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May 2015

Archive for May 2015

The Sound of Being Silenced

A Message from the Executive Director
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dear Friends,

No one likes to be silenced. It is infuriating.

I personally have a strong aversion to it.

Last Thursday, at our annual Canterbury Medal Dinner, I spoke to that aversion.

I explained that initially, after my family escaped Castro’s Cuba and we settled in the United States, every night at dinnertime, we closed all the windows.

Just in case.

The “just in case” meant that we did not want our neighbors, who lived only a few feet away, to hear anything indiscreet we might say at dinner time.

In Cuba, such carelessness could land you in prison. Or worse. The government made sure one kept silent.

When we discovered that no one had to be silent in the US, we rejoiced. (Some would argue that, at times, we rejoiced in it a bit too much.)

We eagerly drank from the fountain of freedom of expression–and perhaps from a few bottles of wine–until someone was offended, or threw a plate or both.

I am happy to say that we at Becket also believe that no one should be silenced.

In fact, we believe that no American—regardless of political or religious persuasion– should have to close their windows–“just in case.”

We defend these principles in court and in the court of public opinion.

Also on Thursday, before our dinner, we hosted a number of events including a private luncheon discussion with two journalists: USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers and The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway.

Kirsten Powers—a self described liberal—also spoke about the chilling ways in which Americans are being silenced. Her book, The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech, came out on Monday. I pre-ordered and could not put it down. I so highly recommend you get a copy here.

As you know, at the dinner, we awarded the Canterbury Medal to Barbara Green, who represented a family that refused to be silenced into inaction. We celebrated their courage and their voice.


Kristina Arriaga
Executive Director