Let’s be Offended

Noam Chomsky

Isn’t that the truth … how many people take their freedom of speech to mean they get to talk and say whatever they want but the minute someone opens their mouth and says something that contradicts or is in opposition to what they say – they turn it to “you have offended me.”

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They use the freedom of speech as a two edged sword to benefit themselves.  THEY have a right to express their opinions on anything but when someone else with a different point of view tries to do the same, then they are not also exercising their freedom of speech – they are accused to trying to take away the other persons freedom of speech.

Nowhere in the whole freedom of speech part of any countries rights does it say that freedom of speech means we all agree with one another.  Think about the arrogance of someone assuming THEY have been appointed as the person who has the right to tell us all what our opinion must be.

Rights come with responsibilities.  We have a responsibility to the way we use them for ourselves but also to ensure that those same rights are protected for others.  They are definitely NOT some kind of specialized sports car just for us while everyone else drives old pick up trucks.

And offense is something we take – we do it to ourselves.  Someone else cannot make us offended.  We can say “I find your remarks offensive,” or “I am offended by that,” but to say to someone “you offended me,” automatically assumes that person intended to offend and that they understood what they were saying would offend you.  Think about that.  How on earth can we possibly know every little thing that might offend someone else?  Of course there are large problems that we are all aware of and can be gracious and understanding about but I have said before I find it incredibly confusing to figure out what we can and cannot say.  Aussies and Canucks are Racists?  People who throw that line at other people, “you have offended me” are not seeking understanding, they are declaring war.

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And now we have people getting offended on behalf of other people who might be offended when they have not got a clue about anything regarding those other people.  Remember the friend in Jr. High who was always coming to you and telling you all the horrible things other people supposedly were saying about you because “she was such a good friend and thought you had a right to know?”  Didn’t we all grow up and come to the realization that her actions were not about wanting to be such a good friend but about the drama, that she apparently needed in her life . . . more than air to breathe? This is the same thing.  These people are not truly concerned about anyone’s human rights as much as they are just about fighting and political unrest.

In every movement you will have the honest hard working people who are trying to effect change – they will be the minority.  Among the other types of people attracted to this will be a large majority of people who just enjoy the debating, the game of going against the powers that be.  They don’t have any real solutions but they will be the first ones to show up at the big rally aimed to bring in the media.  They are also likely to be the first ones to forget that everyone agreed it would be a peaceful demonstration and that no-one was going to engage in name calling.  These are the people who are fueling this debate and it actually does nothing to address the real core human rights issues.  It just dilutes the whole discussion with rhetoric and drama.

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There are so many choices in life now.   Turn the freaking channel.  Don’t read their blog.   Turn your computer off.  I pretty much hate chocolate.  I don’t go into chocolate shops.  I don’t like violent video games, I am not out screaming at those who do that they are bad people or that they should not have the right to play.  I don’t like fast food.  I am not trying to shut down McDonalds.  I just don’t go there and if we are on a trip and sometimes that is all we can find to eat – I don’t complain endlessly about how much I hate it.  I have a choice.  I understand that my having one is directly dependent upon other people also having their choice.  My choices are mine.  They are not going to always be in sync with the entire world.  That is what makes us all unique.

(this post first published in Tantrume:  https://tantrume.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/lets-be-offended/) 

2 thoughts on “Let’s be Offended

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