The pandemic has proven that consistent access to high-speed internet is an essential good. Without it, urgent tasks like applying for unemployment, attending school, scheduling a vaccine appointment, and seeing loved ones are difficult or impossible. Those who’ve finally gotten connected during the pandemic say it provides a sense of normalcy and safety amidst crisis. Advocates of equitable access say the internet is no luxury but instead a utility like water, gas, or electricity, and that Americans like Wright shouldn’t be left behind to bridge the digital divide on her own.
We are privileged to live in a constitutional democracy with a right to free speech. We have the right to exchange thoughts and beliefs with those with whom we agree, and I believe, the responsibility to listen to those with whom we disagree.
Our country faces many challenges that concern all of us. We will meet these challenges by listening to each other with open minds and hearts and striving to find a path forward together, not by censoring the speech of those with whom we disagree.