Free Speech, (Both Sides of Your Coin)

An observational opinion by Bruce Simmons.


Way back when Imus opened his mouth and inserted his foot all the way to the knee cap, that verbal move was reminiscent of a moron move. There is no way any person should insult others the way he did and it sent a message to radio personalities about the loyalty sponsors have to their purchasing contingents. Sponsors aren't stupid.

That whole affair seemed to have sparked an interesting perspective on the limitations of free speech.

Americans have many freedoms and rights. One of those rights is free speech. When exercising free speech, we should look at the small print that says use your head if you have questionable opinions or tendencies. Use your head and consider your political and social consequences.

The Imus incident was yet one more stepping stone for certain political groups to once again attack rap music, and that form of freedom to express one's self. I'm not a rap fan. I don't support or enjoy the idea of some of the theme's I've heard in the media that some rap music has.

But that's where I express a freedom of mine, and that's the choice to not expose myself to it. It isn't hard. Just don't turn it on. Only those who want to hear it, who need, for the moment to identify with it tend to listen by going to concerts, buying the albums, or listening on the radio.

For some, who know they've tuned in to a shock jock,.. why? If you're going to be insulted, why tune in? When Howard Stern was on free radio, I never liked his shtick. It seemed pointless and annoying. But rather than complain, I just never turned it on. There, my personal problem is solved. (I'm trying to lead by example here.)

At that moment, the Imus moment, the freedom of speech seems to be threatened, but in reality, it's just fine.

We, as intelligent people, should balance how we approach people, represent ourselves, and be in tune with our readers & listeners. Imus is a great example that we need to look at the hand that feeds us, and act accordingly. Of course, decent persons don't have 'Imus' kind of issues either, but he's served his purpose in showing us this one facet of free speech.

I'm done expressing myself freely. Thanks for coming by.