My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, anytime. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and stay away.
We are often told about the harsh realities of the world and how staying quite is the right thing to do. I remember my mother telling me how the one who stays quite is the one who defeats others. But is it really true? Maybe. Maybe not or maybe the subjectivity of this stance is too complicated to understand. The real question is, who suffers? Who goes through the social embarrassment of ‘Too coward to speak?’ or probably ‘Poor soul, must be dead inside.’
James Madison once said; “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.” My opinion isn’t it. I believe in more. I believe in rationality but I also believe that the only person who has the right to stop you is your very own self. Speak if you want to, not because you have to! There’s a fine line between standing up for yourself and exploiting yourself. Because who denies the dilemma of ‘Enough said, then done’ after all? But what’s important to remember is that if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.
What’s most important to know is that freedom of speech does not just come for free. The costs are high too. There must be resistance, confidence and unbiased approach attached to it because in the end if we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.