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Free Speech?

Can anyone say anything anymore?

Newsflash—Florida Marlin’s Manager Ozzie Guillen suspended for 5 games for stating his opinion openly on Fidel Castro.

“New Miami Marlins manager and foot-in-mouth connoisseur, made some remarks in an interview about “loving” Fidel Castro and “respecting” him for staying in power for so long. Such comments are unsettling in most parts of this country, but in Miami, any use of endearing terms regarding Castro may cause people to burn that person in effigy.

And so, in an attempt at repentance, Guillen flew back down to Miami from Philadelphia, to apologize to everyone for his comments, specifically the Latin community. As a punishment, the Marlins suspended him for five games, without pay, effective immediately. He began his address to the media in Spanish, attempting to connect first with the people most offended by his remarks. “I am here on my knees,” Ozzie Guillen said, in Spanish, teary-eyed. “I am here to say I am sorry with my heart in my hands…”

-http://tampabay.sbnation.com/ 4/11/12

Is this really what it has come too in this country?

At first glance, this sounds like a headline from The Onion. Unfortunately, reality in America is becoming far more interesting than fiction as the “thought police” in this country continue to write new rules of what is acceptable speech .  Unless you are independently wealthy and self-employed, your options for speaking your mind in America are becoming more and more limited.

Same time last year (April 11, 2011) Kobe Bryant from the LA Lakers was fined $100,000 for a “gay slur” for calling someone a “faggot.”    Somewhere along the line of cultural evolution the word “faggot” went from a normal cuss word to a $100,000 fine.   It would take a Ph.D  in Progressive Studies to tell us when and where that line was created and crossed because very few people can keep up with what words are no longer allowed in public discourse.

In the new evolution of American political correctness, we have come to expect this from the plastic politicians who can speak for 2 hours straight and say absolutely nothing discernible.  But is there no bastion of free speech left in this country?  Is there no arena sacred where people can actually say what is on their mind?

Imagine if the NFL had the same pansy policies 50 years ago…there would be no Butkus, Ditka, Lambert, or Vince Lombardi.   If the same cultural correctness was demanded of the coaches and players back in the day, how many would have made the cut?    How many of those hard playing, hard language sports icons would have survived the after game interviews without having their entire paychecks docked for “profanity” and “insensitivity.”    Give me a break.

It used to be that people in this country were judged more on what they did than what they said, those days seem long gone.    Somewhere along our line of cultural “progression” the interpretation of “free speech” has evolved from one of protecting  free thoughts and speech to protecting  the rights of the pornographers.

If only Ozzie Guillen would have joked about Jose Mujica instead of Fidel Castro… jokes about the President of Uruguay don’t elicit as much passion, or for that matter, as many fines.