“Freedom of Speech” Can Distract Us from Ending Racism

I so appreciate the questions that Barbara is raising.* For many years I worked as a journalist in the United States. In my experience, “freedom of speech” is often used to prevent us from facing racism and other oppressions that are fully expressed in the media. It distracts us from the real conversations and work that must happen to end racism and other oppressions in that industry.

I appreciate that RC is an organization committed to ending racism. I appreciate that we offer our perspective on racism to people in many situations. I hope we will also offer it in regard to issues of “freedom of speech,” including a recent example in the United States in which this “freedom” was used to defend a comedy film about attempting to kill an actual world leader. As Barbara so eloquently wrote, all human life is sacred.

One thing I often encourage people to do is appreciate the journalists and media makers who do excellent work to expose racism every day. A small appreciation to them—or to their bosses—can go a long way in promoting policies that encourage their institutions to continue to fight against racism (for example, by hiring and promoting more people of the global majority and by publishing more stories of the successes people are having in their work to end racism).

Alysia Tate
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion
list for leaders of wide world change

* "All Human Life is Sacred, by Barbara Love PT no.179, page 25 to 26.


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00