    Then read the comments.

    No one questioned his right to post this!

    But they did call out the racism. To this Fritz claims they are infringing on his free speech.

    They did not.

    There is a reason that he did not post any specific “attack on his free speech”. This post and many comments are quite an indication of ignorance and privilege

    Cloaking hurt feelings in the veil of free speech drips of white fragility. Very Trump like.

    Do you realize that when you criticize people for criticizing you, you are trying to stifle their right to free speech?

    So sad.

    We can do better. Fritz, you can do better. Take a look at history. Read some actual facts on racism and anti-blackness in America.

    You are free to post a racist article on the day slavery ended in America, but expect a lot of blowback. And then don’t use your position to sanctimoniously criticize those who exercise their free speech!

    1. Jerry, your reading comprehension is very weak. Where in my post did I write that black Americans don’t suffer racism? I said just the opposite. But I also added that being the victim of a racially motivated crime doesn’t automatically mean you’re being oppressed. After all, white Americans suffer racially motivated crimes too. Are they oppressed? Look, I understand that challenging the progressive narrative is going to bring out conspicuous moral preening. So by all means keep calling me a racist. But can you at least relay the arguments in my post accurately? Is that asking too much?

    2. Does Candace Owens have white privilege? She’s a highly intelligent opposing viewpoint that happens to be black. If we agree with many of her perspectives does that make us racist or are we bad for supporting the calls she is saying about how we can help improve race relations even if they are different than yours? I am not racist. I am all for equality for everyone. I am not required to agree with Jerry and Lisa to validate myself or my opinions on the matter. I think we can all do a little better on most fronts, but we are not all required to do everything the way the loud left wing liberals require “or else.” We will find out in November if you guys are the majority or the minority on supporting race riots or good conversation and debate on issues. See Seattle … that will play out as a very important part of how people vote. Which future society looks best? Vote that way … for anarchy and a society without police or not. A few bad people in any group does not make it right to lump them all together. See peaceful protestors versus riot and looters. If you say you get it and justify riots and looting then your vote is cast. 99.9% of the population is against police brutality against anyone. The same for equality, injustice, etc. I’m for facts, debate, and anyone that disagrees will resort to name calling and threats. Is the whole world really filled with “agree with me or your a racist, xenophobe, idiot, etc.?” To that I say grow up and consider how intelligent, calm, rational people would approach the situation.

  45. “Do you realize that when you criticize people for criticizing you, you are trying to stifle their right to free speech?”

    Huh? What?
    What just happened here?
    I must have just passed Criticism St. and it was one way!

  46. This is such an absurd attempt at making yourself the victim. I’ve read the comments on Twitter. Literally nothing is preventing you from retweeting more racist garbage. There is nothing stopping you. Go ahead and try again, see, it worked? Congrats, you still have your freedom of speech that you just ranted about in an incoherent post. You got called out and you didn’t like it, period.

  47. I don’t think some of these commenters saw what was posted on Twitter. For you to retweet “The Myth of Black Oppression” was in poor form. I will now read your financial blog through a different lens. Yes, freedom of speech is an impt concept but so is maintaining political decency during a trying time in America.

    1. Freedom of Speach ain’t a concept. It’s a Right.

      Vandalism is NOT Free Speach. Tweeting, is.

      Let me know when you give a thorough tongue lashing to the next mob pulling down a statue of George Washington, for not being decent during a trying time in America. Some of us are getting a bit tired of vandalism for the sake of vandalism.

      For what it is worth, I too, will read this BLOG through a different lens.

    2. Why is retweeting a post that challenges the progressive narrative “poor form”? Perhaps you need to check your progressive privilege? Progressives weren’t born booted and spurred and non-progressives weren’t born with saddled and ready to ride. You don’t decide what’s “poor form” for everyone. But if you make an argument, I’m all ears.

  48. Thanks Fritz. I don’t tweet as I learned it is full of twits. Based on comments, it appears what you reposted is not much different than what Jason Riley regularly writes about for the WSJ. Maybe you should get a raise?

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