“Well hey there everybody. My name’s Jake.”
The group in unison, “Hi Jake.”
“I’m from what they used to call the South. Uhh...well shoot I don’t even know where to begin. I been in recovery for going on two years now and…well…I just want to say how grateful I am. It’s been a long road for me and like many of y’all, there have been a lot of times when I doubted so many things; myself, my country, my ideas. But with the help of The Party, I’m proud to say that I stand before you today, a new man; a redeemed man.”
“You know back when The Party passed the National Anti Hate Speech Initiative, I objected. In those days I was still confused about what free speech really meant. You see I had been brainwashed by the corporate news. I had seen the destructive consequences of allowin hate speech to infect our society but like many people back then I thought that everyone had the right to speak their mind. I had been indoctrinated into the myth of ‘free speech’. I didn’t understand that what free speech really meant was that everybody had the right to speak the truth; not to lie. And that sure is a different thing ain’t it? Free speech don’t give nobody the right to lie.”
Heads nod in unison
“I can see some of y’all smilin and I have to smile myself. It seems like such a crazy thing to say now. But I honestly had been tricked by the terrorists into committin the ‘error of false equivalency’. Now there’s a fancy phrase am I right?”
“I had never even heard that term ‘false equivalency’ until I was sent here by The Party to get my mind right. I always thought that there was two sides to every argument and that each side had some fair gripes and that the way forward was compromise. But you folks know what I’m talkin about or y’all wouldn’t be here neither.”
“I mean I didn’t understand that the freedom fighters of the Fight Fascists movement, were very different from the domestic terrorists. I saw the enemy storm the Capitol but for some reason, I thought that violence on either side was bad. I didn’t realize the difference between ‘violence ‘and ‘resistance’. I had seen the Fight Fascists take a stand in the Summer of Equality Protests and the news media showed me pictures of buildings burning and people being killed; but of course now I know that any violence which happened durin those peaceful resistance protests was the work of the terrorists, tryin to discredit the Fight Fascists. But like I said, I was confused back then. I was readin all kinds of crazy anti Party propaganda on my HeadPage account and my Chirpy feed. I was watchin that old devil Coyote News Channel and lettin him pour poison in my ear. And when they finally shut down that Wylie Coyote News, let me tell you, I howled somethin fierce.”
“Course now I realize you can’t renew the license of a network dedicated to spreadin hate and lies. And when those big technology companies like HeadPage, and Chirpy, and Lookle, finally stepped up to do their civic duty, I didn’t understand. When they partnered with The Party to keep us safe and promote a socially just society by passing The United States Safe Space Reforms, that old deceiver ‘free speech’ raised his ugly head again to confuse me. Yes sir, I was real confused. Ain’t no hidin it.”
Heads nod in support
“And I’m ashamed to say that when The Party finally passed the Hate Rehabilitation Act, the law that got me saved, I let all of that pent up anger and lies burst right out of me. I went to a protes-… excuse me, I mean a ‘traitor rally’, and started hollerin and yellin about how they couldn’t force people into reeducation camps. See that’s the lies and confusion talkin. That’s what I was told to believe about the Hate Rehabilitation Homes. I was brainwashed into thinkin they were prison camps or somethin that were gonna mess with my mind.”
“But now my eyes fill with tears of gratitude as I look out on y’all. If I hadn’t of violated the hate speech laws by talkin all that crazy nonsense about ‘freedom’ and ‘rights’ and a whole lot of other malarky sold to me like snake oil by a bunch of dead white privileged men we used to call the ‘Founding Fathers’, then I never would have had the opportunity to come here. Yes sir, The Party made it real clear when they brought me before that judge. He said ‘Citizen 55x-253, you have violated seven counts of the National Anti Hate Speech Initiative. You can either spend five years in a labor camp or you can attend a two year program at your local Hate Rehabilitation Home.’ Now just think about that for a minute. The Party gave me a chance, free of charge, to get my mind right. They paid for the whole thing. But truth be told, those first few months was hard, cause I was sick and didn’t know it. I mean I wouldn’t take my medications, I made them force it on me. I consorted with bad apples that were only in the program thinkin they could game the system. I whispered in the dark with the unreformed. And let me tell you, watchin them boys get set straight weren’t easy. No sir. All that screamin, and cryin...and blood. Listenin to those poor traitors call out to God for mercy while quotin nonsense from that foolish religious book we used to think was holy.”
Heads nod in understanding
“And them terrorist girls got it rough too. Yes sir I ain’t gonna lie. Now I was raised to respect a lady, but some of them radical type girls you just can’t reach. And there was plenty of nights when the fellas on the staff would get together for a ‘group session’ with them girls and set em right if you know what I mean.”
Some eyes look away
“Yes sir...them cowgirls...didn’t talk much after that...”
A political officer clears his throat
“Anyway as I was sayin, it was rough. But after takin my medication, workin the program, and especially watchin the videos that explained real history to me, I finally found the truth I had been lookin for my whole life. Now I got nothin but love in my heart for The Party. I mean just think where I’d be without them. I can’t even imagine it. The Party gave me everything. Without The Party,
I wouldn’t know where to go.
I wouldn’t know what to do.
I wouldn’t know what to eat.
I wouldn’t know what to think.
I wouldn’t know who to be.
Without The Party I’d still be lost in a wilderness of confusion; a pawn of the domestic terrorists, speakin out against social justice; a deluded fool thinkin that people can live life however they want. And worst of all I’d still believe in that terrible lie, the greatest lie, the lie that says you can live your life without The Party, the lie that says you’re free, and that God loves you, and that you have unalienable rights; the lie that claims...
you are an individual.”
Copyright © 2017 Short Stories by Christopher Daniel Barnes - All Rights Reserved.