Hans Scholl (left), Sophie Scholl (center), and Christoph Probst (right),
leaders of the White Rose resistance organization. Munich, Germany, 1942
It is Thanksgiving week following a particularly nasty political season, and I have a few thoughts about the first freedom: Freedom of speech and the press. Something we have taken for granted...or as my kids used to say, and it is probably more accurate -"For granite." (Alas, while it is written on parchment, our first freedom is not engraved in stone.)
Yes and no. We may not lose our heads for saying our piece, but we can lose our livelihoods, our reputations, even our freedom. Thus, we no longer exercise freedom of speech. I say that we no longer exercise freedom of speech, because regardless of whatever form of government has all the power, the ability to speak your mind freely or not, is a choice you make.
Take the example of Hans and Sophie Scholl. As young adults in college they paid the ultimate price for exercising their ability to speak freely against Adolph Hitler and his ruinous war. They were executed by the Nazis for daring to speak out against a tyrant.
Now contrast that with today's average college student. We do not live under a despotic tyranny, as the lemmings of the left would have us believe. George Bush isn't the new Hitler-lite, and there are no death camps for the sole purpose of exterminating gay, muslim, feminist and other pouting minorities who seem to think otherwise. There are no death trains, no mass executions, no special ghettos to keep the low castes in their place while Dubya finalizes the final solution.
But to hear the left-tard academics in the university shriek, you would believe that the Holocaust is well underway. It is, of course, but it isn't being conducted by the usual whipping boys that the Mainstream press love to vilify. Christians, apostates and women in general, throughout the Muslim world would tell you where the genocides are occurring, if it weren't for the complicit, willing self-censorship of the free world's press.
It is a creepy form of censorship, a paralysis of the mind that has shackled the mouths of millions from saying what they know in their hearts to be true.
No secret police agent comes in the middle of the night and whisks us away in the Black Maria, we don't disappear down the memory hole, and we aren't denounced by our own children...yet, but we are oppressively censored, nonetheless.
We censor ourselves, WILLINGLY, because we don't wish to hurt anyone's feelings. That is the first link in the chain of tyranny.
Think of it. We have traded the right to state our most cherished beliefs, and our right to dissent from the oppressive mob, in order not to hurt the feelings of despots and terrorists!
I chose Hans and his sister to best represent the authenticity of bravely speaking freely, regardless of the outcome, because they were college kids, like my college kids and your college kids. My college kid has to muzzle her opinions in the face of thousands of lies every day, just in order to get good grades and to graduate. If she were to speak her mind on most any topic that the professors or undergraduate poseurs should find offensive, she could be humiliated publicly, denounced as a racist, extremist, or even be expelled for saying her opinions. It happens with frightening regularity!
She, like other college students, must undergo a thorough attempt at brainwashing, by being forced to take nonsensical courses in Marxist/Feminist/Offended Minority dogma, and she must confess her guilt for all the past crimes of humanity for merely being white and American.
I don't know how many kids can come through this sort of psychological abuse unscathed, but I suspect she will, because she knows her history, she has a firm grasp of her own mind and reality. Other kids are not so fortunate. Many may mouth the empty platitudes, but others will in the end, like Winston, come to love Big Brother.
One reason that Hans and Sophie Scholl were able to come to the realization that Hitler was an evil monster, in spite of the efforts of the Hitler Youth to brainwash them, is because of their parents, who were unafraid to tell their own children the truth.
This is interesting, since many kids will not veer too far from their parents' philosophies, if they have had a good relationship with them.
I don't worry too much about my college kid in that sense, but so many others lose themselves to this evil idiocy....and they always seem to wind up with power and the need to enforce their speech codes on the rest of us.
May we always be thankful for the right and privilege to speak candidly and forthrightly, and may we find ourselves emboldened to speak freely when others tell us that we may not do so.
Photo by Guillaume LouyotEspecially in the presence of cowards and tyrants.