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In Defense of Freedom of Expression. A civil rights movement under attack by 10 second tweets.

by Erik Fogel | Jul 26, 2017 10:41:55 AM |

debate, freedom of expresion

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Today marks the anniversary when President Truman in 1948 ordered the end of discrimination in the armed forces and federal jobs. It took until June 2016 for the Obama Administration and Pentagon to lift the ban against transgender men and women serving in the military. And today on the anniversary of President’s Truman decision to end discrimination in the armed forces, President Trump in a series of tweets announced his ban on all transgender individuals serving in the US military... "in any capacity." .His decision to limit the rights of transgender individuals was immediately criticized by civil rights groups. The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, released a statement and said they are “sickened” by Trump’s announcement. “This move by President Trump is unconscionable evil,” said executive director Steven Goldstein. “Rarely if ever in our nation’s history has a President made a move like this that so drastically reverses the civil right gains of an oppressed community.” The Human Rights Campaign also tweeted its disapproval of Trump’s announcement. Threatening 15K currently serving troops who put their lives at risk is unpatriotic and dangerous," the LGBTQ rights organization said.

 

Freedom of expression is one of the most fundamental rights of a democracy. One cannot be silenced based on their race, religion, gender or sexual identity. And so it is a tragic day when the rights of so many - which so many fought for and sacrificed for generations - are threatened in single second tweets. No debates. No discussion. In ten words or less, in ten seconds or less ... erasing decades of progress, sacrifice and change.

 

“Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.” - Henry Louis Gates, Jr

 

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” - President George Washington

 

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear." - President Truman

 

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