Letter: Social consciousness rises from respectful free expression

Posted 7/15/20

America has lot its way.

No other country has sacrificed or legislated or spent more than America to foster equality. In spite of this, America is locked in a modern-day civil war.

The …

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Letter: Social consciousness rises from respectful free expression

Posted

America has lot its way.

No other country has sacrificed or legislated or spent more than America to foster equality. In spite of this, America is locked in a modern-day civil war.

The Declaration of Independence, written by slave owners, was an exercise of free speech rooted in freedom and equality. Abraham Lincoln was slain after penning the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation.

The 1960s bred the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King’s spell-binding “I Had a Dream” sermon. Civil rights legislation led to integrated schools, forced busing, equal opportunity legislation, racial preferences in hiring and university admission and other legislative “cures.” Martin Luther King was slain for his efforts.

These men and times strived to elevate social consciousness from a simple truth. Claiming superiority from having different skin color or beliefs is the highest form of ignorance.

Without honoring the rights of free speech and assembly, America would not have unshackled from Britain, and Lincoln would not have led the Union to victory, and the Vietnam War would not have ended, and civil rights legislation would not have passed.

Like it or not, the right to express even the most abhorrent of views is central to being an American. To refute this renders the words and deeds and plight of Lincoln and King meaningless. Sounding opposing views with overlapping bullhorns drowns out all of the words. When was the last time yelling “That is wrong!” won you an argument?

America’s history shows that social consciousness rises from respectful free expression. The war’s end requires you and I exercise respect and courage and mindfulness and honor and reason. From the tone of discourse in these pages, it is clear such traits are in short supply.

Louis A. Sousa
Bristol

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