A Speakeasy in the Age of (Speech) Prohibition

In addition to my research, I draw satirical and social & political cartoons I call Saturday Morning Pam-toons (the idea being that I’d publish a new one every Saturday – which hasn’t been the case most of this year).

The following Pam-toon appeared in the September 2021 edition of the SAFS (Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship) Newsletter.

I thought this Pam-toon worth sharing as it provokes some thought about a possible autonomous effect of speech prohibitions associated with both EDI and Woke-ism: underground associations, or modern-day Speakeasies.

You can read about some of the unintended consequences of alcohol Prohibition here to get my parallel. Of course there’s a lot more to the Temperance movement and the Prohibition era than can be covered in a single resource, but the consequences, for better and for worse, of this well-intended social experiment should give pause for thought to those intent on running their own.

What fascinates me about Speakeasies was the mingling between and relative equality of rich, poor, women, men, black and white. These illicit clubs helped with the momentum and success of civil rights movements. The current Prohibition with its categories of prohibited speech are liable to create a new kind of Speakeasy. I’m curious about what kinds of solidarity movements will emerge from these hidden rooms.

Hey Sweetheart. Are you here to have a drink or to speak your mind?


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