Republicans are noisy about free speech but all about oppressing statements they don’t want to hear. Republicans and MAGAts are all over Twitter celebrating Elon Musk bringing “free speech” back to the platform, which to them includes conspiracy theories, lies, covid misinformation, and organizing terrorist attacks by white nationalists in order to overturn the government and install a fascist Oompa Loompa as a dictator. But free speech-loving right-wingers were all behind Donald Trump saying, “Fire that sonofabitch” regarding NFL athletes who kneeled during the national anthem. They’re all supportive of the NFL blackballing a Super Bowl quarterback who protests racism. They’re all behind the governor of Florida in his attempts to literally outlaw “wokeism,” as he says his state is where “woke goes to die,” and a court just ruled against his attempts to make it illegal for corporations to have “woke” policies.
It seems that Republicans are all about free speech but only if the speech is what they want to hear. It seems they would love us to be a nation that bans free speech and the right to protest, like Iran.
Iran is an oppressive fundamentalist government. Protests have been erupting in cities across the nation since the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died in custody after being arrested for not wearing the hijab in accordance with government standards. The United Nations says over 300 people have been killed and over 14,000 have been arrested during the protests. Now, the government is giving the death penalty to protesters in a nation that’s already murdered over 400 of its citizens with its death penalty.
The protests have even reached the World Cup in Qatar as players for the Iranian national team refused to sing the nation’s national anthem before its game against England. Some players reported that government officials threatened members of the players’ families, saying they would receive “violence and torture” if they refused to sing at the next game or engaged in any protests against the regime. When the next game came up, against Wales, the players sang the national anthem. Smile unless you want a headless grandmother.
A source told CNN that players were promised “presents and cars” if they played well, but that switched to violent threats against their families. The source also claimed, “In the last game against Wales, the regime sent over hundreds of these actor supporters in order to create a false sense of support and favor amongst the fans. For the next game against the U.S., the regime is planning to significantly increase the number of actors into the thousands.” That game is happening today at 2 p.m.
I wonder where Iran got the idea to put actors in the stands to give a false impression of support? That’s a trick Donald Trump did when he announced his 2016 presidential campaign. I hope the Iranian actors are paid more than what Trump paid his fake supporters, which was $50.
Here in the United States, our government doesn’t threaten athletes for protesting the government and refusing to participate in the national anthem while it’s played before games. Our government only intimidates them and coordinates with leagues to have them blackballed.
For four years, Donald Trump was the federal government. While he was president (sic), he called for NFL players who refused to stand during the national anthem to be fired. The NFL was listening and Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback who took his team to the Super Bowl, didn’t receive even one official tryout with an NFL team from 2017 until this year, which was with the Las Vegas Raiders (who didn’t sign him). Not only has no team signed the guy, even to a backup position, but 31 of the 32 teams won’t even look at him. And it took six years for one of them to do that.
The NFL has banned a player for silently protesting while allowing another to continue playing despite over two dozen accusations from women of sexual harassment and sexual assault, even after the player, DeShaun Watson, settled 20 lawsuits with his accusers. The NFL did suspend the guy for 11 games with a fine of $5 million after the Cleveland Browns signed him to a $230 million contract.
We are better than Iran, but I don’t know how much better.
Music Note: I listened to Better than Ezra, Oasis, and The Black Keys.
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