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  • Writer's pictureTina Huggins

Freedom of Speech

Today we celebrate the founding of our country and these United States. I love this holiday! I feel blessed to live in this country so celebrating with songs, parades, and fireworks with family and friends makes it even better.

For many years, our family has gone to a neighborhood that holds a Fourth of July Celebration. For 42 years, this event celebrates the day with a wonderful musical presentation of patriotic tunes, a family style picnic, a parade for kids and ends with the most moving patriotic reading of "The Declaration of Independence" that always brings me all to tears.

This year, we are in the midst of Covid-19 with masks on our faces, social distancing, protests with violence and death in a number of states. Of all countries in the world, we have more blessings than most, we also have free speech.

What is free speech?

The First Amendment states, in relevant part, that:

“Congress shall make no law...abridging freedom of speech.”

One of six things that "The freedom of speech" does not include is:

"To incite actions that would harm others" (1919).

It seems there is no room for dialog are either for or against, right or wrong, conservative or liberal...the louder one shouts the less one is heard. Our forefathers certainly didn't see eye to eye, but they were able to craft an incredible document that has given each person in this country the right to speak freely. This doesn't allow for violence, killing and the destruction of property that Americans have toiled and sweated to create.

When do we grow up as a nation and come to the table to resolve issues together?

Compromise requires both sides to give something up in order to reach a solution or understand of an issue. Compromise isn't easy. I know that I feel very strongly about certain issues just like any other American, but violence isn't the way to resolve any issue.

We have a Congress that represents the American people and they often can't seem to come together and compromise...the vitriolic hatred is deemed news worthy every day. Americans are the only ones that can change this dynamic. Can we? Do we want to?

I believe we can...I believe there are more of us willing to have a conversation rather than bully, disrupt, or destroy our cities and our history. It is up to us, the majority!

I love this country, and appreciate those who have fought for the freedom we have. This year, the way we celebrate may be different, but we can still be thankful for the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy everyday. Americans must strive to listen, communicate and compromise.

We may not have a choice about how we live with Covid-19, but we all have a choice about extending the hand of peace, love and kindness to anyone and everyone. Let's start today!

Happy Fourth of July

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