Friday letters: Even unpopular speech protected

June 13, 2014 

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Political correctness is a thief. A key objective of our Bill of Rights is to protect unpopular speech. Political correctness punishes unpopular speech.

The Bill of Rights protects saying what you please (short of shouting “fire” in a crowded theater). Political correctness brings punishment for making critical comments about one of its protected peoples. It can even cost one his job. This is a stealth attack on the Bill of Rights.

Who has not said something controversial or regrettable? Not all unpopular comments are edifying. Neither is gossip, but it is allowed. Diversity and freedom go together.

The First Amendment is not politically slanted. It needs defenders — brave, civilian soldiers. Ask teachers, judges, officials and candidates if they support and protect unpopular speech or political correctness. Employees might pray that their bosses will be strong enough to protect unpopular comments and traditional religious expression.

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech,” Ben Franklin said. Ask some old veterans if they risked their lives for neutral, First Amendment freedoms or to deny unpopular speech.

Fred Kerr

West Columbia

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