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I've lived in a Communist country before and have seen how this works. The very process of censorship starts by the black-marking (or scarlet lettering) of speech. Never again.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is very clear on this. Article 19 states
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
This is World Law, and it needs to be respected as such. Every government, every institution and organization. The censorship and the pretext for the censorship has got to come to a stop, period. No discussion, not compromises, no pretexts, no more Scarlet Letters! I've already lived in a totalitarian state once. I'm not going to suffer to see the same happen again.
A person has the right to express their feelings, be it love, anger, affection or hate. Moreover, *I* have a right to hear a person's expression of hate for me! One needs to know where they stand in the eyes of others, when when you cut that person off at the knees, you are also undermining my right to know where I stand!!
Hate, like all emotions, is a feeling that everybody has. When you squelch that feeling, driving everyone to use feigned politeness, you also undermine that as well. Because, when you longer have the ability to express your feelings forthrightly, then every gesture of politeness and courtesy becomes suspect, because you never know when it is meant sincerely or not. And now, as a result, you've just eliminated any ability to even communicate positive emotions in a believable way.
When I came back to the US, I thought that I had left all that nonsense behind. But now, in the past decade and more, one by one I am seeing the hallmarks of what was left behind creep up on these shores (and elsewhere in the so-called "free world"). I never thought that I would live the day that I would hear anyone, anywhere try to rationalize the suppression of speech. And those who have jumped on this bandwagon: how dare you?! You need to stop. This is not a matter for discussion or debate. It is simply a matter for you to - Knock It Off! Stop feigning pretext after pretext to suppress peoples' rights.
Take a looik at V-Dem. See what it says about the state of democracies in the world in the past few years. Go on to the Freedom House web site. (Footnote: The Freedom House was established, in conjunction with creation of the UDHR to serve as a beacon for liberty and justice worldwide). The Freedom House has, over the past decade issued more and more black marks against the United States, itself, because of the suppression of speech. And now, coming off of a decade of continual (and accelerating) decline in the ratings, the US has been downgraded in 2018 for the first time ever -- the very country that supports and originated the Freedom House and uses it to spread the message worldwide is now being downgraded on its own measure.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also makes it clear (by Article 29) that all are to be held to these sanctions, be they public sector or private sector; that nobody may violate these not governments, not organizations, nor social media.
And let's make this clear. Those who cannot abide by the UDHR need to step aside and make room for those who and, or otherwise be set aside by those who will.
Those of you who are pushing this scarlet letter nonsense: get off the meme!
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