Our President gave an important speech yesterday at the UN. It was a speech about speech. Free speech. This is a topic that gets me going. I have been investing in the tools of self expression and free speech for close to twenty years now. I know how powerful they are and I also know that they can be used by haters and trouble makers just as easily as they can be used for good.
Here at AVC, I have tried to cultivate a forum where all opinions are welcome. Even those that are hateful or hurtful to me. I let them stand. Where everyone can judge them and opine on them. The President said this at the UN and I wholeheartedly agree with it:
As president of our country, and commander in chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day,” Mr. Obama said. “And I will defend their right to do so.
And he went on to say this:
the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech — the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.
These are important values to state, to live by, and to protect. I applaud the President for expressing his beliefs on this subject. If we can export anything to the parts of the world that are just beginning their relationship with democracy, it is these ideas and the tools that make self expression possible. We must do this.