It’s Time For Americans To Rethink The Meaning of Freedom
I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom lately. I always think about freedom. I think about it because I want it and I can’t have it. People love to say we are free to make choices, but are we really free to make the choices we want for our own lives?
I say we aren’t free to do whatever we want. Besides rules, laws, religious beliefs, policies, caste systems, and social orders keeping us from being free, the delicate balancing freedom and how it affect the lives of others prevent us from truly being free.
There are plenty of people in the world who don’t care about our freedom. To me, caring about the well-being of others is being a responsible person. I’m fully aware I’m not free to do as I please because my actions impact others. As much as I love to bird watch, I realize I’m not free to feed them bread. They don’t need me. I understand they become dependent upon me. That’s not what mother nature intended. She has an entire system that worked just fine before I arrived on the scene, and it will probably work better when earth finally gets sick of us and kicks us all of it. I’m free to destroy nature, but we all eventually will pay a price.
I knew I wasn’t free to drink alcohol or use drugs when I was pregnant with my children because I could cause my unborn children to have birth defects. I would have hated for my selfishness to lead to my children to physically or mentally impaired. How do you tell your children you disobeyed science and professional medical advice because I wanted the freedom to be intoxicated?
Once upon a time when I was much younger, I loved recreational gambling, but I knew I wasn’t free to spend my entire paycheck on slots. My children would starve to death.
I wasn’t free to drive my car as fast as I wanted because I could kill someone or get a ticket, or maybe even lose my driving privileges. I knew I wasn’t free to not pay my bills because that comes with severe consequences like homelessness, bad credit, no phone or light services, etc. Freedom comes with consequences and repercussions. Sometimes it’s immediate. Sometimes, the consequences of freedom come later. Like those student loan payments after you’ve attended college for four-years. Going to college was fun, paying for it, not so much. We have choices, and those choices come with consequences.
I love the outdoors. I’m not free to litter as I please because I’m litter an animals habitat. I’m sharing the earth. I love fishing, but I’m not free to over fish lakes, ponds, rivers, or even the ocean. I need to leave some fish for the next person to enjoy. I need to leave fish behind so they may create another generation for fish lover to joy and to keep the cycle of fish life going. I’m not free to dump fuel and oil in the local waterways so as not to harm the water, wildlife, and the earth. I’m never free to do as I please. With freedom comes responsibility.
I’ve learned over the years there is no such think as freedom. Freedom is a fantasy.
I’m not supposed to be free to make people sick, but I can because our system has no appropriate checks and balances to ensure I don’t. If I become infected with HIV, I’m supposed to tell each partner before engaging in sex to prevent the spread of the virus. There is no way to prevent that from happening. I have the freedom to make others sick. My freedom has the power to ruin someone else’s life. We value my freedom and privacy over the public’s health in America.
In America, we have the freedom to not cover our mouths when we cough. We have the privilege to not wear masks to make others sick. We are free to get on airplanes knowing we are sick and nothing happens to us. Some of us are free to get in the faces of cops as we protest in the middle of a pandemic with no consideration for the health and well-being of those we’re pissed off at. We have the freedom and privilege to make others sick.
We have the freedom to speak and spread hate. It has no nutritional or social value, but it’s protected as a freedom and liberty for some despite that speech inspiring physical violence. Those folks have the freedom to harm others. Freedom comes with a steep cost. People in America have the freedom and liberty to not wear masks, even if the law requires them to. These freedom seekers wearing a mask as a sign of weakness, and heaven forbid they appear weak.
Looking stupid is apparently fashionable these days. So is spreading communicable diseases.
Once upon a time in America, freedom allowed White men to be free while others worked for them were enslaved.
Those enslaved people fed and raised White men‘s children, maintained White men’s live stocks, cleaned White man’s’ homes, and picked White men’s agriculture with no say in the matter. They didn’t have a choice because they were not free. If they didn’t what their masters wanted, they enslaved would die. Free White men had the liberty to restrain Black and Brown men, and they did. White freedom came at the expense of Black and Native people’s freedom. It always does in America. Free men oppress other men.
That’s how freedom works. Freedom Robs Peter to pay Paul.
White men left their homeland because they wanted to be free. They hated the rules imposed by their old homeland. They came to North America and took land from Native Americans, land that did not belong to them. To be free, White people stole this land and the freedom of American Indians. The Natives have never recovered from the White man’s freedom.
