Thoughts on Free Speech

From the Earliest Expressions of Human Communication to the rise of Popular Music, Literature, Arts in the 20th Century to the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960’s to the rise of Hip Hop and Rap Music to the Me Too Movement and the dangers of Modern Day Censorship

How the Free Speech Movement eventually became the Frozen Speech Movement and how the Modern Day climate of Hysteria and Hypersensitivity – in its attempt to protect and preserve individual rights and freedoms – is actually helping to take them away.

In Defense of the Spirit of Truth

By Arash Angermen

Guest Blogger – Published by Graham Ranseen on the Author’s behalf

November 25th, 2021 (Rev. 2/19/2022)

Speech Makers and Speech Defenders

Malcolm X
May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965
Martin Luther King Jr.
January 10, 1957 – April 4, 1968
Ira Glasser Former head of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

In a ‘Speech’ likely not written by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan but nonetheless delivered by Reagan when he was newly elected as the Governor of California in 1967. The following words were spoken regarding Freedom on January 5th, 1967 by way of Reagan’s inaugural address in Sacramento, CA upon being sworn in as the 33rd Governor of the State of California a few days earlier on January 2nd of the same year :

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Whoever did compose these words is indeed absolutely correct! Although not all human beings have always been free or, treated equally within the United States of America. What is true however, is that freedom must always be fought for! Everyday and by Everyone!!

In that just as every human being must be responsible for themselves and their well being, health, power of mind and strength of intellect – on a local, personal and Microcosmic level – the same responsibility and accountability must occur for a collective community, society or, a republic – on a Macrocosmic level.

Although I do not know whether the Speaker of these words believed in them or, whether like many politicians – Ronald Reagan stated exactly what his advisors informed him that the people of California, his constituents, wanted to hear – I do know that anyone who has enjoyed the purity and the joy of True Personal and Public Freedom – must in their heart completely and unapologetically – embrace the true value of Free Speech!

In order for Freedom to be experienced by all – Free Speech must be allowed to occur in all of its variety of expressions – however potentially harmful.

Since, if history has taught us anything it’s that Free Speech is a mandatory civil right which must not and cannot ever be abolished under any circumstances – since, if it is – the society which censors Speech and Expression is no longer a Free Society!

Ronald Reagan
February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004
Although a well known Actor there is one thing I know for a fact about President Ronald Reagan and that is the fact that he did not write his own Speeches!

Although I have not yet delved into the exact details of the political climate at the time of Ronald Reagan’s delivering his inaugural address – particularly in the state of California at the specific moment in time in which Reagan was elected Governor, a time in which the once Hollywood Actor both ran for and was elected into his first official seat in public office. I do not believe I would be too far off from the truth if I were to estimate that the language and position in regards to Freedom that the speech represents was both directly and indirectly influenced by the tense political and social climate of not only the revolutionary spirit of consciousness which was erupting all over the world at the time. A clash and confluence of freedom in Sexual expression, recreational Drug use as well as a freedom in cultural and lingual expression in both life and the Arts – all of which has been collectively lumped into and labeled the ‘Counter-Cultural Revolution‘ of the 1960’s.

The shockwaves of this period can still be felt today in pockets of world culture and societies! Yet, tragically and as I will argue within this essay, the principles which were fought for in this decade in regards to human rights and civil liberties have not only lost its Leaders, its Faces and its Names as well as its momentum – but even more importantly- the speed and pace with which our modern world has progressed since – has also led to a diminishing decline in humanities concern for appreciating and respecting Genuine Struggle as well as the Spirit of Truth itself!

*

Free Speech is the most common and most functional method of Checks and Balances which maintains the ‘balance’ of any society in the the most fundamental and organic way. Free speech should always be an inherent right granted to every citizen in any society that wishes to remain free.

Imagine if there were countless evils which were occurring in your neighborhood. Would you not want to know? And if you either knew or, would like to know what is happening in your environment, would you not hope to be able to communicate it – Freely?

Would you not also hope that others could communicate dangers or, threats to you – Freely?

