Reposted from iamthatgirl.com (link below)
By: Amaranthia Gittens-Jones, Guest Blogger
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
—Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) Former President of South Africa
Freedom is not so free. The right of freedom of speech doesn’t imply you should always say what you wish to say, no matter the cost. First, you should examine the circumstances: Is it hurtful to those receiving your words? Is it significant or only diminishing? Are people going to truly listen and hear your perspective? If there is a repercussion, will it be worth it?
Racial discrimination is a pitiable excuse for freedom of speech. I’ve witnessed instances of prejudice since I turned 8. When I moved to my house 6 years ago, my Mom and I were walking to the local post office when suddenly people from a truck yelled the n-word at us. A Caucasian girl at school called me a monster because of my dread-locked hair. When I went to public school, I heard the n-word and other deprecating language used habitually against minorities on the bus. To me, these are examples of irresponsibility with words or reckless speech.
Here in the U.S, we have freedom of speech, but how often are our words raising uplifting points? Do they consistently bring positivity into the world? The justification I often hear whenever mortifying words are used are along the lines of, “I have freedom of speech and I can say whatever I want.” Hearing this and even seeing it online constantly is similar to a heaving, mass pulling you down. Unfortunately, people who use the above excuse will probably never listen to you or listen to themselves, to realize how nauseating or degrading their words are….☀️😊
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