It isn’t the first time that an article regarding freedom of speech has been published on this page. This sudden spike in interest regarding this topic has been caused due to the terrifying realisation that all around the world, people are being punished for expressing their thoughts. The most well-known tragedy that has struck our home country last year is the infamous assassination of the well-known journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who is suspected to have been killed over the articles she wrote regarding money laundering and other such vile cases.
But with all the talk about freedom of speech, how can normal people, such as the members of our page and the dedicated readers of our articles, voice their ideas and different perspectives when there is an issue we feel that affects us? The most popular outlet for a person’s opinions are articles which are printed by newspaper agencies, or articles that can be accessed through the internet. But in recent years, people have taken to the internet to present their perspectives, but not in the way you’d expect.
For example, one of the most noticeable cases of this is that many artists and musicians have used their lyrics and even music videos to showcase what they think about their country’s current situation. Others have portrayed the increasing occurrences of gun violence, sexism, and other important matters that the Western world is having problems dealing with. One quite recent example is “This is America”, a music video which went viral a few months ago, which through visual and auditory aid, has portrayed Donald Glover’s concerns about the current gun laws in America, along with police brutality and racism (issues that the USA is still tackling to solve). Another case of a person of colour showing his concern with racism through the media of film is Jordan Peele, whose film “Get Out” won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Throughout the film, we get to see through the lens of Peele the history of white supremacy in America. The audience also shares the sense of fear and uncertainty with the main character as the story progresses, and Jordan Peele captures this terror people of colour have in his country perfectly. Racism and gun violence has also been tackled by none other than the late legendary Michael Jackson, with his song “They Don’t Care About Us”. He also directly references Martin Luther King Jr. in the lyrics, who also is known for fighting peacefully for the rights of darker coloured people in America in the 1950s and 1960s.
Other than that, sexism is an issue that has been addressed by music artists such as Beyoncé with her song “Run the World” that she released about 7 years ago. The sense of empowerment throughout the song is meant for girls and women to gain more confidence in themselves and seek positions of power in the world, for them to be on equal terms as their male counterparts (which have been holding power over countries for centuries, mainly due to religion and traditional mind-set).
With all that being said, I recognise that these persons mentioned above have much more money and influence than the normal Joe. We cannot all make music and put out our ideas using the musical platform, but we can speak up using other media. It is our duty, not only as citizens of our home nation, to uphold the protection of human rights and freedom. But using social media and such is not enough. We must attend events to keep ourselves informed about what’s happening, not to mention to avoid fake news being spread by news outlets.
Unfortunately, the modern population is willing to give up its freedom in order to better its security, due to the fear the public has of governments or people in power over their personal data. But aren’t governments meant to protect its own people? Why are we, the common people, so afraid of the persons in power who are elected by us, to help us? These are the questions which need time to achieve their answers.
But the real question is: who of us is willing to face the people in power and make them answer such demanding inquires?
Written by: Matthew J. Cassar