A neighborhood or, communities where families live is also where child care and adult supervision is necessary and also where its occupants must be able to speak freely and openly with one another about what they see, hear, suspect or, might be concerned about. Paranoia and Suspicion are apart of human nature and although it might not be healthy to engage in these states of mind in excessive degrees – they are key aspects of our ability to Survive and anticipate the WORST or most DANGEROUS threats to our well-being and security and serve a critical purpose in our lives.

Additionally – and you guessed it – in order for dangers, evils or, threats of any kind to be stopped, they must be known and in order for these threats to to be known they must be communicated. Something so simple might not need to be stated – yet I am of the belief that the simple things are often the most difficult to see or, understand. Additionally, due to the modern threats to free speech in our current world societies – as well as the current state of censored or, biased and selective media reporting – it has become necessary that we state and restate what may have once been commonly known or, understood within a collective common sense among human populations. A common sense which sadly, seems to be fading in recent decades. Fading possibly due to a loss of privacy as well as digital technology changing the way human beings interact with one another by way of removing the need for face to face accountability and the accumulation of Thick Skin!

Although the “New Deal” which was devised and passed into United States Law during the Great Depression by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt – should not be confused with ‘Raw Deal’ a box office flop from the Summer of 1986. If we observe and closely examine what the New Deal has opened the door for since its implementation, I suppose FDR might have re-considered the name of his historical Social Program.

One of the key reasons Free Speech is under attack in my view is not only due to massive Government and Corporate Overreach which has been occurring since the “New Deal” but also that we the people and particularly the impressionable youth have allowed our personal and private space to be invaded in exchange for comforts, securities, products and services provided by Governments and Corporations alike. What comforts, securities, products and services you might ask? Let’s simply consider every social program since the New Deal – which in essence did provide excellent infrastructure for this great nation – but every positive also invites or, rather necessitates a negative and so the positive of social programs also opened the door for politicians to sneak in rules, policies and laws which might slowly chip power away from the people and allocate that power into the hands of Government under the guise of ‘Assistance’ or, ‘Security’.

Anyone who is of adult age in the years of 2020 and 2021 should realize that the greatest loss of personal privacy of ordinary civilians in America occurred under the ‘threat of Fear’ in the year 2001. The timing of the that Horrific and Terrible Tragedy and the ensuing passage of the Patriot Act is worth considering side by side! The author may very well be implying foul play in how this specific Act was passed. However, implication and explication are two very different things and the author happily defers to the value of strategic communications on this specific point!

The social media landscape created by Big Tech has also allowed more to be shared, expressed and transmitted than is healthy for the well being of human beings and the human mind . We are seeing so much more of what we are today while so much of our personal power is simultaneously being taken away. This alone – from a fundamental standpoint and in conjunction with the Expansion of Government is both a direct and also indirect root cause of most of the abuses of power which occur today which are technically civil and human rights violations if we are being completely honest.

The Truth is that we all know what human beings our capable of. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – including the Dark, the Corrupt and the Evil. If we begin to fear speaking openly about darkness then I guarantee you that the same darkness we fear will only continue to grow and become more dark! Unless we say something and shine a light on it!

Our ancestors knew this and in my view, it is purely due to our efforts in communications, our collective histories and record-keeping – our writing and transcribing – as well as our language and our expression of free speech which have allowed the Truth to largely remain known. Communication has consequently allowed the miracle of humanity to continue to flourish over thousands of years.

The deeds and acts of previous generations of human beings has been captured and recorded the BEST and the WORST of what we are and this has largely allowed us to see through a realistic lens or, frame of comprehension. If we wish for this frame of comprehension to remain genuine then we must continue to speak and communicate about ALL that we are – so that we do not and cannot forget the BEST and the WORST of what we are. Communication allows both the known and unknown to be explored and the Truth to be relatively available to be discussed sufficiently enough to be accessible to those who wish or, might desire to seek it.

