Your Free Speech is Keeping Brittney Griner a Prisoner

Super Mrs. C.
6 min readAug 6, 2022

Yep, YOUR Free Speech

Reuters Photo

Americans absolutely revere the First Amendment to the Constitution, or at least what they believe they know about it. Just for reference, here it is:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” — The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Freedom of Speech means that the government has no right to abridge your speech provided that it meets certain conditions. That applies only to the government. Facebook, Twitter, and other media, are not the government. They don’t have to entertain your point of view. Neither do governments that aren’t American.

Freedom of Speech allows you to voice your opinion, but, unfortunately, it leaves to one’s judgment just when one should exercise that right. “Freedom of Speech” is what has made social media the virtual equivalent of throwing feces at the air conditioner. You may express your opinion, but the idea that your opinion is required to be considered, or respected, or even accepted as true, is nowhere in the Constitution. That notion originated in our swelled heads.

The aspect of “free speech” that has been most troubling to me lately, is that our judgment about when to remain silent has disappeared.

We all know of the Brittney Griner sentence by now, and, as usual, everyone has their opinion. Publicly expressing your opinion has not helped Brittney Griner; it has hindered both her case and the choices that the American government can make in dealing with it.

I’m not going to argue whether or not Griner actually had hashish oil. I’m not going to argue that it’s a matter of sexism, because women basketball players aren’t paid in reasonable proportion to male players. I’m not going to argue that knowing the consequences of breaking draconian drug laws of some countries should make you doubly careful. Nope. None of the above, although some, or all, may be true.

What I will argue is that Vladimir Putin knew that he was going to attack Ukraine in February 2022. He may be…

Super Mrs. C.

Retired teacher. Humorous essayist about Life. Serious essayist about politics and “race.” Aspiring world saver. Cat mama. We can do better than this.