Suffering fools gladly


This past weekend I spent my Sunday morning listening to a woman declare that all non-English persons living in London were thieves and plunderers. She identified Indians, all Africans and Italians for her criticism. Not only are these people not wanted in her country, but they also have no right to be here. I have never heard more blatant bigotry and racism anywhere. However, she wasn’t hauled off in the back of a police car, nobody from the crowd of thirty or so took her around the corner for a sound beating, in fact the worst that was thrown her way were a few boos.

This is the beauty of Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. It is acceptable to be a complete fool because it is your right to speak your mind. You don’t have to agree with what’s being said, just accept that it is a person’s right to espouse whatever they like. Even though I live in the United States and freedom of speech is taken for granted, as soon as I learned of its existence I knew I had to see the people on their plastic crates for the pure symbolism of the right to express what you think without fear of prosecution.