I’m not quite talking about speech that anyone can consider offensive. Whether or not someone could be offended by some speech is really not the point. There could be speech (and I think there is) that actually doesn’t offend anyone, but that actually helps to establish or maintain a power structure that oppresses people.

I’m a parent. I know that the way I talk, and the words that I use have an effect on my kid. I am a manager. I know that the things I say, and the way I say them has an effect on the people that I lead.

My point is just that freedom of speech is important. What is also important is ensuring that people are not oppressed, and that systems of oppression are prevented or deconstructed.

Unfortunately, these things can conflict with each other. And it’s difficult to solve with simple platitudes and slogans.

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Author of “The Wabi-Sabi Way” and “Be, Think, Do”. Subscribe to my newsletter “Woolgathering”: https://goo.gl/UhzUYL.

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