Indeed, secrets have always existed within the scope of human affairs but secrets which enable or advance corruption or, evil must be exposed for the well-being of humanity. Sacred or, Spiritual Truths which might be concealed are only concealed in order to become known to those who are prepared, matured, wise and responsible enough to receive specific information and this type of concealment represents something else altogether. Yet, even such positive and meaningful secrets have been concealed in such a way that they encourage humanity to find them – as if purity or, good concealed within darkness or, mud wishes to be found and be treasured due to the difficulty in obtaining it.

Whereas impurity or, evil concealed within a false light or, physical appearances promises more than it actually provides.

Truth does not mind being Questioned – A Lie does not like being Challenged – Apocryphal

The Truth Defends Itself” – Paul Mooney, Comedian [Possibly Apocryphal]

The Truth simply represents itself because it is a representation of everything, of all things – past, present and future. Truth is nothing more than a full accounting of all events – public, private and even inclusive of that which is hidden, concealed or, withheld. The Truth can be our friend if we do what is right but it can easily be our enemy if we continue to do what is wrong.

If Transparency is accountability then there should be nothing human beings cannot or, should not be made aware of. This is a requirement of a functional and harmonious family – a functional and harmonious community and ultimately a functional and harmonious society!

*

The Spirit of Truth – in my view – is the only spirit and force which fundamentally keeps ALL of the people of society – from the wealthy and more fortunate to the poor and less fortunate – Accountable and in Agreement with one another! However, in order for this degree of sanity and civility to occur, people must be allowed to communicate freely and openly with each other. If at any time in which the channels, flows, pathways and mechanisms of Free, Fair and Open Communication – especially in civil terms – cannot be expressed or, is not allowed to be expressed – then this will be or, rather is the first step toward a divided, split, hostile and potentially violent and chaotic society.

This is in essence what I believe we are seeing occur in our society today in the wake of the Cancellations via the #Me Too Movement and the ensuing public and private censorship which has occurred through the emergence of the Coronavirus Pandemic! The dangers we are seeing today should be clear. In my view, most human beings and the common voter of nearly any nation today seems to be quite naïve in regards to the high sophistication of Modern Political Strategy and the greater this gap in understanding between people becomes, the greater the problems of that society.

A common theme or, thread which is often seen and experienced by those who acquire tremendous wealth and social status in society and life – is inevitably the question of, What’s Next? or, What Now?

Most people – when they attain something and depending on how difficult that goal, achievement or, thing was to obtain – naturally might grow bored or, tired of what they have acquired and may desire something else that is simply just more than what they already have. It is human nature to innately always have something to look toward or, some goal or, thing to obtain or, accomplish and it is also human nature to always want what one does not see or, have.

All That We Do Is Done With An Eye Toward Something Else

– Aristotle

More specifically – it is human nature to want what we ‘believe’ we do not see or, have and in this way I believe the entire human experience is fundamentally built on faith.

So, the question naturally arises, when the billionaires and eventual Trillionaires of this world – both known or, unknown to the public – have experienced and seen the thrust and the weight of their power a thousand times over within the frame of the law – would the power of one’s reach or, influence be tempted to break laws to see if their power might be immune to the wrath of either Natural or, Man-Made Laws? Has not history and literature and our species’ collective mythology not made it clear which aspects of our nature will always lead us to fall into darkness? Is not Pride the chief culprit? Or, perhaps even to Covet? To Possess other human beings? To enslave?

To control people because one simply thinks they can or, is ‘allowed‘ to without opposition’? The question is – does the average human being possess the will, the political or, historical know how, the keen perception and critical thinking skills to spot these patterns or, behaviors when they occur and how do we and how can we speak about what we see is wrong?

The answer to this question has usually been quite simple: Freedom of Speech – Freedom of Press.

It is solely probable that the reason the world has revived itself out of the dark ages – time and time again – and perhaps out of multiple possible extinction events or, just violent and ignorant hells of existence – is due to the means and methods of our species capacity to construct languages and to communicate freely! So, who or, why would anyone wish to censor speech? Common sense might inform us that it might be anyone or, any group that is doing things that they do not want anyone to talk about or wish to become known.

Can it really be this simple? Yes, it can!

And Yes, it is!

