Macke: Censorship, the un-American freedom

Published 12:02 pm Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Freedom: The power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

 The First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 Censorship: The suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or “inconvenient” as determined by government authorities or by community consensus.

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 Don’t like something you see on TV, read in the newspaper, hear on the radio or read on social media? Then you have the personal right and freedom to turn the channel, page, station or website.

Last week, after my Sunday the 25th column ran, I received a letter from a reader and supporter. She shared with me how Port Arthur District 4 Councilman Harold Doucet berated her brother on a local Facebook page after he came to my defense. This individual is also a District 4 resident.

As is the norm, Councilman Doucet quickly responded to my column with his own interpretation of its meaning, which is his right to do. But after a number of posts between the councilman and his followers calling for censorship of The News, retired PAPD Officer Loddie Valka decided to step in.

“The news that keeps criticizing our president is a lot more biased than The News publisher and nobody says anything.”

Valka’s sister printed out the conversation between her brother and Councilman Doucet and shared it with me. In short, his own councilman belittled Valka, then he was removed from the Facebook page.

Has it really come to that? Individuals speak their mind, share their opinions and openly support someone or an entity and we now want them censored too?

Folks, we don’t always have to agree with everyone all the time. Nor will that ever happen. Doucet likes to call me a divider of the community because I disagree with some council decisions and share my thoughts publicly with citizens.

I don’t call that a divider, I call that a watchdog.

What would happen if we all agreed with each other all the time? Would we be happier? Maybe.

But would anything get done? Absolutely not. We would all be running around in a BIG circle patting each other on the back saying, “I agree, great job”… and going absolutely nowhere.

Questioning each other and watching out for each other should always be a part of life. Whether we agree with each other or not, we all want the same thing — a better community for all of citizens.

I want to thank Valka for his support when seemingly nobody was watching. You and many other supporters across Mid and South Jefferson County understand the freedoms given us all. And you are the reasons we do what we do.

We will continue to deliver Councilman Doucet’s subscription of The Port Arthur News to his house every day as we do for the majority of council members, even those who say publicly they don’t receive it. We will keep that our little secret.

Drop the Mic Macke Out!!!

I’ve always wanted to say that.

Rich Macke is publisher of The Port Arthur News.