White people have been doing just fine though, and the wickedness of the wicked still lingers among them. It’s our nation’s original sin and America must pay for that sin.
Today, White people all over America are protesting for their right to be free. They are complaining about freedom, rights, and privileges they are accustomed to having, with no forethought on how those freedoms will infringe on others. They never have.
White freedom always comes at the expense of non-Whites in America. Liberty for Whites means an oppression or constraint for the rest of us.
The pursuit for freedom is selfish and cruel, and America is a cruel nation.
The nation’s founding fathers promised citizens’ life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What they didn’t tell us was that all people weren‘t going to be free and happy nor would they wouldn’t have a say in the matter. The founders didn’t make clear in order for the free to maintain their freedom and liberty, they’d have to engage in selfishness, cruelty, and oppression, be hindrances and place obstacles to others, restrain people against their will, enslave humans and animals, steal lands and people, and control/dominate others.
Freedom. Is. Not. Free.
It never has been. It never will be. I don’t believe I have freedom, nor do I believe I can ever achieve it, so I don’t operate in that sphere. As a Black woman in America, I don’t have the freedom to speak, act, or think without hindrances.
I must consider a multitude of things before I do any of these things, therefore, I’m not free.
I must move with intent. When I speak I must choose and use my words wisely. I must teach with a purpose, understanding life is short and there are lots of people lacking knowledge. I consume with hesitance, understanding my ability to earn is greatly affected by gatekeepers. I must engage cautiously, understanding one wrong connection could cost me my life or freedom. I socialize with intent. I must write with much thought, understanding my audience is broad and my experiences are different. I’m not free to eat what I want to because there are consequences such as heart health issues, obesity, and inflammation which could cause other health issues. My health choices impact healthcare providers and even my family. If I don’t take care of myself, they may have to take care of me. I don’t want to put anyone through that if I can help it.
I’m always thinking about the big picture. I’m trying to be a responsible citizen with the understanding anything I do and everything I do affects others. I understand the limitation of liberty, that’s why I don’t pretend to be free.
We’re not free to worship the way we want to. Only a small segment of American society get to have their religion recognized. We’re not free to associate with whom we want to, especially not Black people. Where we associate, there is police watching. The press isn’t free, nor are journalist free. We all aren’t free from bondage or slavery, and we all aren’t free to express ourselves.
We all don’t have the freedom to bear arms. Only a small segment get to do so. We’re not all free to speak. Often only White words, thoughts, opinions and expressions matter. We’re all not free to move about the country the way we want to. For some of us driving in a nice car in the wrong neighborhood gets blue lights on our backs. If it’s perceived some of us shouldn’t be in certain spaces, unofficial police are trying to infringe upon our rights to be in that space. Freedom means we’re independent, and if there is one thing we’ve learned during this pandemic, we are not independent — we’re interdependent.
Freedom is far more complex than we care to admit. Freedom is a figment of our imagination. It’s a wish — a beautiful dream.
Freedom is a liberty not all of us all entitled to. The continual fight for something that doesn’t exist is exhausting. The constant fight to secure something we’ve never had is dehumanizing. Freedom is elusive. It’s also not for me.
The recklessness, carelessness and callousness that comes with American freedom I don’t want for my life. I don’t want that blood on my hands. I came to realize long ago I cannot be free unless I oppress, injure or take from others. The possibility of freedom relies upon the sacrifices of someone else. Thanks, but no thanks.
I believe we should replace the word freedom with something more accurate, like confined. We here in America definitely aren’t free. I hate when White people try to tell me we are. It just shows how delusional and out of touch from reality they really are.
Freedom is a fairytale that I wish America would stop telling.
I wish America would stop selling us the lie that we’re free. We’re not free. We’ve never been free, just like we’ve never had a democracy. We keep chasing something that never existed. We can’t make America give us freedom, just like we can’t pretend America cares about democracy. Freedom and democracy are for White people. They are the only people who have it, and they are the only people who have the freedom to choose the leaders they want.
That’s why White people protest the most about freedom, exalt the loudest about their freedom, and declare they’ll die for their freedom. Give them liberty or give them death. That’s so funny.
The freest people always pretending they are the most oppressed people on earth. Freedom is theirs for the taking, and it’s at the expense of the rest of us.
Freedom. Is. Not. Free.
We need to rethink freedom in America. Too many people have died for something that has never truly existed.
