OPINION: Celebrate your freedoms this July 4

Published 1:04 pm Wednesday, June 24, 2020

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Fourth of July is right around the corner. This celebration of the founding of our nation is a great time to reflect on the freedoms we have here.

While many may feel these freedoms are now limited in an era of social distancing, the basic freedoms that were key to the founding fathers are still available.

The freedom to assemble looks a little different in this era of safety precautions to protect the most vulnerable. However, locally some groups have begun to meet again, and families can still enjoy some of the fun of summer.

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are still available. It is the freedom of speech that allows you to give your true opinion on masks and six feet of separation. This freedom has also been seen demonstrated locally in peaceful protest against injustice. Those participating were practicing this freedom. Those who verbally expressed their opinions of said actions also were protected to do so. That is what is great about this country both sides of an issue can try to make their voices heard. It is when these comments turn to plausible threats of harm that speech is no longer protected.

Regardless of what you think of mainstream media, freedom of the press is something we need to be an informed public. We exercise this right everyday here at The Clanton Advertiser as we interview, research and write to bring you the most accurate information we can on local events.

With so much information available at one’s fingertips in this digital age, it is up to residents to choose credible sources. Before sharing that seemingly shocking new revelation making the rounds on social media, remember what your English teacher taught you. Check the web address. Does it come from a recognized and reputable site? When was the information published? Is there a chance it is outdated?

With the freedoms we have here, comes the responsibility to use them wisely. Part of this responsibility is being discerning and cautious so as not to spread false information whenever possible.