Sunday, October 23, 2011

Is Free Speech Really Ever Free?

Is it?

I went to a protest, RC's version of Occupy Wall Street, and it was pretty cool. In fact, I decided I'd go next Saturday, too, since I have to go right by it anyway after the farmer's market. Maybe I'll bring snacks for the protestors.

I saw a colleague holding up a sign, and for the first time, I really appreciated the fact that tenure helps protect academic freedom. Without it, you could be canned as a professor, for anything you might say regarding society/government/politics/religion. However, this only covers TENURED people, not the millions of teachers/adjuncts/workers in America.

A country where you can be let go under a great EXCUSE, aka lie, if no one likes your beliefs. Which leads me to Rapid City, redneck utopia. Here, republicans embrace the far right, parading around with anti-abortion signs, threatening to close Planned Parenthood on a fairly regular basis. Even a moderate democrat in Rapid City has to masquerade as a "independant" or quietly stand as a RINO (republican in name only). To claim to be a democrat here is dicey business, akin to saying, "I'm a communist." Sad. Ever notice that there is no concept called "democrat in name only."

Why is that?

Anyway, I wonder how many of Rapid City's far right regularly give to the food pantry, or volunteer their time for Wavi or the Rapid City Mission? But that's another story reserved under the title, Hypocrisy.

But, the good news is Rapid City is slowly changing. Like a boat listing to its far right, threatening to turn over and sink, Rapid City is slowly becoming more balanced, excluding that wingnut politician we have, Kristy Nome, SD's version of Sarah Palin.

I don't know. If you've lived here since 1998, you can feel a change.

Now, if we can only get a Trader Joe's to locate here we'd really be somethin'.

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