Invalid cries of free speech surface after cancellation of “The Interview”

Invalid cries of free speech surface after cancellation of The Interview

The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to free speech; meaning every American can express their own opinions and ideas without censorship or restraint.

Instances where people have been denied freedom of speech have been debated, but with this week’s controversy over “The Interview,” at last Americans realized the right to free speech.

Directed by Seth Rogen, who also stars in the movie, “The Interview” is a comedy about two men (Rogen and James Franco) who are recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The controversial plot has instigated threats from North Korea of a “merciless” response if the movie’s release is not pulled, and that releasing the movie will be seen as “an act of war.” Last week, amid threats and hacks, Sony Pictures Entertainment cancelled the release of “The Interview,” but on Dec. 23 decided it would be screened in some theaters.

Some argue that for America to cancel the movie’s release would be a sign of weakness to North Korea. We can’t possibly listen to them, we must stand up and exert our right of free speech!

Now that the release is back on, many are chanting “Freedom and justice prevails!” as if we withstood serious oppression. Because, as Americans, we have the right to watch all the stupid movies as we please. Those North Koreans can’t censor our Seth Rogen comedies!

But cancelling the screening of “The Interview” is not a matter of free speech.

It is not a matter of oppression, or censorship of serious ideas or beliefs of a group of people. Cancelling the release of this movie cannot harm anyone’s ideals, only the wallets of Sony producers.

What is it about “The Interview” that has people in an uproar anyway?  What are these wondrous freedoms that we’re being denied if we’re not allowed to enjoy some ridiculous movie in theaters? What contributions to our society and culture are being withheld? We Americans must enjoy the fine arts of mocking a country tyrannized by a cruel leader, just for the price of a few laughs. Kim Jong-un won’t find it all that funny. Acting on our pride will only instigate our issues with North Korea further.

And since when did Seth Rogen decide our foreign affairs?

For people to claim that their right to free speech is being threatened because they no longer can see some silly comedy belittles actual oppression of speech.

Where were cries of oppressed speech when protestors of Ferguson were being shot down? When someone graffitis “NYPD Kills” on a Manhattan bridge to challenge police brutality, officers are concerned in finding the vandal because it’s a “slap in the face” to the department. Yet nobody is asserting freedom of speech then. There are people fighting to end racial injustice, revealing brutality and corruption of officers through social media and video, but their posts are being hidden and ignored.These people who are crying out for change are being punished. They’re being inadvertently silenced. They’re being killed.

Because if Americans are more worried about their rights when a movie is banned than when racist acts of violence are terrorizing their own country, I can’t understand how our rights are still intact. Are we really free if some citizens feel persecuted for just being alive? How do we have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness when some are at the mercy of our enforcers of law, being killed, being restrained, and finding only suffering.

Despite threats to our nation if the movie is released, some Americans’ pride and arrogance are deterring them from seeing why this movie will do no good. North Korea is a country whose leader has publicly executed his own people, and Kim Jong-un will go to war with us if provoked, so what do we do? Portray him in a stupid comedy where he’s assassinated by Americans, and we don’t think twice about it, because this is America: land of free speech and stupid people talking.

We can’t deserve freedom of speech while being so blind when people are actually being silenced.

I’m so glad Americans can celebrate this little victory of preserving our nation’s founded ideals, but before crying wolf at being denied your rights, remember some are killed for just exercising what they’re supposedly entitled to.

If we continue to riot over false infringements of the First Amendment, actual violations will be muted by the uproar, and we’ll find that the ringing silence makes it too loud to hear.