The owner of the Sardine Can bar fired an employee for making a racial comment to a crowd, Fox News reported March 25. The employee said that black people were not allowed. The owner expressed embarrassment in their apology to the public.

This employee’s values and actions did not coincide with her workplace’s, and she was fired as a result.

There is usually set standards and values that come with a job that potential hires should know of. Often, you are not representing just yourself but many of the places or organizations you are involved with as well. But what if an individual were to make such a comment in some other environment? The workplace is one unique situation, but what would have happened elsewhere?

We at Scroll believe that, while individuals should be respectful of and kind to others, everyone has a right to believe, think and say what they want.

If one were to say some rude, demeaning comment at a place of business, people would be offended and probably leave. However, just because the majority doesn’t agree with one person’s views, doesn’t mean they can’t voice those views. Whether they should or not is a different question, but they do have a right to their opinion even if seemingly appalling or distorted.

Take Westboro Baptist Church for example, a group that has raised much controversy for voicing their opinions. Many people consider the WBC’s views to be harsh, crude, and hateful. Now we’re not saying it’s not, but they do have a right to believe what they want — even if we ourselves believe it’s wrong.

And people have spoken out against them, which they have a right to do as well. There are better ways the WBC could go about in voicing their views, but everyone is allowed an opinion of their own.

Recently, an acquaintance asked me if I think I have the right to judge someone’s character if they have a tattoo. I replied that although I don’t do that or believe anyone should judge someone for having a tattoo because there is more to someone than their appearance, for everyone has free will to think what they want. We at Scroll believe the same: we shouldn’t harshly criticize others’ way of thinking and shouldn’t force our beliefs on others at the same time. We can voice our beliefs, but people are free to think whatever they choose.

Besides, we can share our own opinions all the same. I don’t think judging someone’s character based on their blemishes is right personally; I try and show that by example or by speaking out about it.

Try not to be so critical of people who are quick to judge or have questionable views in your eyes (even if you don’t agree with their choice to do so), for you are free to express your opinion to such people. Just because someone believes something doesn’t automatically give it merit — just as they are entitled to their opinion, you are entitled to disagree, agree or remain neutral with that opinion.

In general, stating your opinion can always come with risks. Your job may not be on the line, but, because others also have opinions of their own, you can be challenged or judged. Not to discourage you but just be aware these are possible outcomes to believing, thinking and voicing your views.

We at Scroll believe in freedom, the freedom to think and believe what we chose to. Everyone is entitled to having an opinion; if someone is expressing an opinion you don’t agree with, you too can make yours known. Don’t be afraid to speak up but be aware of your circumstances and environment — think before you speak. Sometimes people can offend others with what they say, but that is part of life. Having opinions is inevitable, but do what you think is best and exercise discipline and wisdom in deciding which ones you voice.