There is indeed sufficient evidence that the hostility and violence America saw in 2020 on its streets may have been intentionally devised and funded in order to advance various political interests or, agendas to obtain more ‘control‘ over citizens of any or, all nations. 2 When one has been given control over another – one who has perhaps become bored or, desensitized to the power they already have – it should be understood by all people that a desire for control over human beings is almost always next in the in the literal pecking order of an insatiable appetite and the reason most or, nearly all people have never truly possessed Power.

AFTER the King has tasted and consumed every fine food and delicacy from all over the world and slept with every beautiful woman in the region under his command and after having acquired every asset he desires – THEN – it would seem that taking away the personal power of his citizens might be the only satisfactory endeavor which remains for one to see the breadth and reach of their own physical power. I hope this makes sense. Can you follow the chains of progression and succession within the scales and scope of human nature, human behavior and human affairs? Can you trace how intentions, ambitions and desires can be transformed – if both personally and publicly unchecked and unmanaged – into darkness, corruption? Can you also see how once benevolent forces may be perverted and corrupted and eventually work against the nature of humanity? Every positive requires a negative and if that negative is not known or, balanced it can disrupt the balance of being.

It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses and foibles but of positively demonic dynamism

– Carl Jung

*

It is also a fact that there is only a limited and finite amount of Wealth, Power and Resources in this world and also within the confines of any nation. If this is known and understood then it may also be known that in order for one, some or, a few to acquire more WPR than what they currently have – the only practical method available – is to take it away from others. This is in fact perfectly allowable if the means by which wealth, power and resources are allocated, acquired and diverted is done lawfully, civilly, ethically, morally – which means transparently and with the acquiescence and agreement of all.

A basic example of this is how in a free or, capitalistic society : Entrepreneurialism allows any human being to create and produce any product or, service which one may feel does not exist or, which the Government or, the Free Economy does not already produce or, service. In this way – through creating a business – one can potentially provide ALL of the people with this product and service – at a cost – and in this way generate income and wealth for their business which benefits the community and society in multiple ways. Through employment opportunities for people and by allowing consumers to purchase the product or, service and also through the free flow of capital through the exchange of resources in that community or, society.

In an economic sense, I suppose being able to establish or, start a business is a form of Freedom of Expression or, in at least one form, Free Commercial Speech if not also Free Personal Speech!

Since, is not the name, descriptions, contents of products and services represented by language or, speech of some kind? And if a Government allows this expression is it not also allowing for Business Communications? Business to Business, Business to Consumer, Consumer to Business and Consumer to Consumer? Do not all of these channels of communication need to remain active and uninhibited for the growth of every relationship?

Naturally any or, every type of limitation or, barrier to opportunity must be identified, eradicated and removed if the success of a Community or, Society is to be sustained. I believe that in this regard, we must return to the movements and momentum which was established when we rose out of the ashes of the Dark Ages and embrace the true principles of Free Thought, Free Speech and Free Expression.

There is an innate, fundamental and common sense embedded within the framework of Free Speech and a Free Society which allows the shifts of power and consciousness to pass freely and fairly across all people, places and groups. In this way, the needs, demands, frustrations, fires and stresses which breathe within the souls and minds of innumerable citizens may be allowed an opportunity and a chance to be heard, acknowledged, contained, diffused and ultimately redeemed!

One can argue that all expressions, especially political protests alone are already – within themselves – the purest forms of exercising Free Speech in a Political Society. In fact, it is probable that every human being on this planet utilizes the freedom of speech, which would also be inclusive of all human expressions – in both their public and private lives in one degree or, another and especially or, most certainly in their private life. What I hope to establish and comment on within this essay is my belief in complete Free Speech with minimal censorship of any kind as well as the fact that Free Speech and as a default consequence – Truth and Freedoms of all kinds – are also under severe assault in our modern world societies in this early part of the 21st Century in which we presently find ourselves battling to live and co-exist within.

