Beyond the Trees

Do You Remember?

Remember the days when people would say “I disagree with what you have to say but will defend your right to say it”? Those days are gone, we are now in the throes of “I disagree with what you have to say and will cancel you for even thinking it.” Yes, we now have thought police and many of these individuals, hiding behind screen names and VPN’s are watching you.

It’s likely some are reading this post right now. They are everywhere, they are ordinary people like you and I. Emboldened by the illusion of anonymity and empowered by ebb and flows of likes and affirmation from other anonymous people. Your next door neighbor who says hi to you every day with a smile could be watching your Facebook feed, your tweets and you would never know it.

Remember, when you have an alternative point of view you find yourself with a tremendous gift. You find out clearly who your friends are and who are not. Real friends respect you, and how you feel. Fake friends do not, don’t be fooled they are everywhere. Oh the quick reminder?

Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means you are standing alone. Standing up for the right thing, freedom to think what you want when you want not only empowers you but gives others hope. It’s okay not to like someone for what they believe in, don’t be one of those people who punish others for wrong think.

The “A Gen X Point of View” blog is a safe place to express your thoughts, you are allowed to feel how you want and say what you want here. You can’t abuse other posters, you can’t create a hostile environment, you can’t spread hate here, but I’m not going to try and cancel you for thinking and feeling how you do.

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Ben Franklin

Wisdom from the past – Benjamin Franklin

“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics…derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.” Benjamin Franklin

If you are actively trying to silence/cancel other people’s ability to speak freely you are a tyrant or the tool of a tyrant. You are without question one of the most dangerous people on the planet. You are willing to shut down others because you don’t like them, or don’t like what they have to say. I actually pity you, and when the day comes when YOU are the one silenced/canceled you will receive no quarter.

Even if you don’t like what you are hearing or reading the ability to say or write it is paramount. When we silence others, we create the conditions by which dissent festers and breeds revolt and violence. History is littered with examples of this, you shouldn’t have to be reminded.

Don’t become worse than those you dislike, you will not be able to live with yourself and no one will want to live with you.

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Surviving 2020 & covid

Quick rant on Cancel Culture

I don’t normally delve into this kind of topic on this blog but like everyone I am aware of what is happening out there. We are in the midst of a very dangerous trend and that is cancellation. Cancellation is just a catch all phrase for deplatforming, or removing someone’s ability to interact. We’ve seen this play out before, from burning books to communist purges in the 50’s….

We are now removing people’s ability to interact due to what some call “hate speech”. Most of it is deplorable, what many people aren’t talking about is though is the arbitrators of what is or is not acceptable are multi billionaires from Silicon Valley. It’s never been in the interest of society to concentrate too much power into a small group of people or corporations.

This of course is all abstract to most of us, it doesn’t affect us, until it does. You see, the problem with “cancelling” anyone whom you don’t like what they are saying is you set the precedent for your own cancellation down the line. A wise person once said “I don’t like what you are saying but I will defend your right to say it”. We are losing sight of this notion piece by piece and eventually what happens is everyone is silenced.

Should people who are racists be silenced? Should we force those people underground and remove their ability to pontificate publically? If you do how will you know who they are? How will you know where they are? You see you can eliminate someone’s access to public forums but you don’t eliminate their thoughts and feelings. If anything you are emboldened them more.

Racism isn’t exclusive to race, meaning Asians can be racist toward Hispanics just as much as a White person can be Racists toward an African American. Don’t fall into the trap that “racism” is exclusive to one race, that would be, well racist…

So what happens next? Freedom of speech comes with a great deal of responsibility and while we need to have ways to rebuttal and temper people with extreme ideas, every time we cancel someone who doesn’t think or say what we think they should we become complicit in our eventually demise.

Does this mean you can’t protest? No. Does this mean you shouldn’t identify and point out what you think is racist? Of course not, but what it does mean is every person silenced or identified by a group as an “ist” becomes a target. Do we have to really do a history lesson here? You know what happens when one group marginalizes another, two wrongs don’t make a right.

That path leads to one end and that’s historically been a very bad outcome for EVERYONE. You think it’s not going to happen to you, until it does. Careful what you wish for.