Someone in Rhode Island, USA (see tracker image), found my Jamaican in China blog by Googling “Do Jamaicans have the freedom of speech.” This gives me the perfect opportunity to share my opinion on this.
Yes, this is my opinion. This blog, my books and articles are all my opinions on a variety of topics. I believe we’d all agree that everyone is entitled to an opinion, yes? However, I also believe we, as a society need to agree that not all opinions are equal. Some opinions are just plain wrong and shouldn’t even be debated.
The trouble with our “free” society is this insane yet pervasive and persistent idea that all opinions are equal. Opinions may be equal quantitatively as in, you have one opinion, and I have another, and therefore 1 = 1, but qualitatively, your idea may be horse puckie.
In my opinion, people—particularly in America—have misinterpreted this concept of free speech. As far as US law is concerned, “free speech” simply means there are no laws on the books that will be used to punish you for what you say–and for a country ostensibly governed by the “rule of law” that’s good thing. However, freedom of speech does not mean you have freedom from consequences. The universe is governed by the law of cause and effect. Just because you are legally protected, doesn’t mean there are no consequences to your words and opinions. Nor does it mean that your words and opinions actually have merit in the larger scheme of things—even if those opinions are held by other people. People will react and respond and there are consequences. For instance, Oprah had the freedom to say on her show that everyone should become vegetarian. However, there were consequences. She was sued by the meat lobby. House Representative Todd Akin had the freedom to opine on the logistics of “legitimate rape.” His freely spoken opinion was acted upon by the voting public. The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre has the freedom to advocate for more guns in society. However, his position is marginalizing him in the public dialogue. History is replete with examples of people who paid a price for speaking freely Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, John Kennedy, et.al.
Those last few examples should not be interpreted in any way as intended to discourage you from speaking freely for what you believe in. My point is simply this: There is nowhere on the planet–Jamaica or any place else–or in this universe where speech is really free. Your words, whether positive or negative, good or evil, have creative power. Words have consequences. Use them wisely! This is part of the unseen realm of reality I discovered when I went In Search of a Better Belief System.