I’m sitting here aching at the breaking news that a gunman has killed at least 50 concert goers and wounded 200 others. We do not yet know the political affiliation of the shooter or his political views, but based on his actions he was definitely angry and he wanted to send a message. At least that’s what we know at this point. I know the President didn’t pull the trigger, but his divisive, mean-spirited, condescending, derisive, and out-right bigoted language helps fuel the anger lying just below the surface of individuals like Stephen Paddock. The President uses the First Amendment to say whatever he wants however he wants. And he has inspired others to do the same. People like Stephen Paddock exist, sitting quietly in their homes waiting for an opportunity to explode. It’s not a long stretch to connect the simmering national hostility that has found an open door in the Trump administration to this outpouring of violence. After all, Mr. Trump did say there were fine people on both sides after Charlottesville.
I’m trying to cope with the same feelings I had the morning of September 11, 2001. I have a stunned emptiness that I can’t fully process. I don’t understand this. Yet, at the same time the lyrics to the song by the group Chicago titled “You’re the Inspiration” are playing in an endless loop. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the song, here’s the part I’m hearing.
You should know, everywhere I go
Always on my mind, in my heart
In my soul, Baby
You’re the meaning in my life
You’re the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You’re the inspiration 
Words are so incredibly powerful. And we never know exactly how they impact people. Sure, when we say something directly to someone we can kinda gauge how the other person received our words. However, we’ve all said something that the other person didn’t take as was intended. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t said something or said something in a way that someone else found hurtful or offensive? Most of us learned when that happens you own what you did, apologize for being hurtful and look for ways to make amends. But listening to the honest, candid words Mr. Trump uses, it’s clear he doesn’t think that way. And he doesn’t have to. He has the constitutional right to say whatever he wants however he wants to say it. As much as I dislike most of his words, I will defend his right to say them. We cannot, no, we must not do anything to constrain his right to free speech.
However, that doesn’t mean we have to sit still and accept his derision. Just as he has the right to say what he wants, we have the right to say NO! We the People of the United States have the right and duty to use words that say our nation does not condone hate. We the People have the responsibility to take back the First Amendment. So, here’s what I’m proposing. Every time we see him Tweet words that have an underling message of derision, divisiveness, condescension, and/or bigotry, we have to tweet back, “Not appropriate for our nation.” We the People need to say, “The content of this tweet is controversial and doesn’t reflect the views of all Americans. Readers be advised.” or some other words to that effect. We the People have to say in our homes, to our communities, in our workplaces, and to the rest of the world that this President does not speak or tweet for all Americans.
Time to take back the First Amendment!
About the author
Dr. Yarbrough who holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 (2017, October 2). Retrieved from http://www.metrolyrics.com/youre-the-inspiration-lyrics-chicago.html