“I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”—Oscar Wilde
JP Sears, our friend and Meet Delic speaker, asked us to join him in speaking up for our freedom of speech. And it’s not hard to understand why. The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution protects our ability to talk about and report on psychedelic culture. In case it’s been a while since you’ve read the Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press …”
Nonetheless, YouTube is censoring JP’s COVID-19 content. We already know that Facebook bans many keywords related to cannabis and psychedelics. In addition, more and more Instagram users are reporting shadow bans when using similar hashtags. Remember when YouTube banned cannabis videos? And dare we mention our SEO overload, Google? These companies made a collective grand promise to unite humanity—and are systematically doing the opposite.
JP’s story is a red flag … a warning sign. When’s the last time you asked yourself, “How free am I, anyway?” Everything will stay the same if we don’t talk about it.
At RS, we believe in cognitive liberty. We believe we must support one another in order to protect basic human rights as a whole. So when JP asked us to share his message, we were happy to oblige.
I’m concerned. YouTube has been censoring doctors, banning videos that speak about medicine and health from perspectives that aren’t calibrated into the orchestrated mainstream narrative. Wednesday night they put duct tape over my mouth, banning the video I released on Tuesday (called the Covid Conspiracy Guy).
My concern isn’t for me and my videos; my concern is for human freedoms and civil liberties, at the heart of which is freedom of speech. The social media platforms are the modern day Town Hall in which speech is conveyed. My love for humanity and human expression is immense. Right now we have already begun sliding down a very slippery slope. A straitjacket is being fitted and tightened, restricting human expression.
I don’t know a short, concise cookie-cutter solution to this. But I do know being silent about being censored is not part of the solution. And I do know that raising awareness around it is part of it.
I have had the good fortune—through a ton of hard work, and beautiful weirdos around the world enjoying it—to build quite an online empire on YouTube and the other platforms. I will not remain silent out of fear of getting de-platformed and losing it all. I will be speaking my truth in the face of intimidation. I would much rather have to collect cans to feed my family while speaking my truth, than remain silent to keep all that I have while being enslaved.
Freedom of speech is one of the most beautiful gifts in life. If it continues to erode into nothing more than a memory, it won’t do so with me sitting on the sideline. If that were to happen—as I bring my son into this world—and one day he asked me, “Dad, what did you do when all the freedoms were being taken away?” my answer sure as hell won’t be, “I watched it happen.” I owe my son better than that. And I dare say I owe humanity better than that. You can choose to watch, or you can choose to join me in standing for human freedoms. The choice is yours. As my friend Tim Kennedy wisely says, we are living in a time when you get to choose peaceful slavery or dangerous freedom.
Stay uncensored my friend,
Freedom of Speech Quotes
Obviously JP is seriously smart… here are some other smart supporters of the freedom of speech:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”
—Harry S. Truman
“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”
“Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.”
—St. Catherine of Siena
Featured image commissioned by RS from Kaitlin Sobiesiak.