Monday, May 12, 2014
A FEW WORDS ON FREE SPEECH
There is NO free speech
While members of ‘’Le Cercle des Bons Amis’’ have kept a low profile before the March elections in Century Village, a point has been reached when silence becomes immoral. A few residents might be tempted to say that Canadian snowbirds are visitors to the USA and therefore have no right to speak on CV matters. May I remind them that most of us are full-time owners of condos, full-time payers of taxes and fees even if we reside only five months a year in our wonderful village.
We were confident that after the elections, the vicious storms of words and accusations that were unleashed against people and institutions in CV would die down. Unfortunately Olga Wolkenstein has chosen this time, with the tacit approval of her small group, to take a shot below the bow and use profanity towards a democratically elected member of our community.
There is a cost associated with the use of profanity and vicious insults. For most people, our reputation is worth more than the money we have in the bank. Mean insults can destroy a reputation just as quickly as a stock market crash. The incendiary words recently used by Mrs Wolkenstein have that effect on the image she projects of herself. That’s why speech is not always free. In addition, people with decades of involvement in the education of our children, allowing defamatory words to be used on their blog are guilty by association. Those same people are probably scandalize at the bullying going on in our schools today !
I have listened to Mrs Wolkenstein threatening the audience in the CV theatre with an accusing index finger pointed at people. I could not help but to see her three bottom fingers pointing at herself.
Democratic institutions are to be respected. When people are democratically elected to serve in theses institutions they also should be respected. And when a dedicated person such has Mrs Joy Vestal who serves us all so well is attack, it is the whole community that is attacked. Even as she faces health chalenges, she chooses to continue to serve. She deserves our outmost respect and admiration.
Andre Legault, Director, CBA.