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While many Americans were enjoying a traditional American past time, there was, inevitably perhaps, a group of individuals who felt the need to be offended by something they don’t agree with. That’s right, I’m talking about Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime performance.
Contradictory to the stereotypical view that conservatives are greedy, rich and racist, I was not at all offended by the performance. Although I am not a big fan of her music, I applaud Beyoncé for excercising her right to free speech. Free speech and music go hand-in-hand and, oftentimes, the most controversial issues provide the best substance for good music.
Now, before I get my conservative friends all riled up, I will be clear that I DO NOT support the message that was being conveyed during Beyoncé’s performance. Personally, I think that the Black Lives Matter movement is severely flawed, but that is a topic for another post. However, I strongly believe that free speech is a cornerstone of American society and it is essential that we apply it without a double-standard.
So, before we get all up in arms about Beyoncé’s performance let’s make one thing very clear: it’s NOT about Beyoncé’s message. What matters here is the double-standard that exists between both sides of the political correctness debate. We live in a society where freedom of speech is only tolerated if it coincides with a specific agenda. Unfortunately, such attitudes exist on both sides of the aisle.
I’ll be the first to admit that conservatives who are distressed over Beyoncé’s performance are a prime example of such a double-standard. Those who lambast political correctness are hypocritical if they choose to make an issue out of Beyoncé’s performance. True liberty-loving conservatives, whether they were offended by the performance or not, would let the issue die. In other words, if you consistently denounce political correctness, it is counter-productive to demonize Beyoncé’s performance.
The discussion over the double-standard does not end with hypocritical conservatives. Consider an alternative scenario. Imagine if, instead of Beyoncé’s performance, there was a performance that involved the display of a Confederate flag. Oh just imagine how the progressives would rally in protest. If such a tragedy were to occur, in the eyes of progressives, the Super Bowl would be nothing more than a competition that promotes a racist agenda. However, since Beyoncé’s performance promotes the progressive agenda, all is well in utopia.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where disdain for political correctness automatically classifies one as a racist, homophobe or xenophobe. Individuals choose not to speak their minds in fear that they will be ostracized by society. Saying that you disagree with Black Lives Matter does not make you a racist. Campaigning against Hillary Clinton does not make you a sexist. If you believe in traditional marriage, it doesn’t make you homophobic. Anyone who believes such nonsense is not a true supporter of free speech.
At the end of the day, I neither condone nor condemn Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance. Why? Because I simply do not care. Beyoncé has the right to promote any message in which she believes. Just as I have the right to promote any message in which I believe. The beauty of free speech is this: no one is forced to agree with it.
Both sides of the political spectrum must realize that double-standards do not promote free speech. Accusing individuals of traits that they do not possess is not only insulting, but it is also divisive. Instead of being offended by everything little thing we disagree with, why not celebrate the fact that we live in a country where we are free to speak in favor for what we believe.