Sunday, October 16, 2016

Free speech requires compassion

When Donald Trump started campaigning for prez. The Arizona Republic newspaper began running stories saying Trump was not a true conservative. The editors should know – in the 125 years of the paper they’ve never endorsed a Democrat – until this year.

They got responses that included death threats and threats to burn the building down.

Mi-Ai Parrish, president of the paper, offers a response to those threats. She describes some of the people who work for the paper.

A response to those who threaten death is Kimberly. After answering the phone and hearing those threats she talked to police, then went to her church and prayed for patience and forgiveness. Free speech requires compassion.

A response to those who demanded the paper be shut down is Nicole. She is part of the news staff. She attended a Trump rally and heard him encourage his supporters to boo and bully journalists. Free speech requires an open debate.

A response to those why say the editors are un-American is Dennis. He is a reporter who revealed the deplorable conditions in VA hospitals and thus hailed as a hero by veterans. Free speech holds the powerful accountable.

A response to those who say the endorsement choice is un-Christian is Parrish’s grandfather. He was a pastor who was imprisoned and tortured for being a Christian. Freedom of religion is fragile and precious.

A response to those who say the paper had no right to endorse anyone is Parrish’s mother. She grew up under a dictator with no right to an education, a free press, freedom of religion, freedom of peaceful assembly, nor to vote. Parrish will not take those rights for granted.

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