Tag Archives: Freedom of Speech

SUICIDE, FREEDOM OF SPEECH, AND HOW MUCH CAN WE HOLD ANOTHER PERSON RESPONSIBLE?

There’s a story in the local news right now that has been bothering me for a long time. It has to do with a young girl that had a mostly online/texting “romantic” relationship with a young boy. She knew he had tried to kill himself previously and that he was feeling suicidal again.

Instead of suggesting that he talk to his parents or a professional, she encouraged him to kill himself and even gave him suggestions. When he was in his truck inhaling carbon monoxide, she was on the phone with him. At one point he changed his mind and got out of the truck. She talked him into getting back in. They found his body the next morning.

Her defense attorney first tried say her texts were not admissible in court because they were protected by Freedom of Speech. I almost threw up when I heard that. When I read the transcripts of all of their interaction I was sickened at how manipulative she was. She reminded me of someone I knew.

MY STORY

I attended Middle School and High School with a girl who somehow was able to get people to do anything she wanted. She never got in trouble because her mother worked for the State as a Psychiatrist in the Juvenile Court System. Her mother knew many people. Her mother also turned a blind eye to what her daughter did.

The first time I had a problem with her was because of my sister. For some reason she saw my sister as a threat to her popularity. This was in Middle School. She told the biggest, baddest, scariest girl at the High School that my sister was talking about her. My sister didn’t even know who she was. I’ve said it before, talk all you want about me but don’t you dare do anything to hurt my family. So we were receiving phone calls from this older girl threatening to beat my sister up. I stepped in and told the girl to name the place and the time, but she wouldn’t be dealing with my sister she would be dealing with me.

I was known to be quiet but I was a lot bigger than the other girls and some people had seen me react to anyone who threatened my sister or best friend. The older girl asked around and the matter was dropped. It wasn’t for me because I knew who started it.

In High School my sister became friends with the trouble maker. She disguised herself well. Until she had falling out with a girl on the cheer leading team. After a party one night the cheerleader went back to her car to find a pig’s head left sitting on the roof. Another night my sister and some of her friends said something the little sociopath didn’t like so she took a rope, tampons, and maxi pads and connected all of the door handles together so they couldn’t get into the car. Then she hung tampons all over the car and stuck maxi pads everywhere.

She didn’t like her roommate in college so she dunked her toothbrush in urine, put urine in her mouth wash, shampoo, and put urine in a spray bottle and sprayed her sheets with it.

None of this compares to what she did to my ex sister in law’s brother. He dated her for a few years. I told him to get out of the relationship. She did things on purpose to make him jealous then tell him he wasn’t really a man. He had some depression problems and drank. Towards the end of their relationship he called her and said he was going to kill himself. Her response was “I don’t believe you. You’re a pussy. Why don’t you come down here and do it in front me? Or are you too chicken?”

He took a razor and a shotgun and went to her dorm room. She let him in. She said “I still don’t think you have the guts to do it.” He slit his wrists in front of her. During this time someone called campus security. She stood there laughing. When he heard that security was coming he took the shotgun and ran into the woods. They found him with the barrel in his mouth put he was almost passed out from blood loss.

Personally I wanted to beat the living crap out of her. But people like her don’t change. He stayed away from her but the damage was done. We’re in our forties and he has never had a successful relationship. I find that sad. He’s kind, extremely handsome, generous, loyal to his family, and loved my mom like his own.

Sometimes I think someone needs to be held accountable for their actions in situations like these. If you are aware that a person is unstable and encourage them to hurt themselves and they do some of that is on you. If you manipulate a person with your so called “love” then there should be consequences.

All of this really hits a sore spot with me. It angers me and makes me incredibly sad at the same time.

 

Advertisements

FREEDOM OF SPEECH (What is it really?)

I have mixed feelings about Freedom of Speech. Most people do not truly understand what it is or what it’s for. I’m going to go over some key points and how Freedom of Speech relates to today.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

What it allows:

  • The right not to speak (specifically, the right not to salute the flag) 1943
  • Students have the right to wear black armbands to school to protest a war 1969
  • The right to use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages 1971
  • The right to contribute money (under certain circumstances) to political campaigns 1976
  • The right to advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions) 1977
  • The right to engage in symbolic speech 1990

What it doesn’t allow:

  • You can not incite actions that would harm others 1919
  • You can’t make or distribute obscene materials 1957
  • You can’t burn your draft card 1968
  • Students can’t print articles in a school newspaper over the objection of the school administration 1988
  • Students can’t make obscene speech at a school sponsored event 1986
  • Students can’t advocate illegal drug use at a school sponsored event 2007

THE INTERNET

People treat the Internet like a public space. But social media spaces like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and blogs are privately owned spaces. There is no obligation to allow you to speak freely in their space.

Too often online Freedom of Speech is used as a defense mechanism to deflect criticism. People believe social media is a harmless place where people can say what they want and it’s meaningless with no consequence. Unfortunately this isn’t true.

Example based on a true story:

What if you began receiving Photoshopped pictures with nooses next to your head, threats of rape and suffocation, your home address and social security number posted in online forums? Why? Because of your job as a game developer and software programmer. The response from authorities was to move, change your routine, and to watch for people or cars that you see more than once in your area. Not much of a solution.

THE PROBLEM

Freedom of Speech laws were written before the internet was invented. It’s one thing to call someone names or insult them. Threats and posting secure personal information isn’t Freedom of Speech it’s harassment and criminal.

POINT OF VIEW

I like to go on YouTube to look at music videos because you can’t find them on MTV anymore. I have made the mistake of scrolling down and reading the comments on some of them. I’m the type of person who is loyal. Specifically if I know the person. When I see someone calling a band that does have political views a “bunch of pussy faggots that if they don’t like it here they should just f*cking leave”. The negative comments continued and were brutal. This group has been for the working class, the underdog, the misfits, people who feel like they don’t fit in, they are against homophobic people, racists, bullies, anyone who humiliates or suppresses others. They are generous with their time and money. I may have responded a little passionately.

I don’t see the point in going on a band’s Twitter page or YouTube video just to trash them. If you don’t like them, don’t listen. Are people that insecure that this is the only way to make themselves feel better? I will never understand.

There has to be new guidelines put in place for online Speech. I have been the victim of threats because I write about Mental Illness. I have also been threatened because I have written about Domestic Abuse or Violence by a close person. Nothing helps you to heal more than being threatened after writing about a violent experience.

Most people could brush it off. I have Conversion Disorder and I’m Bipolar. Every word spins in my head over and over. I start to doubt my role in that time period. I start to think maybe it was my fault and I deserved it. Maybe I should apologize to the guy for blaming him all these years. After all I was Bipolar and didn’t know it and an alcoholic myself. I must have said or done something to set him off.

To think this way is toxic. To get back on track I had to talk to someone who knew us both at the time. I felt better after. It shouldn’t be that way. I shouldn’t need to validate how I feel or doubt how I feel because of threats from unknown people.

It’s the comments I read from strangers on someone’s Twitter page that bother me the most. Everyone believes because they are “anonymous” they can say what they want. If you wouldn’t say it to their face don’t type it on social media. I can guarantee that 90% of people would never say the things they write on social media to the person’s face.

It’s the coward’s way and I’m tired of it.

 


%d bloggers like this: