"Liberty is meaningless where the right
to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist.
That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants.
It is the right which they first of all strike down."
Frederick Douglass
[Frederick Baily] (1818-1895), escaped slave, Abolitionist, author, editor of the North Star and later the New National Era
Speech, Boston, 1860
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this was quoted on Glenn Beck 11/3/09
 -- Kristi, Minneapolis     
  • 3
     -- AL, DC      
    Today, it is language itself that is twisted to redefine the meaning of 'rights,' such as 'hate speech' and 'free speech zones'. In America, 'hate speech' is not a crime -- the Constitution prohibits Congress from making laws that abridge the right to free speech. All of America is a Free Speech Zone. But words do have consequences, and the speaker is not free from that. Free speech zones on college campuses are more akin to a rubber room where you can rant and rave and foam at the mouth -- it is evident that these fenced in areas are for crazy people, and that is how their speech is treated.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
    One way to make "liberty" mean nothing in thoughts and opinions is to alter or completely change the definitions of words and concepts (such as liberty, freedom, law, religion, socialism, communism, fascism, capitalism, etc., etc., etc.) while offering no replacements. Tyrants, despots and other malefactor administrators/patrons of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land have not only changed definitions of words and concepts, they have also controlled the narrative of thoughts and opinions to a very narrow scope.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    Progressives believe in free speech as long as it agrees with them.
     -- jim k, austin     
  • 3
    This is a very wondrous and beautiful quote of the great Frederic Douglass.
     -- Mary - MI     
  • 2
     -- Ronw13, ID      
    Did Mr Douglass strike down his own right to utter his thoughts and opinions or did the system strike down his right? Who is the real tyrant?
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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