by Elizabeth T. Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
April 10, 2007
CENSORS ARE THE OBSCENITY
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- To protest loudly and adamently object to something somebody said, no matter how raunchy, racist or ridiculous, is to imply that the words fall on the ears of ignorant people incapable of deciding for themselves what is raunchy, racist and ridiculous.
To suspend or fire a public figure for saying what
they really think is to ensure watered-down opinions
that are as useless as a small December wind whining
The recent flap over the raunchy remarks of radio talk-show host, Don Imus, is, once again, much ado about very little. And the infallible truth of that remark is based on Simple Psychology 101: Words cannot wound us unless we let them.
There is rarely a day that passes in my free-woman life that somewhere, some man makes some derogatory remark like "them f--king women libbers." His actions can hurt me. His words never will.
I get the word-opinions in e-mails: "You make me sick." "Women like you are what's wrong with the world." "If you women would stay home where you belong there wouldn't be so many unemployed men."
I line my birdcage with the mail or work it into the fertilizer for my rose bushes - and then I stand up and loudly defend any man or woman's right to say what they please about you, about me, and about how impossible it is these days to find a poor politican.
To demand that their words be censored is to tremble and wait for my words to be censored - and they have been on a few rare occasions over the past 20 years when some insecure editor feels threatened by a line like "God is not a man."
Perhaps it is because I was slapped silent as a child; perhaps I was long in discovering it's OK for a woman to have a strong opinion; or perhaps it is simply because I love words - all words - that I so vehemently defend the written or spoken word.
To censor the ridiculous "Elizabeth is a smart-mouthed 'ho'," is to eventually find something to censor in lines like "I must go in search of water, for morning glories have claimed my well."
No doubt the moralists among us would find something sexually suggestive in that incredible last line.
I give to no one the power to insult me and I feel compassion for the little men and women who have no real, sound sense of Self. They must live in daily powerless wretchedness, basing their selfhood on other peoples' opinions of who, or what, they are - listening always for an insult here and a word-arrow there - empty word-blows that have the power to wound us only if we allow the wounding.
To censor anyone's speech on any subject is to loudly declare that the individual or group doing the censoring know what is best for you and for me. They, and they alone, will decide what we can - and cannot - hear.
I can't speak for you but that flag won't fly from my free-woman porch.
Free speech is, in the truest sense, not free and the old and recent bones of every American soldier give testimony to our right to opine about the weather, churches that protect pedophile priests, the thieves and simpletons in Washington D.C., or who is sleeping with whom on the corner of Main and Different.
If the ignoramus, the buffoon and the mentally challenged choose vulgarity, ignorance and a lack of consideration for others to get their warped opinions across, then so be it.
Nobody worth knowing takes them seriously.
AR Correspondent Elizabeth T. Andrews is a former Orlando Sentinel columnist now living in Cartersville, Ga., where she writes poetry. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.