Journalist on The EdgeCensorship by a politically correct government, mainstream media, and Big Tech entities like Twitter and Facebook are increasingly taking control over what we can and cannot say or write. Studies reveal Americans enjoy less freedom of speech today than at any other time in our history. This is especially true for journalists who engage in controversial social/political discourse. We might be better disposed to throw in our Bic pens and avoid being savaged, censored, even physically assaulted for daring to express a contradictory opinion that might offend any constituency down to the neighbor’s poodle.

A true journalist must possess the curiosity and courage to seek and expose truth wherever it may lead rather than cater to a cesspool of various special interest groups. After over 40 years as a professional journalist covering everything from revolutions in Central America and wars in Asia to Occupy Wall Street in New York and rioting in city streets, I refuse to pander or ignore common sense in order to indulge the “woke” contingent of society.

There are not, for example, 100 different genders; a six-year-old child, or anyone else for that matter, cannot “choose” his gender; a man cannot get pregnant; a woman cannot marry the New York train station, as one woman claimed; a human cannot “identify” as an elephant or a gerbil; any male displaying more masculinity than a “pajama boy” is not guilty of “toxic masculinity;” you are not “racist” if you have the audacity to disagree with someone of a different skin color…

Seeking truth entails the willingness to take risks. I slept on the ground in the square in New York with the radicals of Occupy Wall Street and listened to their rabid marijuana-hazed babble about how American democracy must be destroyed in favor of Marxist “equality” and a strong central government to enforce it.

Incidentally, 40 nations throughout the world have experimented with Marxism since Karl published his Communist Manifesto in 1848; they all failed so dismally they ended up eating their canaries and dogs in order to survive.

In El Salvador I was part of a patrol ambushed by revolutionaries seeking to install a communist government.

I hopped freight trains all over the U. S. one summer and lived on skid row streets and in Missions and Salvation Army facilities in order to report accurately on the condition known as “homelessness.” Which is not, I reported, as much a societal curse as it is an individual problem of drug addiction, alcoholism, mental instability, and layabouts who had rather beg and steal than work.

Daring such a conclusion readily exposed me to charges of being “insensitive” to the “homeless community.” (Note how everything from homelessness to a pack of stray dogs is now referred to as a “community.”) But truth is truth and I’ve always refused to compromise it.

All journalists should be wary of the interacting power being exerted against the First Amendment by the news and social media and government itself, along with self-censorship by journalists who withdraw from controversial topics to avoid offending the “woke community.” The publishing industry itself is undergoing a rapid and dangerous metamorphous that makes it increasingly difficult for “hate speech” to find print. “Hate speech” is anything that the so-called “cancel culture” might find offensive. Books, magazines, and numerous other publishers are fast disappearing into the ether of political correctness, thus providing less journalistic outlets for honesty and courage.

In order not to stigmatize mobs protesting “systemic racism” or any other cause promoted by “political socialist progressives,” The Associated Press (AP) distributed guidelines for reporting rioting that has erupted in cities across the nation. Riots should now be referred to as “mostly peaceful protests,” “demonstrations” or “unrest,” no matter how many businesses may be looted and torched or people assaulted or killed.

Language itself is under direct attack, as reflected in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, in which words can mean anything you want them to mean. During recent Senate hearings on the nomination of Amy Barrett to the U. S. Supreme Court, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) lectured the nominee for using the phrase “sexual preference” in regard to LGBTQ, etc. matters. The correct usage, Hirono scolded, “is sexual orientation.”

That same afternoon, online Webster’s Dictionary rushed to the head of the line to be the first to pander to the new “woke” language mandate, dutifully explaining that “sexual preference” would no longer appear in the dictionary since the term was “offensive” and “outdated.” The correct listing of “sexual orientation” would replace it.

New censorship appears everywhere. Journalist/commentator Michelle Malkin found herself suspended from Twitter, Facebook, most cable TV stations, and from much of the rest of major media for daring to suggest that Black Lives Matter rioters and looters should face consequences. A hue and cry erupted across the fruited plains: Racist! Racist!

My book Crushing the Collective: America’s Last Chance to Remain Free and Self-Governing, a treatise on how America is being flogged into Big Government and Marxism, received pages of favorable reviews on Amazon. Amazon then seemingly added a solicitation to find a reason to censor the book since it apparently conflicted with the giant tech’s social-political views: “Does the book contain inappropriate content?”

Orwell loomed like a specter’s chill when America’s “democratic socialists” proposed creating a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” the purpose of which is to punish “enemies of the state’ for free speech with which they disagree and to bridle journalists and writers who hold contradictory viewpoints. Can book burning be far behind?

In 1943, Moscow’s Central Committee released this edict: “Members and front organizations must continually embarrass, discredit, and degrade our critics. When an obstructionist becomes too irritating, label them as fascist or Nazi, or anti-Semite. The association after enough repetition becomes ‘fact’ In the public mind.”

This is precisely what is occurring today in the USA in the targeting of journalists who take risks necessary to uphold the traits of honesty, courage, truth, and integrity. All we have to do to lose what may well be the last great fight of a free society is to kowtow to pressure, give up common sense and reason and be intimidated into silent acquiescence to a society on the edge of madness and tyranny.

Charles W. Sasser is the author of over 60 published books and thousands of magazine articles in major publications.