"Content Neutral"...the Obliteration of Free Speech

Recently, a group of students visiting Washington, D.C. went to the Lincoln Memorial. In a moment of patriotism, they began to sing the national anthem, something most people would surely not object to, even if the students were not professional singers. They were shouted down by a uniformed security guard, who told them they had to stop singing. They thankfully resumed their singing and completed the national anthem. (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/08/09/students-lincoln-memorial-told-stop-singing-national-anthem)

“The area they were standing in and singing is an area that is restricted for this type of activity,” said Sgt. David Schlosser. “The United States Park Police is absolutely content-neutral when it comes to any sort of demonstrations in these areas.”

Schlosser explained that performances , regardless of content, are banned to “maintain a contemplative and reverent area for the Lincoln Memorial, for the other guests and visitors.”

Schlosser, who commended the students on their musical ability, said the students were not cited and to his knowledge no report was filed.

“We need to make certain that all other visitors that don’t want to be a part of that or just choose to be tourists are able to do so in the same light that probably President Lincoln wanted – which is completely content neutral,” he said.

“Content neutral”?  Have we literally stepped into an Orwellian state of Newspeak? No speech is content neutral, otherwise it is not truly speech. Speech is meant to convey something; namely…content.  The thought behind this particular phrase is more ludicrous than the phrase itself, if that were possible, a product of the PC Police.

Political correctness has spread its tentacles into every part of our lives; people are afraid to speak to one another for fear of offending someone, bosses are afraid to discipline employees for fear of being called an “ist” of some sort, with a corresponding lawsuit, communications between different groups of people is so scrubbed of any possibly offensive comments for fear of being labeled an “ist” that it becomes meaningless, parents are afraid to discipline their children in a non-politically correct way for fear of being reported to Child Protective Services, teachers are afraid to communicate views for fear ot complaints against them and loss of their jobs….are we seeing a pattern here?

Fear is now what drives our communications and interactions, or lack of them, with others. We have truly lost our freedom of speech, whether we like to think so or not. It is because we are afraid of the PC Police coming after us, our money, our jobs, our kids….because we do not speak Newspeak-content neutral speech that offends no one and means nothing. We are afraid to be Americans anymore, because apparently, to the PC Police (or Thought Police), that “disturbs” other people. Since when did the singing of the National Anthem become a “demonstration”? Apparently, when the PC Police decide it is one.

What is most chilling to me is this gradual creep against our freedom of speech. It is now reaching critical mass; soon, it will stifle any voice of dissent against the PC Police, who only support freedom of speech when it agrees with their views. From cries of “isms” to threats against jobs and future employment, the PC Police have turned us into tiptoeing creatures, always fearful of saying the wrong things. These kids were brave enough to continue their “demonstration”. How many adults would do the same? We now voluntarily self censor out of fear; how long before we have no choice in the matter? If it is up to the PC Police, the time is now.

Watch the Obama administration. Watch the lies and the doublespeak; telling you things that are outright falsehoods, even when they know you are aware it is a falsehood. Sure, that five day, half a million dollar trip to Spain at the expense of the taxpayers was an “official visit” by the First Lady.  Sure, the economy is better and the stimulus bills created numerous jobs. Yes, the government needs more control over industry, the financial world, your health care decisions, your privacy, the Internet…sure it does. Read “1984” by George Orwell…one would think he had met the Obama administration already when writing it.

Then start fighting against the PC Police…while you still can.

Annmarie Spiciarich is a retired police sergeant. She has a MA in Forensic Psychology, with a certificate in Terrorism from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She currently works as a community mental health counselor at a suicide hotline. Check out her website and contact her at: www.NotWithoutRepresentation.com or her blog at http://NotWithoutRepresentation.blogspot.com