One Nation for Which It Stood
Goodbye Freedom of Speech
I had a disturbing experience on the fourth of July this year.
I was standing between the two sets of sliding doors at a nationally well-known department store talking to a friend. We were discussing the horrible things happening in the United States and how these atrocities were being done in our names. We talked about how repulsive it was to us that little children have been locked up in cages, and how their parents were stored in cages so densely packed that they couldn’t sit down. To make matters worse, many children were missing and our government seems to be at a loss to say where they are located. Are they being trafficked, we wondered?
As we spoke we couldn’t help but draw a comparison between these atrocities to those committed in history by other countries who claimed to be acting on the will of the people.
Speaking of these things was not the disturbing experience though. It was the fact that when people would enter or exit the store through the sliding doors, we both felt compelled to clam up and stop talking even in mid-sentence.
When I thought about what we were doing, I suddenly felt our sudden silences highly disturbing.
I no longer feel free in the United States of America. I saw clearly then that I no longer live in a country with guarantees of freedom of speech.
Oh, people claim we still have that right, and they march to keep it. However, this freedom died in 2016. Now people, like myself who are appalled by what I read and hear in the news every day, are terrified to have a conversation in public. We hide our opinions and whisper to one another in restaurants. The reason is very sad. We don’t speak our minds out loud in public because the people who scream about their rights being taken away would sooner lynch us than to allow us to have a private conversation.
Is this what it felt like to speak ill of Hitler or Stalin when they were in power? Were people hiding how they feel out of fear of reprisal from narrow minded fellow citizens? Did they whisper carefully and make sure the windows are closed before they spoke ill of the leadership of their countries?
Right now, the people in power in the United States are full of greed and avarice. Our elected officials only think of their own wallets, choosing to make a profit rather than to do what is good for the United States and her people. These rich men and women care not for liberty nor do they want people to complain as they are being robbed, murdered and silenced.
When I realized how only a few years ago I would not have been afraid like I was standing outside that department store, I could feel my heart begin to ache. How many of the people I watched come and go throughout the half hour I was waiting on my ride, would have yelled at me or become violent with me for expressing in private what I felt about our leadership.
It is a sad day for this country when people can no longer express an opinion without taking their lives into their hands for doing so. The situation is even worse if you are dressed as a Muslim, speak Spanish, or god forbid, black.
I asked my brother in the car on our way home that day, if he could remember the time when he could get out of bed in the morning and not be worried about what horrible tragedies were being done by our government. Could he remember feeling safe and secure knowing that the country was in not perfect but good hands? He sighed and answered yes, but that he never does anymore.
We are witnessing what is perhaps the greatest tragedy to ever befall this country since the civil war. People are so divided and militant that it is unsafe and unacceptable to be anything but a conservative, white, male with blue eyes and blond or red hair. Oh, and you must also be a conservative Christian. That is because those who would destroy the United States have hijacked Christianity to use for an evil leverage against its own people.
I’m saddened and frightened, yet I am still willing to write about what I see happening and how it hurts me. It is the only way I have in resisting the horrendous changes I see happening in my beloved country.
I weep for the United States of America and the one nation for which it once stood.