Thursday night one of my publishers sponsored a Rally Against Censorship in Houston, Texas at the Woodlands Marriott. It was outstanding, with easily 300+ attendees and some fantastic speakers. For the Defiance Press authors, it was our first chance to ever meet face-to-face and share some of our experiences. You may think it is no big deal, but it is rare that publishers bring their authors together.
The speakers were engaging. Constitutional expert Robert G. Bernhoft talked about censorship and how the media often gets it wrong. We have all been conditioned to believe that you can’t yell “fire!” in a crowded theater. As it turns out, that isn’t the legal standard at all, despite what CNN’s experts like to assert. In reality there is no limitation placed on your free speech. You are responsible, however, for the results of what you do. So if you say something that causes harm, like someone being trampled in a rush out of a theater where you yelled, you are responsible for that.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio was present as well and was an interesting speaker. He talked about his long and prestigious career and his relationship with President Trump. I was moved when he said his wife had been diagnosed with cancer and that the President had called her several times to check on her, unprompted, simply out of concern. You may disagree with his politics, you may cringe at his personality, but I thought this spoke volumes of who Trump is as a person. I missed a few of the speakers because of the steady stream of people at my booth wanting to talk about Blue Dawn.
The conservatives that turned out were wonderful people. The hotel was almost empty because of Covid fear, which was sad. The topic that came up with many people that stopped by and bought books was around threats of new mask mandates. While I didn’t run an official poll, it is safe to say that people are done with mandates, restrictions, and everything connected with crippling our economy. Suffice it to say, the good people of Texas are through with government mandated fear.
The evet was a chance for the authors to meet each other and find ways to support each other. I got to spend some time with Mark Greathouse, one of my favorite western authors. I have a lot of reading to do now including Tanner Roberts 101 Tips To Be A Radical Liberal (which looks hilarious), Justin Sheffield’s MOB VI about his time in the Navy Seals, Elizabeth Jeffett’s books, and Daniel Miller’s Texit. More on these books as I finish reading them!
The topic that brought us together was censorship, specifically, censorship against conservatives. Censorship comes in many forms. As it turns out, I am not the only author that has people out there attempting to intimidate and harass them. Threats against conservative authors are quite real. Sheriff Joe, at the age of 89, has had threats against him which is sickening. Some book chains will not carry our books, not because of their content, but because they refuse to carry conservative titles.
When Blue Dawn launched there was a ‘hiccup’ with Amazon.com canceling the Kindle pre-orders. What I learned was that this little glitch was not uncommon with Amazon and other distribution outlets. Because Defiance is a conservative publisher, Big Tech likes waging what I call, “Monkey Warfare” with our titles. Sometimes they disappear on web sites for days at a time. Other times, the price of a book mysteriously jumps to $800 a copy. Positive reviews that say nothing political are flagged and not posted because they don’t meet community standards. Big Tech is waging a war with conservatives authors and publishers out there to make sure that our stories don’t get told.
Hearing the stories of this suppression at the rally should have been disheartening, but with it did do is fill us with a stern resolve. David Thomas Roberts, the founder of Defiance Press spoke to us the morning after the rally and really inspired us to come together as a group and not succumb to the whining and sabotage of the extreme left. Adding to that, when I heard about some of the new titles that are coming, I have to admit, I was pretty excited and many of you will be too. It was an energizing event.
Thanks goes out to Defiance Press for bringing us together. I encourage you to go to Defiance’s site https://defiancepress.com/ and purchase a good book from a great team.