Freedom of Speech in America

March 8, 2019

“O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” part of America's national anthem, it is a powerful reminder of what our founding fathers fought for. The first amendment was created to protect freedom of speech: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  Ultimately, all Americans have the right to freedom of speech, to publish anything in the press, and right to their own beliefs, but certain establishments are starting to change that.  
The University of Michigan published a list of words they banned for 2018 including “yeet”, ''grapple," ''optics," ''eschew,” “ghosting” and many others.  These words were chosen by students and shareholders that thought these

words were hurtful. Companies have banned words that their employees can use for good or bad. These words are being banned in the name of political correctness, but are these words getting banned capping our freedom of speech as citizens or helping to protect us.
Freedom of single speech is probably one of the most relatable amendment out there, it affects every American with a wide reach of protection. Another thing that has been having a lot of news coverage and in lots of conversations is: hate speech. Most people when arguing for the right to freedom of speech and having no words banned do not separate these questions: is hate speech real and is hate speech protected under the first amendment. According to google hate speech means “abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation.”  Many people refuse to believe that hate speech is real, but other just think that the right to free speech will come with the consequence of hate speech.  When these words are being banned is the ban really helping americans or is teaching them to be extremely sensitive and whenever there is discomfort they should we just get rid of it.  
The University of Michigan is a prime example of freedom of speech getting blocked at certain places in America, while they have banned offensive words they have also banned words like “yeet” and “crusty,” which makes no sense. Rose Harkrider agrees with the word ban saying, “Yes banning words is a good idea at schools, those words can hurt people.” Banning these words that are classified hate speech is a large step for the University of Michigan and Miguel Robayo agrees “I think you can separate hate speech from free speech to still have freedom of speech.” These words while not entirely rude can cause discomfort to some people. When freedom a free gets bogged down next to come is freedom of press.  Without freedom of press this country will turn into a echo chamber of ideas and surely not all of america will be represented. Not only will there only will there be an echo chamber of ideas but taken away freedom of press will take America one step close in the direction of total dictatorship jus like how Hitler and Stalin took the free press away. 
While offending people is definitely not ok, the right to free speech is always going to come with certain people speaking their mind which might contain offensive things. Without the right to offend how can somebody say what they are really thinking. To end with a quote: Rowan Atkinson said, “Underlying prejudices, injustices or resentments are not addressed by arresting people: they are addressed by the issues being aired, argued and dealt with preferably outside the legislative process. For me, the best way to increase society's resistance to insulting or offensive speech is to allow a lot more of it. As with childhood diseases, you can better resist those germs to which you have been exposed." 


 

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