Danny Sample, Editor-in-Chief

Amidst the public outcry unanimously decrying Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his private remarks made against minority groups and subsequent $2.5 million fine and lifetime ban levied against Sterling by the National Basketball Association, I cannot keep myself from despairing over the fate of free speech in the United States. When even our remarks made behind closed doors may be subjected to public dissection in the brutal crucible of social media, how can one possibly argue that the current social and political climate in the United States is conducive to the protection of our Constitutional rights?

I vehemently agree with the Orwellian doctrine outlined in 1984 and “Politics and the English Language,” which contests that as soon as an outside entity begins to control an individual’s language, that individual becomes a limp marionette controlled by said entity, condemned to a life of obeying the capricious whims of its master. Language in its essence is the medium through which our conception of self and unique interpretation of truth are expressed, and in today’s society, the propagation of social media and an inflated sense of moral self-righteousness have corrupted true freedom of speech and by consequence, freedom of humanistic expression.

Do not interpret this column as a defense of Sterling’s actions. Rather, see it for what is truly is: a reaction to the frightening trends threatening individual expression in contemporary American society. Sterling’s comments against minority groups were abhorrent, but the way to combat racism in the United States is not to target the ramblings of a bitter octogenarian, but to rather examine mass media’s presentation of minorities, which is consumed daily by millions of human beings with little to no thought given to the possible harmful effects of such blind ingestion by both parties: the producers and the consumers.

Once individual expression falls under the control of society, which seems to be occurring in the United States, how can one possibly say with confidence that America is the “land of the free”?