Not so long ago, this word was rarely applied to America but lately censorship is being encouraged. Open debate and discussion about the potential harmful effects of the COVID shot (notice I didn’t use the term vaccination) are merely the tip of the iceberg. Voting processes, school curriculum, homelessness, critical race theory, black lives matter, gun ownership, crime statistics, unemployment, and many more. More subjects become taboo since discussions create divisiveness. The search for answers is forgotten, the quest for viable solutions based on critical review of the facts is gone. It is replaced with either for or against.
It is a problem that will get worse. Much worse. When you stifle debate, you severely wound innovation.
It is a simple extension, if a person can’t, or shouldn’t, voice concerns about “x topic”, why should they voice concerns about any other process, activity, or potential improvement. Now, to suggest a discussion is heresy. We are slowly, faster in some places, moving towards a society where disagreement is feared. Once upon a time, Religion and Politics were topics to be avoided, but this has expanded from politics to policy. The two are very different.
Sports is a great example. It was once an escape for many of us. It was a mechanism to marvel and applaud the athleticism of various athletes. Now, sports are embroiled in politics and divisiveness. It is not just one sport but has spread to others, both paid and amateur. I have an inkling of consideration, but little more, for the amateur athletes who use their platform as a bully pulpit. Use the interview process to voice the social areas you support, but don’t use the award platform. I have no problem stripping those that do of the achievement, it could be built into the rules. The pros have both the money and media access to project any message. If their boss doesn’t care, I don’t have to buy a ticket. Life can’t be legislated. It is impossible to create rules for each situation, at some point common sense, decency and money should be evaluated. If the person receiving the benefit can’t play by the rules, they can leave. If the organization is unworthy, leave it and find one with similar values.
All people should be worried about censorship. A great strength of this country is its ability to innovate. If that is taken away, or damaged, a significant asset is removed. This openness and ability to disagree is healthy. It forces people to defend an idea or rework it to accommodate initial shortcomings. With the potential threat of repercussions many people will simply be silent and eventually those that do want to engage will learn the cost is not worth the price.
Companies spend a lot of money trying to create a workplace environment where communication is open. Suggesting certain topics, either through actions, rules, or silence are off limits is a slippery slope and can only lead to an ever-increasing list of topics. It may make the workplace a bit more homogeneous but it will also make it more bland and less interesting. People want to learn and engage and while this new “safer” work space may help a few who have never faced open criticism, on the whole, it severely impedes exploration.