This is going to be a rant, a short rant, but nonetheless - a rant.
I'm sick of being told this is a 'free country'. I have been told that cockamamie line since I came to Canada in 1994. How this place you have a freedom of religion, freedom of race and this 'freedom of speech' nonsense.
Well let's see;
1) Don't women who are of the Muslim faith have to choose between whether they want public services or to wear their hijab (or niqab) in Quebec?
2) Did a white farmer not shoot an unarmed Native man in Saskatchewan to be acquitted just like, last week of the crime?
3) LOL @ Freedom of Speech, sure.
My first run in with what a crock of nonsense this 'freedom of speech' phrase was in grade 10. I did some civics class presentation on Canada's former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. It was one of those odd occasions where my dad was interested in what I was doing in school because he was involved with politics back home in Bosnia. Also, I don't know any immigrant that isn't a BIG BIG fan of Pierre Trudeau. I remember doing the presentation and my dad mentioning to the principal of my high school, 'you know, Trudeau had Communist beliefs behind his socialism.' I didn't think anything of it, clearly forgetting that 'THE COMMIES' were like the worst thing ever on this here North American soil.
When my dad said that the principal said to him (with a chuckle), 'we don't say that out loud here.' Which my dad, with his deep accent responded to with, 'I thought this is free country?'
I realize my dad was being hella facetious with that response to him, because my dad knew the freedom of speech crap was nonsense being fed to us when we came here from much earlier than I did.
The quote that Voltaire did (did not, depends what you read?) give about not having to agree with your opinion but still fighting for your right to say it, I feel that shit. If freedom of speech is actually a thing, then yes, even the dumbest of the dumb have a right to their opinions. I don't have to listen to them though, just know that.
Recently, I had to deal with an incident where my freedom of speech was tested. I am super active on Twitter and that was brought up to be an issue for some bored weirdo crawling on the internet. I will tone it down on Twitter, but my question is - where the hell does this censorship end then?
Will I be telling stories of how badly I was treated by certain demographics when I came to Canada and suddenly receive hateful comments on my blog over it? Will I one day disagree with who Toronto's mayoral candidates are and get screenshots sent to my employer about it? Will I curse at the wrong Philadelphia Eagles fan during a Cowboys game and suddenly have them show up AT my job?
Regardless of what you say on Twitter or on your personal blog, someone will always be offended by it. That is nothing new. I could tweet that I love blue skies and someone would jump in my mentions to say, 'SO YOU'RE SAYING YOU DON'T LIKE WHEN THE SKIES ARE GREY THO?'
I'm serious, these social media spaces are wild.
My boyfriend said to me yesterday that being a POC, he has known all his life that freedom of speech is nonsense because as a black man - said freedoms were never even offered to him. He's right. As I sit here and cuss and rant about how angry I am that my own freedom of speech is infringed upon, there are people who are silenced even more rigidly. Those who will be automatically labeled as angry or dangerous if they even try to express certain opinions.
Not sure where I was even going with this whole rant, I just wanted to express my anger and disappointment with where political correctness and sensitivity has brought us to. Just know - mans are tweeting much more carefully from now on as a result. SMH.