In America today, the war on free speech and unfettered expression is being conducted by two forces. Most public censorship occurs as a result of the politically correct culture we currently live in; now, thanks to legal guidance from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s New York City Commission on Human Rights, such silencing is codified into city laws.
To be clear, there is a distinct difference between common courtesy and political correctness. The former is a set of behaviors that are internally applied to one’s actions to avoid unnecessary conflicts and willingly employ respect; the latter is an ideology that requires people’s speech and actions to comply with a political agenda, and it is externally applied onto others. Daily interactions in public become censored and repressed as a result of the hypersensitive atmosphere that political correctness has engendered, and, oftentimes, such censorship is a necessity for maintaining one’s professional, academic, and social standing. It does not seem that all have lost sight of the importance of free speech, but a dichotomy has certainly been established as a result of politically correct culture. Adhering to our First Amendment principles and maintaining vital statuses within our lives does not always seem to be possible. Now, in some places, it is no longer even legal.
In the name of human rights, New York City will now take away people’s civil liberties. “Intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title,” is now illicit conduct that can lead to fines of up to “$125,000 for violations, and up to $250,000 for violations that are the result of willful, wanton, or malicious conduct.” This new legal guidance from the NYC Commission on Human Rights regulates the speech and behavior between employers and employees as well as conduct between co-workers. If somebody believes that gender is binary, as biology makes evident, such a belief must now be cast away in the workplace and replaced by the political ideology that gender is fluid. Whether or not this guidance is found constitutional within a court is unknown; whether or not it’s found acceptable within our hearts and minds should not even be a question. When the government refuses to acknowledge the people’s right to free speech, our liberty is threatened; when we the people refuse to protect our right to free speech from governmental encroachment, our liberty is dead.