The Costs of Suppressing Speech – Fake Nous
Student Protesters at UC Berkeley 1964

The Free Speech Movement as we call it was an expression of Political Protest which began at the University of California, Berkeley in the early 1960’s. The movement itself is technically considered to be a monumental and historically significant event. However, the fight for Free Speech has always existed for as long as human beings have expressed themselves and there is a part of me which questions the true origins of many of the protests of the 1960’s. If genuine – I support them with all my being and all of my heart. If the protests may have been instigated to advance certain ends or, to distract or, even to give people the feeling that they were, ‘being heard’ and as a result flock to an inorganic movement in order to avoid creating a more dangerous ‘organic’ movement (which is an advanced modern political tactic an strategy) – then I can only do my part to voice this concern and hope that History can ultimately know the Truth!

As someone who is familiar with the institution in which the Free Speech Movement is credited to have begun in a popular sense, I find it not only deeply disturbing but also a complete tragedy and a hypocrisy of the modern Global Academic landscape and of all Academic institutions which participate in Censorship – that open and free dialogue of any and every type is not encouraged, promoted and allowed to persist and co-exist within the diversity of its own body. The modern day problems of Censorship which is supported by Academic Institutions is shocking, horrific and should deeply concern every living, breathing, thinking human being on this planet. Banning of Free Speech and Censorship are clear enemies of Education, Learning and Collective Progress.

On the subject of Censorship – if we were to go back and ask every artist or, writer whose work has been banned or, censored – they might completely agree that the act is completely anti-academic, anti-education, anti-pedagogical, anti-humanitarian and ultimately and always leads humanity into Blindness & Darkness!

The Diffusing Aspects of Speech – An Aid to Subdue and Mitigate Violence

Tufts U. student leaders reject free speech measure, call it 'unsafe' | The  College Fix
The Caption is someone holding a poster that reads, “WE CONDEMN Freedom of Speech that hurts other people’s feelings”

Although the Purest of Intentions to protect one’s sense of humanity or, well being may be understood and respected. The problem with the slogan in the image to the left [WE CONDEMN Freedom of Speech that hurts other people’s feelings] is how Short Sighted the Perspective it contains actually is. Does the person who composed this slogan believe that we shouldn’t verbally reprimand or, yell or, shout insults at a Rapist or, a Murderer because we might hurt their feelings while they are in the act of Raping or Murdering? What about calling out a Senator or, a Congressman for sneaking a minor crime or, subversive element into a Senate or, Assembly Bill? This is part of the confusion and madness which is occurring in our modern societies. We must allow for feelings to be hurt or, insulting speech to exist if we also wish to use that same speech to expose evil, corruption and darkness. Although I am no Ted Kaczynski I do blame the corruption of human minds in today’s world to not only BIG Government but also BIG Technology and its effects in desensitizing people to the things that actually matter while hypersensitizing them to the things that actually should be taken in stride and handled personally with personal composure and strong internal constitution. First, Radio, then TV and eventually Computers and the Internet projected idealism and ideology onto us – then the Universities did it – and now we are projecting ideologies of all kinds onto each other without patient, meaningful, receptive and responsible dialogue! This problem of projecting and then wanting to receive what fits in the frame of our ‘pretend’ fantasy world is in my view partly due to the conditioning that TV Channels, Radio Stations and now Channels and Environments of any and every kind (Chat Rooms, Clubhouse etc. ) allow us to only see what we want to see but none of what we need to see. Echo Chambers!

Mark my words : Anything and Everything human beings believe can only be strengthened by open opposition, open challenge and open dialogue!

The fact that people can’t or won’t meet opposition is the result of becoming spoiled by the privileges and comforts of fantasy land – Radio, TV, Internet or any other Echo Chamber we’ve constructed over the past one hundred or so years. That which insulates can protect us but only for so long and vulnerability is required for Growth and so that which insulates us can comfort us to excess and that which comforts us to excess can kill us from within! Through Apathy, Mindlessness, Laziness, Un-Consciousness and Self-Deception!

Would you rather someone shouted hurtful insults at you if it meant that their emotions, feelings, anger, ignorance or, pain is diffused by doing so? Or, would you rather force one to hold everything inside – unexpressed and unknown – and manifest itself in a single Violent event? It is apart of life that we take the good with the bad and attempt to understand each other by communicating. I would much rather have someone hurt me with words than with bullets!

