You will be hard press to find someone in the United States that won’t list the freedom of speech as a fundamental enjoyed by Americans. Unfortunately, in the United States we don’t enjoy the benefits of true freedom of speech. Speech is regulated and restricted in a variety of ways, there is a large and growing things that you can say, or at best shouldn’t say online. But aside from secret federal laws, there is another prevalent form of American censorship that often takes the form of public boycotts.
A good example of modern day American censorship is the case of Miami Marlins coach Ozzie Guillen who was suspended five games for something he said in an interview. He didn’t say any words out of spite or anger or malice, he simply stated his opinion. Unfortunately for Mr. Guillen, his opinion went against that of most people in Miami. In an interview with Time magazine, Guillen is reported as saying that he respects Fidel Castro for staying in power throughout the years in spite of those that want him deposed.
Only in America do you have a dichotomy of having the freedom of speech and yet not being able to say things like the N-word. And now, you can’t use the F-word, J-word, R-word, S-word, and a whole lot of words. You can’t say anything nice about Fidel Castro, or Adolf Hitler. Even saying that Castro has a cool beard and Hitler had a nice mustache will get you a wide range of backlash, especially if you are a public figure.
I know that someone is already taking what I saying out of context, so let me be clear. I am not saying that I like Castro’s beard or policy and by no means am I saying anything nice about Hitler or Stalin or Mao. I am just saying that it is sad that in a country that spent so much in fighting against the oppression that these dictators and tyrants represented we ourselves suppress and censor people for having ideas different than the norm. Worse than Fidel, more horrendous that Hitler, more atrocious than Stalin is group think.