Originally published in the Fullerton College Hornet, Vol. 78, Issue 22; 21 Apr 1999
In 1948, George Orwell warned of the constant threat of oppression by our fellow human beings in his novel, “1984.” The lessons presented in Orwell’s novel still ring true 51 years later.
The Bill of Rights, ratified over 200 years ago, is not a set of privileges accorded by the founding fathers. They are a collection of rights, believed by those who wrote them to be granted by a higher power and beyond the scope of human interference.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United State establishes the right of the people to express their mind freely and without fear of reprisal.
Any restriction on this, or any other rights acknowledged in the Bill of Rights for that matter, cannot be tolerated.
Over the history of the nation, people have been persecuted for exercising the very rights established by the founders of the United States. What they fought and sacrificed for was a nation where the people had the freedom to think and govern themselves.
That goal, the experiment we now know as the United States of America, has been perverted into a system very similar to that which the revolutionary colonists rebelled against.
The government, intended to be composed of the common man, has been usurped and dominated by the elitist upper class. This group is concerned only for their own welfare, to the exclusion and exploitation of all others, in order to further their own goals and desires.
With few exceptions, such as President Harry S. Truman, politics has become the realm of the rich and powerful who are concerned with staying in office in order to further their own agendas. They hope to achieve this by surreptitiously restricting the rights acknowledged and established in the Bill of Rights.
It is the right of the people to speak their mind.
It is also the responsibility of the people to use good judgement and common sense while exercising that right.
Laws are meant to punish those whose actions have exceeded the limitations placed by a society, not those whose ideas disagree with society.
The First Amendment is in place to protect the unpopular ideas, as the popular ideas need little protection. Speech codes, restrictive laws and the catch-all “hate crimes” legislation have infringed on the right of the people to speak their mind freely and without fear.
It is a very short step from the definition of “hate crime” to “thought crime.”