America The Muted

America The Muted


It’s funny how the lines between freedom of speech, freedom of expression and being politically correct, have become so blurred as our society advances with technology.

I just read an article online regarding Emma Sullivan, an 18 year old Kansas high school senior, concerning a negative comment she tweeted about her state governor. Not having access to the entire tweet and based on the article (Huff Post Education, Emma Sullivan, Kansas High School Student, Won’t Be Punished For Sam Brownback Tweet ), Sullivan tweeted that Brownback “sucked” while she was attending a speech he was giving.

Apparently the governor’s staff had a conniption fit regarding what Sullivan wrote and contacted her school.  The senior was called into her principal’s office and told that an apology should be rendered to the governor.

She refused to do so.


The governor’s office has a section that monitors media regarding anything with his name. This is how the horribly defamatory remark was discovered. When the governor found out what happened regarding this matter, he felt that his staff “overreacted” to the tweet and issued an apology.

Bravo once more.

Since when did it become so wrong to say someone sucks? Sullivan did not attach a noun such as “penis” or “eggs” to the verb; she simply expressed her feelings about the situation.  So you mean to tell me that as a society, we have become so uptight that expressing even the slightest displeasure with something has become an intolerable act?

My car buying experience with Marchese Chevrolet was horrible.

They sucked.

One of my last supervisors while I was in the military Master Sergeant Molhenrich, seemed to not back me up when the chips were down.

He sucked.

Mercy College failed to certify with the Veterans’ Administration that I was attending school for the spring semester. Therefore when it came time for me to receive money that I was entitled to that helps with expenses of attending school on February 1st, I received nothing. It is now three days before April and I just received my payment.

Someone in the school administration sucked.

Of course these are my opinions, but I should be able to voice my dissatisfaction without fear of being ostracized or deemed some type of disrespectful radical.  Who am I right? Does my silly opinion really cause anyone such pain and suffering that it should be demanded that I apologize publically?


However, no one wants to be singled out publically and said to “suck” or that maybe at some point they did not do their job.  Would it stand to reason that someone along the food chain would hear such a simple expression of dissatisfaction and possibly look at what may have went wrong?

I would hope so.

Sometimes ruffling a few feathers can initiate a positive change. In the case of young Ms. Sullivan, she was simply venting. In my case though, these things happened in the past and I share them as nothing more than examples.

I would hope the reference made about one of them could spur a change to help prevent needless mistakes.


Of course I’m not advocating name calling and belittling of everyone and everything just because something does not go right, but come on let’s put things in perspective and lighten up a bit people.  If I don’t like something why should I or anyone else have to fear expressing it especially when there is no malicious intent behind it?

When did expressing opinion in such a juvenile and relatively tame way become so taboo?

Apparently with the advent of things such as Facebook, Twitter even You Tube, the boundaries of freedom of speech are really being pushed. Should an employer hold you accountable for what you tell friends on a networking site of a legal personal nature and not in conflict with the success of said company?

Apparently so because it is happening now.

Is it discrimination to not hire or dismiss you because of religious or personal beliefs if it has no bearing on your performance on the job? Especially if your highly succesful at it?

A lot of companies and organizations use what you share to damn you.  Look at what just happened to Sullivan. People are investigated and what you write online with the intent to share with friends, family or anyone else that cares to pay attention has to be approached with caution. Fact is now, you must be aware of each key stroke and idea behind your thoughts before you hit that send button.

I do not endorse doing anything that amounts to character assassination, bullying or threatening others; things that would get you in trouble from a legal standpoint. But I do believe in freedom of speech especially when it comes to simply saying something sucks.

I just say choose your words wisely.

Big brother is really watching.