Free Speech Comes With Responsibilities

Free speech is a privilege and a responsibility
Free Speech Comes With Responsibilities

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

Eleanor Roosevelt



Some thoughts


If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. Well, nobody can make you feel bad without your permission!

Let’s think twice about that. It sounds true. And it is true. But what is missing here are responsibilities. Because that saying also sets up a world where you have no responsibility for your speech.

I support the right to free speech. It is part of my profession when I support all those different people to present themselves and their offers. I believe in choosing to exercise that right responsibly and respectfully. Free speech comes with responsibilities. It is essential for society, and so is respect. Therefore I recommend speaking carefully. Do your best to be kind. And don’t be radical unless it’s your last choice. Don’t be offensive! The problem I see with the argument is that one person’s version of being offensive is very different to another. Be careful: When you hurt the values you want to protect you lose your credibility. Walk your talk!