Lots of HOAs have tried to ban expressions of Free Speech. Some have discovered, to their chagrin, how expensive it is to flout the Constitution by forbidding campaign signs, religious symbols in windows or Mezuzahs on door jambs. In one famous case an elderly gentleman who stopped on his lawn to talk to two elderly women was cited for holding an unlawful assembly. Cases like that go to the Supreme Court where the lawyers make hundreds of thousands of dollars.
All that being said, you have to wonder at the idiocy of city leaders in South Pittsburg, Tennessee who decided to forbid all city employees from making negative comments on social media about other city employees, or about the city itself. Criticize your government? Go to jail!
Last night I was repeatedly brought to tears by a movie called American Violet. I would recommend it to every American of every race and religion. As a TV reporter I’ve been on many police raids and I’ve (not often) but occasionally seen physical abuse of suspects that troubled me. I’ve been in courtrooms and have seen plea bargains that greatly troubled me. This movie showed me why I had reason to be troubled.
An attorney friend of mine once told me, “A right not exerted is a right soon lost.” He wasn’t the originator of the quote. But we all should claim that quote as the guiding principle of our lives. We live in a great country. Memorize your rights. Get it clear in your mind who grants you those rights. And shout your rights from the mountaintops.