While most Americans still feel that defending freedom of speech, conscience and assembly is a core and shared value, there are some who fear stating their views. This came to light when Democrat Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York shared a common voice with Republican Marco Rubio of Florida in attacking the lack of backbone by the NBA team, the Houston Rockets.
Keep in mind that there are those in the government in Beijing who are by no means hard-liners, and they do support some forms of free speech. The Chinese leadership can be flexible at times.
The Rockets General Manager was suddenly apologetic to the government of China and walked back is support for freedom and democracy. Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey`s pro-Hong Kong tweet sounds normal for many Americans but note that the NBA sees a lot of cash flow from China and this may be the reason this manager walked back his comments. However, to back down was, in the world of those who love freedom and democracy, an insult.
Note that many Chinese support basic freedoms and that means freedom of speech. We have an opinion on this platform and support the view that all humans have the right to speak and protest in peaceful marches – we reject violence in all forms. Let the protesters meet government officials, let them speak their minds and find a peaceful solution to this growing crisis.
Perhaps the youth of Hong Kong can teach the NBA and the youth of America, what the meaning of free speech truly does for a society. Free speech allows all people to participate in democracy and enjoy the free market of ideas, and they are always under threat from authoritarian ideologies that now drive de-platforming and cancel culture.