When’s the last time you saw an ideologically diverse group of people come together over a common cause?
If you’re racking your brain trying to think of an example, and coming up blank, you’re not alone. So far, 2020 has been a year marked by staunch disagreement—over a virus, over race issues, over riots, over an election.
It seems there’s a lot to argue about and very little common ground.
But what is perhaps most troubling about all of this is not that there are disagreements. In a diverse society like ours, disagreements are guaranteed.
What is most troubling is how our culture reacts to disagreements. Those who dissent from the cultural consensus are silenced, demonized, and blacklisted. This trend has led to an erosion of the willingness of Americans to express their sincere beliefs and respect those with whom they disagree.
Take a recent survey put out by the Cato Institute for example. The survey found that around 62 percent of Americans are afraid to voice their political beliefs in the current cultural climate. But is that really such a surprise when the survey also found that 31 percent of Americans support firing a business executive who is a President Trump donor and 22 percent support doing the same to a Joe Biden donor?
We must commit to a better way forward as a nation—particularly as a nation that was founded on the principles of free speech and civil discourse.
Free speech is a fundamental right in America, and it is essential in a diverse society. It cultivates tolerance for those with whom we disagree and helps us live peacefully with each other, despite our differences.
We must maintain a culture in which freedom and civility coexist—where people can disagree fiercely yet treat each other with respect.
That’s why a diverse group of scholars, professionals, and community members have signed the Philadelphia Statement. They’re calling for a renewed commitment to free speech, civil discourse, and a truly diverse society.
The Philadelphia Statement affirms these principles and denounces today’s “cancel culture,” which seeks to demonize and blacklist people and groups of goodwill simply for expressing their views. The Statement seeks to inspire a growing movement that is committed to the principles of freedom necessary for human flourishing throughout of our society.
To maintain a diverse and tolerant society here in America, we must protect free speech and promote respect for those with different views. We are a stronger and more tolerant nation when we do so.
That’s why your voice is needed today.
Right now, you can sign the Philadelphia Statement and join the growing list of scholars, professionals, and community members who affirm free speech and reject the censorship and blacklisting that is destroying our democracy.
Please don’t wait.
Raise your voice to defend free speech by signing the statement today!