Other Opinions

Fresno Grizzlies’ Memorial Day video was accurate – socialists are the enemies of freedom

On Memorial Day, the Fresno Grizzlies played a video in which a photo of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was displayed alongside notorious socialists such as Fidel Castro and Kim Jong Un. This strong imagery was used to depict the three as “enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries.”

The words echoed in the video were those of President Ronald Reagan, a champion of democracy and liberty who fought the deadly socialist agenda each and every day of his presidency. It is unfortunate that, 30 years later, we are still fighting this fight on our own shores.

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After the Left wasted no time in attacking the content of the video, the Fresno Grizzlies ended up apologizing for the “misleading and offensive” material. They should not have apologized, because whether Ocasio-Cortez likes it or not, the video was completely accurate — socialists are the enemies of freedom.

The fact is that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow socialist Bernie Sanders — a man who honeymooned in the U.S.S.R. — are two of today’s most prominent advocates for an immoral economic and political system that has only resulted in death, destruction and oppression. These are the experiences my parents lived firsthand in Cambodia.

What we are seeing today in socialist countries such as Venezuela, in addition to past regimes in Cuba and the Soviet Union, is that there is no freedom — plain and simple. Many of the things Americans take for granted such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and economic freedom simply do not exist under socialist regimes.

It turns out that the individual responsible for finding this video and playing it on Memorial Day had not watched the entire video, meaning they were not aware it had political undertones that would cause controversy. Yet, that hasn’t stopped The Washington Post from calling for this individual to be “identified, named and fired.” Apparently, socialism is closer than we thought.

Even if this individual had been aware of the full content of the video, this is America. We have the right to freedom of speech. Any individual may express his or her own beliefs without fear of persecution. The more we silence other people’s words, the closer we become a socialist regime just like Venezuela, Cuba, and the Soviet Union.

In today’s political climate, those on the left seek to silence or completely censor any thought, idea, expression, or word that does not reflect their own personal beliefs — and that is incredibly dangerous. After the video played at the game, major sponsors such as Sun-Maid and Heineken pulled their sponsorship of the Grizzlies.

Let that sink in. They silenced the criticism of socialism – not thinking for one second how dangerous any expression of support for socialism would be.

With socialism gaining popularity, especially among millennials, we need to start calling out socialism for what it is — the enemy of freedom. Last I checked, America stands for freedom and that’s what the men and women who serve in our military fight for every day. We must not be afraid to stand up for an individual’s right to free speech, even when we don’t agree with it, or else we will lose one of the most important things our country is founded on — freedom.

Make no mistake about it, socialism is coming to America, and it is clear that those who criticize it, even accidentally, will be silenced. We need to speak up now — before we are no longer allowed to speak.

Elizabeth Heng is a small-business owner in Fresno who was a Republican candidate for Congress in 2018.