LETTER: ‘It is our first amendment right to have the privilege to speak our mind’


[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Normandy Park Blog nor its staff:]

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

This country was founded on the right of every individual to have freedom of speech. It is our first amendment right to have the privilege to speak our mind. Others may not agree with what we say but they do not have the right to muzzle us because they are fearful as to what truths may become public. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government.

They cannot justify their fear by omitting the truth and they cannot make the truth go away merely by denying that it exists. The saying that the ‘truth always comes out’ is correct because with the natural law of the universe comes the energy that bestows light on the truth as it guides us to do the right thing.

The truth guides our conscience to do good for others and by denying the truth, we are lying to ourselves. That may feel good in the short term but ultimately we all face the truth in one way or another.

When politicians try to cover up the real reasons for their actions and try to make their constituency believe what they want, the truth is ultimately revealed. Lying by omission does not make a lie a truth; it merely means that the fear of the liar prevents the truth from coming out at that time. When the written word is prevented from being published, because it might sway the public one way or another, the truth is revealed because of the lack of balance in the presentation. There are always two sides to every story and when the public doesn’t hear both sides of the story, the questions come fast and furious as to ‘what is the rest of story?’

In this case, there was a PRO statement published in the last issue of the Normandy Park City Scene Magazine regarding the Highline School District’s Bond Measure but there wasn’t a CON statement. Since there shouldn’t have been a PRO statement published in the first place, putting out a CON statement would also not be allowed because according to the NP City Attorney and the other legal beagle that the NP City Council uses, two wrongs don’t make a right. Therefore, it was up to the astute citizenry of Normandy Park to listen to the local voices of those who were campaigning for or against the Highline Bond Measure and make up their own minds.

We must all feel that our opinions are valued and we should have the right to stand up and state our opinions in the classroom, council meeting, office or at home. No one should feel that they are being oppressed because they can not speak their mind. It is their very right as an American citizen to exercise their voice and not be ignored. It is illegal and unjust and downright wrong. I may not agree with you but I will fight to the death to make sure that you can be heard.

So when you feel the need say the truth, do so without malice and contempt so that it is understood without malice and contempt. Truth can stand alone because it is a fact. The written word is no exception and even if it is an inconvenient truth, it is still the truth and worth publishing for all to read.

– Karen Steele
26 year resident of Normandy Park

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil and, pending our review, we’ll most likely publish it.]


Comments

4 Responses to “LETTER: ‘It is our first amendment right to have the privilege to speak our mind’”
  1. David says:

    Very nicely sentiment, though not exactly sure of the nature of the complaint. I’m not arguing for or against your point, really, just stating it’s a little hazy. The comments about free speech are wonderful, but seemingly not relevant to the issue as far as I can discern. It doesn’t appear the government at any level (city, county, state or Federal) threatened anyone with jail or fines or any other retribution for a citizen stating their opinion. So free speech doesn’t appear to be an issue here. Now as to whether a city should put out a “PRO” statement on an issue (bond, initiative, etc)…I confess not knowing if there’s a specific law in the NP charter or county or state that prohibits the government from stating their position for or against any measure. The official “voters guides” to King County/State do allow pro/con sections, but if a city (on web page or ‘magazine’) wants to state a position, is that allowed? Government officials often take positions, wanting a measure to pass for parks, libraries, roads, etc. If NP has a legal requirement in their charter to not take positions publicly for or against any issue before the voters, then so be it….is that the case here? Is that the point being argued?

    Again, nicely written comment, just engaging for sake of understanding an issue that I might not be understanding (not knowing the full background of the issue).

    David (random citizen of city/state/county/country/continent/hemisphere/planet/solar system/local cluster/galaxy/universe for a variety of years)

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for your comment David. I wrote the article because the issue of Freedom of Speech is not a sentiment but a First Amendment right of all Americans. It is important that we respect each other and just because someone says something that you may not agree with, it is no reason to disrespect them. It is what makes our country great.

      I illustrated this point with a personal experience. It is also a law that if a city prints a PRO statement in a city publication, they must also print a CON statement. This was not done and there was no attempt to ‘right’ or apologize for the situation in the next issue of City Scene magazine. Apparently, the editor and city manager didn’t feel that it was important enough to NP citizens. This is very telling about what their values are
      .
      More importantly, I wrote the article to encourage people to speak out and not be intimidated. It is important that their voices be heard. Citizens do not show up at Council Meetings and express their opinions and they should. Council members do not vote on issues based on their constituency but on their own personal agendas. This needs to change and will only do so, when we tell them what we want. The same applies to the workplace and at home. Speak out with respect and let your voice be heard. It is your First Amendment Right!

  2. David says:

    HA…the technology of “auto spell” catches me in the first line. Sorry, meant “Very nice sentiment…”

  3. Karen says:

    Thank you for your comments, David. Just so you know; if a PRO statement is printed in a city publication, it is, by law, the city’s responsibility to also print a CON statement. It was not and the city manager also neglected to apologize to the citizens for that omission. Publishing my article about Freedom of Speech would go a long way to support the peoples’ voices. There have been many discussions about the need for transparency, yet it remains to be seen. The City Scene is a magazine that is all about advertising and some interesting columns written by our Council members but everything else is clearly a personal platform for Philips Publishing and the Glen Akromoff. Citizens should have the ability to contribute which would certainly engage the citizenry.

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