Freedom Of Speech

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy exercising my First Amendment rights — particularly when it comes to putting people in their place. Because if you don’t, who will?

That is precisely what Thelma Barone did when the Springfield Police Department tried to coerce her into silence regarding matters of discrimination (“Free Speech Prevails,” Sept. 20).

As stated in Henry Houston’s article, Barone simply confirmed she heard of instances of racial profiling in her community. She told the truth and, for some, the honesty was too much.

When the truth does not satisfy you, efforts should be made to change it, not mask it. How many instances of discrimination and misconduct could we potentially avoid by holding people in power accountable for their actions?

Issues like this should be a public matter, and the perpetrators of such unethical behavior should be required to reflect and improve on their practices. How are we ever going to progress as a growing multicultural society if we aren’t actively fighting against the very actions that have oppressed people for hundreds of years?

Barone did not emigrate from Mexico just for the government to “trample on [her] rights.” She came here to be heard loud and clear.

The voices of historically marginalized people have been brushed under the rug for far too long, and it’s about time we listen up.

Laura Castrejón


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