People join the military to fight wars so we can stay here and be liberated. They kill other people abroad so they don’t have to kill them here in the name of freedom.
Let that soak in for a moment. Some people must do so that others can be free.
Freedom isn’t free.
We ingrain in ourselves and our children we can do anything we want, be anything that we want, say anything that we want. What we don’t talk about is how when we do any of these things and if we are successful, it’s because they came at the expense of someone else. Freedom has a price tag, and that price is steep.
Freedom is uncivilized.
If your community is nice, I can almost guarantee you it came at the expense of other people. Your ability to have a pleasant community exists because people somewhere, somehow were deprived of the same opportunity. The same for your great education. It wasn’t free, and you achieved nothing on your own. In order for you to have a great educational opportunity, someone else was deprived of that same opportunity to have a great one. Sometimes there is no freedom to choose. Sometimes we’re just choosing from the options set before us. The free folks get to make choices for the oppressed folks. That’s not freedom.
Freedom is a lie.
Nothing is free. Our food isn’t free. Being born isn’t free. Living isn’t free. Dying isn’t free. Getting sick ain’t free. Air and water aren’t even free. Nothing in this world is free. There is no liberty in living, but in America we’ve been taught to fight for something none of us have ever really had.
We’ve been taught that freedom is good and we need to protect it at all costs. In reality, freedom is bad. Everything we’ve learned we must now unlearn, because freedom is killing us. We need to start by understanding no one is free.
The freedom of a few kills many.
People exercising the freedom to hate do so knowing full well the impact of their hate will injure others, yet they do it anyway. They have the freedom to injure the objects of their hate financially, physically, emotionally. These people even have the liberty to kill. The law protects them. The laws that gives that give us the right to harm others are the same laws that allow us to injured. No one is responsible for anything. Freedom makes no sense at all.
In America, we have the freedom to demand stores, workplaces, and factories open to serve us. We protest our personal household and toxic political interests with no thought of how the next man, bird or fish will be impacted by those selfish demands.
Freedom equates to me, me, myself, I, and back to me again. Freedom is self. Freedom is unkind. Freedom means life to one and death for another. We need to rethink how freedom truly works.
No man is truly free. There is no such thing as freedom.
We cannot recognize that we put the lives of others on the back burner for our immediate financial need, for politics, fodder, or to show our power or control. No matter the reason, one man or woman’s demand infringes upon another man’s right to be safe.
Freedom = Selfish, irresponsible, inconsiderate, irresponsible, short-sighted, alienate, disconnected
Restraint = Consideration, respectful, responsible, kindness, thoughtful, sacrifice, connection
Mature people understand they are never free. Mature people understand the consequences of their actions and act accordingly. With freedom comes great responsibility to others. Stupid, selfish people never get this. They scream freedom, never caring about the next person could be injured.
Having freedom means you’re willing to put the needs, problems, and concerns of others you must oppress or constrain out of your mind. That’s the American way.
Freedom is uncivil.
Achieving freedom means engaging violence, and the gatekeepers of freedom understand this. Keeping freedom means lying to ourselves about what we do to others to maintain it. Gatekeepers of freedom understand this too. Freedom is a childish thing to aspire to have. We live in a world where we are interconnected. We need each other. We rely on each other. We cannot survive without each other. Whatever we do individually affects the collective.
Freedom protestors look so ridiculous to sane people because they are showing us they don’t care about the nation. They only care about themselves and their small tribes. These selfish tribes are ruining the world. The truth about American freedom is being revealed. It’s a lie crafted by oppressors, propped up for far too long by descendants of oppressors for a very long time. It looks like some of us are on opposing sides because we are. We’ve always been on opposing sides, it’s just plain to see now for all Americans.
White freedom is the only freedom that matters, even if it kills us.
It’s time for all Americans to rethink what freedom is. None of us are free. We will never be free. Instead of fighting for freedom, we need to be fighting against tyranny. Tyranny is the actual enemy.
White Supremacy is tyranny, and we’ve been mislead about what we should fight for far too long. Fight against tyranny, the ever-present danger. Fighting to keep freedom is stupid, especially for Black and Brown people, because we’ve never been free.
Freedom is the White lie we’re told to help preserve White lives. I choose to fight against tyranny because I’m wise enough to know my life is not my own. I also know no matter what I do, I’m never going to be free.
Marley K in Quarantine