Cleaning clutter, whiling away dreary locked-down hours, I ran across a little book, stored away among the effects of a small but mighty man, a legendary figure in our family, who fled to the U.S. as a political refugee during the early 1920s. His copy of the book, What Every Citizen Should Know, was printed in 1940, at the beginning of WWII, apparently a gift from a friend in the American Legion. I was particularly struck by the following two pages from the book.
[click to enlarge]
Consider the first two “rights and privileges” that belong to every American:
I may think as I please.
I may speak or write as I please, so long as I do not interfere with the rights of others.
Would that the members of today’s “cancel culture” took to heart these rights and privileges, which in 1940 were listed foremost. Would that they especially heeded their duty to “not interfere with the rights of others.”
We all know (or should know) that the First Amendment to the Constitution spells out our inalienable right to free speech, among other rights.
In 1940 the publishers of this book found it as important–if not more important based upon it being listed first–to remind every American that he or she also has the right to think as he or she pleases.
The Founders didn’t even mention freedom of thought; however, it certainly is important to recognize our inalienable right to think as we please these days, when we’re assailed upon all sides by self-appointed thought police. So this little book serves as a timely reminder to all American citizens, some 80 years later.
Progressives have now set themselves up as the arbiters of what we’re “allowed” to think. Progressives have also invented the concept of “microaggression,” in which it becomes a thought crime whenever a member of a supposedly oppressed minority group merely perceives (or imagines) an insult, slight, or prejudiced attitude emanating from a member of a supposedly dominant group, regardless of what the alleged microaggressor actually means, feels, or thinks.
The degree of offense of these microaggresions is naturally conditioned by the perception of the offended. And it presupposes the clairvoyance of the offended: the accuser has laid claim to the power to know what another person is thinking or implying. [some emphasis added]
According to the theory, the more unconscious the microaggressor is of his or her aggressive, prejudiced attitude–the more he or she denies it–the more likely the person is to be guilty as charged.
So not only do some Americans not have a right to think as they please, others now also have an affirmative right to tell them what they actually think, even if it’s not what they actually think, and then punish them accordingly.
Implicit in our right of free speech is our right to not speak (or not act) as well. Progressive speech police, however, aren’t satisfied with only policing our speech. Now they also assume a right to force us, bully us, or shame us to speak or to do whatever they wish us to speak or to do.
One must say “black lives matter.” One must not say, “all lives matter.” That, my friends, is a microaggression!
Citizens are accosted on public streets and challenged (threatened?) to kneel and then apologize for their supposed “white privilege.” Whites are somehow persuaded (air quotes) to wash the feet of black people, and police officers and other officials are made to (threatened to?) bow or kneel before mobs.
Were these the words and actions of free people, or were citizens in so many ways forced to speak or act as they otherwise would not have done?
Bullying is bullying is bullying. Now progressives assume the right to bully, yet that concept is nowhere in our laws or the Constitution. In fact, it’s precisely the opposite, but progressives live in Bizarro World, with their own Bizarro laws and Constitution.
While we’re on the subject of “largely peaceful protesters,” let’s consider the first duty listed on the second page of the book:
It is my duty to obey my country’s laws.
Would that today’s progressives took that to heart, too. Consider this video, played yesterday before the House of Representatives, showing the “largely peaceful protesters” who are universally lauded by the Democrats and the complicit progressive media:
It is my duty to obey my country’s laws.
There are laws against arson, assault, vandalism, trespassing, destruction of private property, violating the rights of others, blocking roads and highways, invading restaurants or malls, attacking police officers, destroying public property, murder.
It’s not “peaceful protest” to engage of any of the aforementioned acts. Peaceful protesters do
not interfere with the rights of others.
How things have changed over the past 80 years since the Greatest Generation fought for freedom and to preserve our hard-won rights. Eighty long years have passed since the Greatest Generation answered the call, recognizing the duty of every American to
defend my country, if need should arise.
Most of the Greatest Generation are no longer with us. What would they say today, if they saw what’s become of the rights they fought so valiantly to preserve?
What would they think about the lawlessness exhibited by the current generation, their disrespect for our country, its culture, our Constitution, and our way of life?
Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country.
Think as you will! Resist! Speak up! Speak out!
It is my duty to abide by the will of the majority, to stand behind my government, so my nation may be unified in time of crisis.
2020 is indeed a time of crisis. Let us rise to the occasion, honoring our rights and remembering our duty, unified as one People.
May God bless the United States of America. Long may she stand.
Long may our flag proudly wave.