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Letter: On Being Offended

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Dear Editor,

In America, everyone has the freedom to feel offended by another’s acts or speech. Most of us, especially those who know something about the First Amendment, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 decision re: Westboro Baptist Church – would also agree that everyone has a constitutionally protected freedom to be offensive in act or speech, even if those acts or words offend others. SCOTUS: “…such speech cannot be restricted simply because it is upsetting or arouses contempt.”

However, it does not follow that anyone, even those deeply offended, has a corresponding freedom to be oppressive towards the perceived offender(s). Offensive acts or speech do not justify individual or group attempts to censor or repress them. That’s what living in a “Republic,” means – the rights of the minority are protected, by law, from abuse by the majority.

“Tyranny” is not compatible with our form of government! Just because you disagree with what someone says or does, you are not entitled to take any actions to silence them.

Unfortunately, recent events in our own country clearly indicate an erosion of the constitutional protections our founders created to preserve our freedoms and our liberty. If we, as individuals, fail to speak up when, in the name of “political correctness,” “social justice” or some “ism,” we begin to deny our fellow citizens their constitutional protections, who will speak up for us when we are the targets?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Ron Tamaccio
Greenville, S.C.

LEXICON:

Offended: feeling displeasure, anger or resentment because of someone’s words or deeds.

Offensive: unpleasant, disgusting or repugnant words or actions.

Oppressive: tyrannical, overbearing authority.

Tyranny: an oppressive and unjust government. Cruel and harsh use of power.

SIC SEZ

sic

Ron: As always, you provide a thoughtful take on tumultuous times.  Agree 100 percent with what you’ve said here.

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