According to Ira Glasser, the former Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) when appearing on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast3:

IRA GLASSER : “When people say they want to ban hate speech. What they mean is they want to ban the speech that ‘They‘ hate. But if you allowed something called Hate Speech to be banned then the only important question would be…

who decides?

…and again, if the Government is going to be the one that decides what Hate Speech to Ban. It’s not going to be the same speech as the speech “You” hate. It’s going to be the Speech ‘They‘ hate. For Liberals who are very hot these days for banning Hate speech, what they mean is that they want to ban Speech that is bigoted against people based on skin color or, based on sex or, based on religion. That’s what they mean by Hate Speech. But what I always ask Liberals is – well, what makes you so think ‘your‘ going to have the power to decide what’s hateful? What would happen if the guy who decided what speech to hate and ban was Joe McCarthy? He would’ve banned ‘your‘ speech. …That’s really why hate speech cannot be a category that is allowed to ban because it all depends on whose going to decide and what they hate is not going to be same as what you hate… the problem has always been who gets to decide what’s hateful and who gets to decide what to ban and it isn’t often going to be the ones who advocate for these codes.

Later in the Interview, the Host, Joe Rogan asks a brilliant question and raises an excellent point:

JOE ROGAN: So, is the solution just leave everything up and let everybody just kind of duke it out in the town square of ideas?

IRA GLASSER: Well, I think so and the reason I think that is that the only alternative is to give somebody the power to decide what should be excluded from the town square.. and who is that somebody? You know I don’t think you can get out of that dilemma. You know at the very beginning of our history when the first amendment was first invented. We all learned in school that people like James Madison, Tom Jefferson and the rest of them were all the super advocates of Free Speech and First Amendment. But they weren’t. A lot of them believed that the first amendment did not protect Full Speech because in the same way that people believe…about Hate Speech…well what is the virtue of Full Speech? Why does Full Speech contribute anything to a rational discussion? How does Full Speech enhance Democracy? So, there was largely a consensus at the end of the 18th Century, when the country began, there was largely a consensus even among the fiercest advocates of Free Speech that Full Speech was not protected by the First Amendment. Then under John Adams’ presidency, the second president of the United States, they passed something called the Alien and Sedition Acts and this was a federal statute that Congress passed and it made it a crime to say false things, critically false things about the President and the problem was…is that it was the President who decided to whom that law should apply. So, it ended up that people who were critical of John Adams, including a member of Congress, including several editors of Newspapers. They were arrested and convicted and sent to jail under this and…

why did that happen?

It happened because the people in charge said that their speech was False! The speech of the people they prosecuted – and when people think of True or False, they think of things like well, if you say two plus two is five, we know that two plus two is four so we know that two plus two is five is False but in the world of Politics, almost everything can be interpreted as True or False depending on who the Speaker or who the Listener is. Look at what just happened with our Elections, seventy percent of people among Republicans believe that the Election was fraudulent. Now, you can argue about whether that’s True or, whether that’s False but do you really want to make it a Crime for people to say that Election was Fraudulent?

You have to fight it out! You have to duke it out! Otherwise you’re gonna end up using these Bans as Weapons

to use against people you don’t agree with by simply claiming that what they said was False. That was the history in the early part of the American Experiment and the same thing is true today about Hate Speech about Bigoted Speech or, any other kind of Speech. You know, The Price we Pay for having the Freedom to Speak and Listen and Argue is that some of the stuff we have to hear is Ugly and it’s like an insurance policy and what we’re insuring against is if we don’t want to hear the ugly speech – we want to ban Ugly Speech – and if we give the Government the power to decide what’s ugly enough to be banned and then we’ll lose our own rights to Free Speech for sure and I don’t think there’s any way out of that!

