Over the last 100 years or so, the world has changed more drastically than at any other time in its history. Most of the changes have been due to technology which has changed the way we live, the places where we live, the way we get information, and last but not least, the way we view each other. In our societies there many “groups” of people. Races, disabled, (both physically and mentally), extremists, LGBT,(for those of you who don’t know, these are lesbian,gay,bisexual and transgender), socialists, communists, chauvinists, etc, the list is endless.
Having an opinion about other people is part of who we are and what we are as humans. The capacity to look at someone, read something about someone, listen to someone, and form our own views (whether correctly or incorrectly) is a natural instinct.
In today,s world however, this apparently is no longer acceptable. We are not allowed to have opinions anymore. We have to think one thing and say another. Charges of racism, xenophobia, sexism, anti-antisemitism etc…, are levelled at people for simply expressing their views. We live in a world where so many different facets co-exist that people will not always agree. But the key point has always been that we have “freedom of speech” which has always been the basic principle of most democratic societies.
This brings me to my next point. In the USA, a famous entrepreneur named Donald Trump, who is a household name in America, is running for president. He has been giving his views/opinions on a variety of topics. In his latest comments he said that Muslims should not be allowed into America. Has has been vilified in the media and on social networks for these comments, but if this is his opinion, then surely he is entitled to it, whether you agree or not. The fact that his popularity is still intact in the polls in general, shows that there are many who agree with his views but are too scared to come out and express this. Nowadays, if you express any views other than what you “should” express, then you are labelled as a “racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, etc..,
There are many many people in the media, and those who I interact with on a daily basis, whose views I disagree with, but they have the right to express their opinions, as long as they also respect the views of others.If we give up this right, then we are on our way to becoming a “robotic” society, or really on the path to “big brother”. How can anyone be shown the ‘error of their ways’ if they don’t express an opinion due to the inevitable backlash which always follows.
We are not quite at the same point as many radical Muslims, who believe that voicing your opinion on something sacred to them is deserving of death, but if we don’t have respect for other people’s opinions, then we are will be heading in that direction.
I for one hope that this never happens.