I read with interest the New York Times story detailing potential sanctions against the women who held up the sign at the awards ceremony in China. I must say that I found this quote contained in the story particularly disturbing. “While I believe in the right to free speech, to me that doesn’t give anyone the right to criticize one’s leader at a foreign venue in a totally nonpolitical event,”
The reason this sounds sour to my ear is simply this:
If you can’t criticize your leader then why bother having free speech in the first place.
The whole point of the American experiment is the idea that we are all created equal and share in the responsibility of governing the country. If we can’t be free to criticize our leaders, then how can we possibly expect our leaders to represent our interests? I realize that yours is not a political organization and that this is a potential source of embarrassment but I would suggest that you view it as an opportunity to express your pride in being an American and supporting the great American tradition of free speech enshrined in the 1st Amendment to our constitution.