Citizens of the United States are given rights by the Constitution. Our founding fathers saw this land as a place where we could be free from injustice and strive for freedom. Yet, there are still many who allow these rights to be disrespected, not knowing the actions they could take to make things better for themselves. Read more: Phoenix New Time and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
We have a responsibility as Americans to ensure this great country stays a beacon of freedom in the world. The best way to do this is by standing up for our own rights. If someone tells you that you aren’t allowed to say something that isn’t regarded as a threat, then this person is an ignorant fool. You can say, write, and believe in anything you want as long as your words cannot be construed as an intent to inflict violent acts upon someone else.
The importance of this was not overlooked in the case of Larkin and Lacey. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were two journalists who spoke the truth. They founded the Phoenix News Times and Village Voice Media as a way for them to exercise their right to the freedom of speech.
When they came upon grand jury hearings which requested notes from authors that had written about their town’s sheriff, Jim Arpaio, they felt it was their duty to tell the truth and released an article about the proceedings.
The sheriff did not take kindly to this. On October 18, 2007, he and his deputies took the journalists from their homes and imprisoned them for the words they wrote. Larkin and Lacey did not fight back physically. They went peacefully and took their unjust punishment for the time being. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/blogs/az-aclu-honors-new-times-founders-jim-larkin-and-mike-lacey-as-civil-libertarians-of-the-year-6500737
After their release, they retaliated. They used their rights, which were disrespected, to bring the Sheriff to his knees. They sued the county and won a handsome settlement of $3.75 million.
Their justice didn’t stop there. They used the funds they won to bankroll the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. This organization helps those who can’t help themselves in cases involving civil, human, and migrant rights. They help people in the Arizona area and strive to protect everyone who loves this country and the rights we are provided.
There is a lesson to be learned here. If you’re faced with such a challenge as this, violence will only bury you further. If you’re wrongfully punished for any reason, the way to fight it is with words and legal action.
Having a backbone is not the same as having a temper and patience is the way to win any battle. Cowards are everywhere and chances are, if you stand up to those who infringe upon rights, they will back down, just like a coward.