WE TALK A GOOD GAME when it comes to freedom of speech. We salute the concept but what we really mean is, “I defend your right to speak your mind, as long as you agree with me.”
It’s always important to preface any discussion of free speech with the caveat that there are limits to what we are allowed to say. Free speech doesn’t include hate speech, like the nasty anti-indigenous rants sprayed on a sign a few days ago.
We don’t have a right to provoke violence, either. I think we can find agreement on that. We have laws on that sort of thing. But let me give you a couple of examples that demonstrate how we don’t walk the talk.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at email@example.com.