For me the term, “Freedom of Speech” is and always has been a loaded phrase. I, as well as several other people in today’s society, have on occasion used that phrase as a defence when we are, uh, on the defensive about something we are saying or have said.
For me “Freedom of Speech” came to the front of my radar when on the evening of November 9th, 2019 when, yet again, the societal insensitive Archie Bunker of Canadian television spewed some of his ever so typical crap on air. Yes I am referring to the now infamous quote by the culturally stunted, Don Cherry. Cherry typically got off the topic of Hockey and ranted that, I’m not hearing Bill Peters (a former NHL coach who often used racial slurs against his players) use the “Freedom of Speech” back up plan but Don Cherry and his troglodyte-like supporters sure did! Especially when Cherry was sent packing by the Hockey Night In Canada television station for his bullshit statement.
The fact remains that Don Cherry has been saying hockey and non-hockey related crap since he got hired. He has called out European hockey players, as well as Quebecois players, for everything under the sun from wearing protective eyewear to being soft to not wanting to fight. So it is infuriating for me that he hasn’t been called out for this crap sooner. Ron Maclean (his co-host on Hockey Night In Canada) has called him out in the past but chose not to this time. Even though he offered a heartfelt apology a day later, for me it was too little too late and Maclean actually should have called out Don Cherry right after Cherry finished his xenophobic rant AND apologized. In my opinion I would have fired not just Cherry but Maclean too. That’s right, the broadcaster fired Cherry 2 days later for his verbal diarrhoea. As for Maclean he’s safe. As for my opinion to fire Maclean too I may save it for another essay another time because I have already felt the online wrath for expressing that view.
As of today Cherry and his followers will not apologize and are still ignorantly defiant. I say ignorant because mental midgets such as these exist everywhere in a modern society and commonly defend their misguided hate-filled words by shouting, “FREEDOM OF SPEECH!” I agree, everyone should be allowed to say anything that comes to their underdeveloped minds. Unfortunately for people such as Cherry, Peters, the KKK and Shane Bouchard (who stepped down as mayor of Lewiston, Maine, USA after texts were revealed in which he shared racist and sexist jokes) do not want to evolve with today’s culture and/or society.
If one wants to use freedom of speech as a defence of their actions and/or words, fine. Then one should also accept the consequences that not everyone will agree with them. Especially if one’s words are not culturally, or otherwise, accepted in today’s society. If one does not like being called out for saying racist, sexist, bigoted, etc verbiage then maybe one should think before one opens their yaps. Staying with the times is called evolving. If you are ignorant and do not want to evolve or educate yourself along with society then that’s YOUR problem, NOT the offended people(s) problem. That’s EXACTLY how a free and open society works.
Societies evolve and you either evolve with society by educating yourself or keep your insensitive ass out of public. Online or otherwise. So yes freedom of speech still exists for the likes of Don Cherry, his acolytes and anyone else using the freedom of speech defence to defend their ignorance. Just don’t forget that today’s society also has a freedom too, it’s called accountability and today’s society will indeed hold you, me or anyone else accountable. And I for one don’t mind one little bit.