In my view, the rise of technology does seem to have birthed a variety of privileges which has disconnected human beings in developed nations to lose touch with reality. Science and Technology have provided significant benefits indeed over the past few hundred years and in allowing the average human life span to be extended but it has also led to human beings not needing to engage with the full scope of reality. Tragically, human beings in many areas of the world may be allowed to live life incomplete and in this way remain misinformed and living life on false pretenses. Additionally, the nature of modern popular youth culture has also allowed human beings born into our modern era to Not have to Mature, Grow up, be Accountable or, actually face the music of reality early on in their lives in a necessary or, urgent capacity. When we grow up, we are forced by necessity to feel and learn the full context or, full comprehension of a whole or, balanced view of Life and Reality.

In an interview with VladTV4, Chuck D, of the famous Rap / Hip-Hop Group, Public Enemy made a poignant and profound observation about modern day youth:

“We’re in a country, a nation and a hemisphere that does not encourage younger adults to take leadership. MTV and Viacom, I blamed them for years for extending teenage years out to 35….This system has failed young people into thinking that young people are Youth instead of young people are Adults and Leaders.

– Chuck D, Artist, Public Enemy

The causes of these false comforts might be directly and indirectly tied to not just the false comforts which Science and Technology have provided (e.g. a pill from a Psychiatrist or, doctor is not a permanent solution or, genuine resolution and will not provide lasting inner-peace!) As Chuck D noted and as I interpret his statement about Media companies, it seems to make sense and cents for Media companies to remove its viewers attention span and focus away from personal accountability or, responsibility to one’s self. This might not even purely be the aim of Media or, Tech companies yet indirectly – by creating a product that is designed to keep viewers glued to the TV, Computer or, Phone screen is no less evil than Frito Lay creating a product that is nearly impossible for consumers to stop consuming. The key point here seems to be that if something is wrong or, goes too far in terms of what it is asking or demanding from us – we should be allowed to talk openly about it as much as we can.

Additionally, If human beings and in particular – the impressionable youth of any generation – are not allowed to express themselves freely and openly in safe and civil settings in which they may be heard, acknowledged and understood by peers and ultimately by Society and its Leaders, it is possible as well as likely that more outbursts of Violence, Chaos and Confusion will continue to occur.

The Role Comedy plays in conjunction with the Defense and Full Expression of Free Speech

The state of Comedy today – particularly in Western Countries such as the U.S. – is not as sharp, engaging, honest, effective or, Truthful as it once was. The West in particular – in my view – has actually lost its edge in its Art as well as Communication by losing touch with the real Struggle and Pain of everyday people. Without viewership from the mass of people, most of the popular art forms or, even media would not be funded or generate enough ratings to even exist. If content is not representative of the WHOLE truth, it cannot be Effective. This is a fact!

There are plenty of examples throughout history which prove and demonstrate how Tensions of any and every kind were alleviated and lessened due to allowing human beings to Express themselves honestly, truthfully and displaying any range of emotion they felt necessary to express. Lenny Bruce for example was famously arrested on October 4th, 1961 for obscene language used during a stand up performance . The arrest was the basis for a 1964 conviction

Leonard Alfred Schneider aka Lenny Bruce
October 13, 1925 – August 3rd, 1966
Richard Pryor
December 1st, 1940 – December 10th, 2005
George Carlin
May 12th, 1937 – June 22nd, 2008
Dave Chappelle b. 1973
Joe Rogan b. 1967

Thoughts On Race as well as The Rise of Explicit Art Forms as a Means of Maintaining the need for Free Speech, the Deep Link between Struggle, Art and Truth Telling

The trailblazers of Comedy, the Arts or, any other Art form One of the most difficult subjects to speak on is Race and/or Racism. I do believe that differences in regards to race relations are improving in some ways but not in every way and it is obvious that humanity on a collective level has a long way to go. In my view, regardless of how people feel about each other, it is important that human beings are as honest with each other as possible and get as much off their chests as they can – so that they identify and sort out what they actually believe in their heart in their minds from what society has told or, conditioned them to believe. It is important to communicate everything – so if someone does hate – we can show them that what they might actually hate is what they do not fully understand – either about themselves or, about others. Or, we might show one who hates that what one might hate is actually a feeling which is already within their own heart or, an emotion that is actually ‘unresolved’ somewhere and has not yet been settled or, completely identified by their intellect or, mind. Most of the anger related to Race Relations and Racism in my view is deeply rooted in Alienation – in that people instinctively fear or, reject what they think is alien or, different to them, their family or, their community. This proves a fundamental point of about human beings and humanity – the ancient philosophers, prophets and sages have always been correct – that the Truth of anyone or, anything is NEVER on a surface level or, in the appearance of anything – but is ALWAYS within.

