I am hesitant to include a blog. I have things to say, like we all do, but our current political and social climate is pretty hostile to ideas. Not long ago, former president Obama, Hillary Clinton, the offices of CNN and George Soros received bombs—not threats, but actual bombs! Our current president has advocated for body-slamming journalists and “knocking the crap out of protesters.” Our congressmen and women elected to represent their constituents, Democratic and Republican, are heckled out of restaurants where they try to eat in peace. Most journalists and opinion writers today are getting death threats routinely in their mailboxes and inboxes. A 16 year-old girl who is outspoken about climate change has been the target of stunningly disgusting and vile online abuse. Most recently, experienced and well-respected scientists jobs are in jeopardy and are getting death threats for analyzing data and making conclusions that aren’t politically convenient. It’s become the norm to abuse and threaten people because their views differ from our own.
I thought this was America where our voices were protected by the first Amendment. My whole life I’ve been afraid to “speak up and speak out” because of my own insecurity and fear of abuse. Now, I’m ready to speak. How many of us are out there who want and need to speak, but are muted because their voices may piss off someone who finds it perfectly within their rights to threaten you—even kill you—because of your beliefs and opinions?
I still need more time to contemplate whether or not I want to speak up very often. Stay tuned.