In this Live with Lisa: Candid Conversations Series, I interviewed Ellen Graham as we reviewed the topic: Freedom of Speech.
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Featured Speaker Biography
Ellen Graham is a Colorado native, mother of two sons, and a long time Denver resident with a recent move to Douglas County. She is a National Marketing Director for the Juice Plus Company and a Media Strategist for Salem Media, which broadcasts Newstalk and Christian radio. She is active at Southeast Christian Church, Parker Republicans and is the host of The Mom Who's Had It podcast taking on politics and culture from her unique point of view.
Lisa: I wanted to interview you about Freedom of Speech because I think you are so brave and courageous with your voice. I read somewhere that “Freedom of Speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or Community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation.” You don’t seem to have that fear.
Ellen: It is not necessarily that I don't fear retaliation, I just don’t let the fear stop me. We are really called to be courageous and courage is an important aspect of character to develop how we are doing in the world. It’s Interesting when you go around the globe and you see all different Types of governments. There are plenty of places and countries where you do not have freedom of speech and you can be imprisoned or lose your life without going along with whatever is the directive there. We have a lot of countries that look to the United States to sort of hold up that torch of freedom and that freedom of speech, which is so fundamental. When we hold ourselves up to that standard, we set the bar at a place that the entire world strives to. Are we struggling with that? Absolutely.
Lisa: How do you think we are doing in each of these areas?
- Public Schools
- Ellen: Our public schools are the number one problem that we face as a society and as a threat to our constitution of the United States. Our schools have become facilities for indoctrination to anti-American, anti-constitutional thinking and have become a place where any staff, teachers, students who don’t fall into the politically correct lingo and whatever is trendy in politics, don’t feel like they can speak out. There is retaliation against those people. So, our public schools are, in my opinion, our number one concern.
- Ellen: NO SAFE SPACES IS A MUST SEE DOCUMENTARY. Freedom doesn't guarantee safety but we have raised a generation of Americans who believe in safety from anything they disagree versus their Bill of Rights. Colleges have a rampant problem with trading free speech for safety and it's a juggernaut that has got to be cut loose or these young adults will eventually legislate us right out of our Constitutional Republic. Furthermore, I believe we should defund any institution that doesn't guarantee the Freedom of speech on it's campus.
- Ellen: Honestly, I think our press is corrupt, and largely run by big corporations. The bulk of the press is activist media. I don’t think it’s a place for free speech, but there are entities that are fighting to keep free speech alive. I think where it is tricky for us as average citizens is where do you read, what do you watch, that is actually giving you a rounded point of view? I feel like we are in this place where, Do I take the CNN side of the story and the Fox news side of the story and try and find the truth somewhere in the middle. Where do we get the truth? I feel like the higher up you go in the media, like those entities I just mentioned, it’s really dicey. You have to look at your local media, local reporters and journalists that don’t have any skin in the game, except their integrity.
- Social Media
- Ellen: Social media is interesting. I do believe it has polarized us. It has had the effect of making us feel like we’re more extreme, in two different ways, than we actually are. There is a movie that people are talking about called “Social Dilemma,” which I haven’t seen, but I think you have to be careful with social media because it creates a comfort zone, an echo chamber of people who talk and think just like us. I actually would challenge anyone to make their social media a place where you should not be personally attacked or threatened but where you have a diversity of thought. The more willing we are to read about other’s thoughts, feelings, experiences, the more truly accepting and tolerant we will be as a society. What I dislike about social media is how easy it is for people to sit behind a key board and attack a person that they would never, in a million years, attack that face to face on the street.
- Ellen: Our kids are growing up in a really interesting time, with all the political correctness around them. Don't say that, don't think that, that's not PC, that's not tolerance, that's going to hurt someone's feelings. I think that it has done them a disservice. Part of life is that you're going to get your feelings hurt, you are going to disagree with someone, to have the courage to move on from that place into a positive place despite having some different values and finding that you actually have a lot in common. Do you have the courage to speak up against true injustice versus all the perceived injustice? Our kids are in the cross hairs of where we are as a society. Hugh Hewitt said this could be the next greatest generation and that is my hope and prayer for these kids. That as they go through these turbulent times, they are by far more courageous than we are, and that they actually make this country a better place than is has been in the last decade.
Lisa: “Freedom of Speech is a fundamental human right. It reinforces all other human rights, allowing society to develop and progress. The ability to express our opinion and speak freely is essential to bring about change in our society.” Why do you think freedom of speech is so important?
Ellen: Freedom of Speech is the fundamental of a free society. If you cannot voice your thoughts, feelings, opinions, and that is taken away/in the polls, you will have communism. That is why our founding fathers wrote the constitution and bill of rights the way that they did. I thinks what Americans need to remember now is that, yes, you need to fight to voice your voice. You also need to fight for the voice that you disagree with.
Lisa: How do you promote Freedom of Speech with your kids?
Ellen: In this P.C. culture we have silenced our kids. We inadvertently silenced our kids. That is why we have a lot of kids that can't stand having their feelings hurt, they are afraid of everything, and they need to toughen up. When it comes to my kids, we have a lot of discussions about the big, juicy stuff. Faith, politics, all of these cultural issues. We listen to talk radio and I ask my kids what they think. The key thing for me is I want my kids to be critical thinkers. I don't need to create little clones that talk and think like me. I need them to be critical thinkers. I need them to take an issue, pull it a part, walk around it a few times, chew on it, think of it from different angles, Feel empathy for the position that is the opposite of their own, and yet be able to stay strong in their convictions.
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