In an ironic sense, the fact that Racism even exists proves the point that all Truth is Internal or, concealed within things. That the darker aspects of humanity manifest themselves when we allow Fear to control our minds – by fearing what we don’t know or, understand – by fearing what we only assume is different. By not seeing ourselves in others!! By only seeing ‘skin deep’ or, on a superficial level.

If there should be any Censorship that is allowed to exist, it should be self driven. Self-Censorship, Self-Restraint, Self-Reflection and Personal Accountability for one’s thoughts, actions and words! If we do not allow each other to ‘control ourselves’ we will always be inadvertently asking for others to control or, censor us.

The 1960’s saw the rise of the Civil Rights Movement which largely came out of the struggle of Black American’s to demand equality as citizens and human beings in America. I am a firm believer that it is from Struggle that the most meaningful and Effective Art is produced and created. I also believe that the true Free Speech Movement of the 1960’s came out of its deepest and darkest Struggle : The protests led by Black men, women, children and their communities throughout America and this effort should be viewed as the Real and Original Free Speech Movement of the 1960’s.

I find the ‘timing’ of the Left’s protests and movements in the 1960’s to be particularly telling – I question whether such movements would have occurred for example – if there was no 1955 Montgomery bus boycott or, if MLK did not deliver his 1963 I have a Dream Speech in his March on Washington.

All human beings want to heard, known, acknowledged, respected and Redeemed! Effective communications which require Free Communications allow for such respect and acknowledgement to occur. There is a reason why so much innovative Art has come out of communities and cultures which experience more Struggle, since when one has less they usually also know the True value of all things.

The disconnect between privileged classes of people and underprivileged classes of people in any and all communities, nations and societies on earth has also led to a decline in Truth Telling in my opinion.

The dignity of every human being cannot and should not rest solely on how one appears in superficial terms. My view on Race and Racism is a simple one. In the logic of my mind in my heart, I know that not a single human being who has ever walked on the face of this earth has ever chosen their life, their skin or, the circumstances in which they were born into or, had inherited at the onset of their birth. These circumstances are in the Universe or, in God’s hands.

Our race, our body, our skin are not ours for eternity and since we do not choose them – in my view it is superficial and at times even pointless to grow too attached to what we look like or, how we appear – since we may very well depart this life and return in the form of another or, even in the skin of another. This concept links with the the ancient Indian philosophical and scripture purport to belief by way of the meaning of Samsara. A belief that we may all be moving through cycles of our Soul’s evolution which may manifest in different forms over the course of great lengths of time!

The Struggle to tell the Truth as well as the Spirit of Truth must remain the focal point of Free Speech and Free Expression if human beings actually value their own Freedom!

  1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/01/justice-department-investigating-blm-protest-leaders-funding/3454937001/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kypokn111hU&t=606s | Former ACLU Head Ira Glasser on Why You Can’t Ban Hate Speech. January 15th, 2021. Publisher : PowerfulJRE
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpjXWNNZYu8 | “Chuck D: I Blame MTV for Extending “Teenage Years” to 35 (Part 2). June 29th, 2020. Publisher : djvlad.

Published by Graham Ranseen

I am an aspiring writer working on a forthcoming book called, The Chain - about the connections and the overlap between Art, Truth, Spirituality and Identity and how these themes have conflicted or, have become blurred throughout History, Society and Culture. I work a Full Time job and created this Blog to capture and /or develop some of the ideas which - either temporarily or, permanently - might not make their way into my book and also as an aide to help me sustain the daily grind of a writer's routine. If I am not updating this Blog frequently it probably means that my time and my writing is being confined to my book.

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