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Censorship of legitimate opinions not acceptable

I have enjoyed the time spent writing a monthly commentary column for our local newspaper, the Boulder City Review. The commentary I put to pen is, of course, my opinion — an opinion that I have found to be held by numerous readers, not all, but many. Of course, there are those who do not share my position on the subject matter that I present and that is certainly well understood and acceptable.

The comments that I receive are both positive and negative and are entertained with an open mind. There are numerous opinion pieces that I read and disagree with, especially in the Las Vegas Sun section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. I welcome those pieces even though I find a few of them to be impertinent.

The last thing I would call for is the suppression or elimination of these opinion commentaries. Responses for or against mine or other writers’ comments are important not only to the writer but to the reader as well. Responding comments are another learning encounter that is filed away in one’s thought arsenal.

The most important freedom’s message that I embrace is the unbridled liberty to write, write what I feel. I believe everyone should welcome this and the many other freedoms we Americans hold dear. Our ancestors, along with our current servicemen and women, fought hard for these freedoms and, in too many instances, lost their lives in the quest.

Having said all of that, it has become more apparent in recent days that the freedom to say what you feel is slowly and, in some cases, abruptly being taken away. We have many forms of communication in our high-tech world today. Social media was thought of as a boon to our communique apparatus but it is beginning to look as though many of these communication platforms are not what they appear to be.

Can you imagine for just one second if your cellular carrier monitored your texting and censored, removed or outright banned your ability to text due to their determining if the content is acceptable to their standards? What about your voice calls? Could your language be construed as being acceptable or unacceptable while you chatted with a friend, family member or business associate? Could you also envision a newspaper editor taking to task what views are worthy of print? Will this sentiment agree with a conservative mind or a liberal mind? Should it matter?

If I were to ask you these questions 10 years ago about Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Google or Apple you would have thought I was out of my mind but it is beginning to happen. I am quick to understand that proven falsehoods, raunchy language, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater and the like are not appropriate. However, legitimate ideas and opinions, even though we may not agree with them, should not be eliminated from our eyes.

Censorship arrives in a number of forms. Suppression of a written article, banning vocal speech, termination of one’s employment or even one’s friendships are misfortunes in the making.

Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”

I want our newspaper editor to know how grateful we all should be that our ideas, opinions, thoughts and stories remain uncensored and allow us to think.

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

G. Kevin Savord is currently a professional pilot and former small business owner. He can be reached at gksavord@gmail.com.

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