Trampling Free Speech

By Nigel French

Signs of protest were everywhere. The streets were full of graffiti, “modified” billboards and bus shelter ads, stickers, flags, buttons, and t-shirts. There was little hospitality for the RNC. Except, that is, for the guy in the wheelchair chanting, “Bush stay here,” as I passed in my “Bush Go Home” t-shirt. I was tired and tongue-tied, and the best I could do was flip him the bird by way of response. “Oh, very articulate…” he said, the rest of his words lost in the noise of 7th Avenue. But I had no interest in dialogue or debate, which is sad. I feel this country is so polarized that I have nothing to say to “those people,” and I doubt they have anything to say to me.