Banning Speech Article Review Examples
Type of paper: Article Review
Topic: Rhetoric, Speech, Community, Belief, Amendment, People, Leadership, Democracy
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. That statement is inaccurate. Words can be painful. If those words lead to actions that will also hurt, the actions then become a criminal offense. Words should not be used to compel anyone else to commit crimes. The actions should be considered to be criminal and should not fall under the protection of the First Amendment. Speech should not be banned. This includes hate speech. Everyone has the right to speak their beliefs. If any form of speech is banned, it is an erosion of a basic freedom.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that Congress will make no laws to abridge the right of freedom of speech; however, this is open to wide interpretation. Some attempt to expand this from verbal speech to other methods of expression, such as decorations on their property that could be considered offensive. This includes symbols including swastikas or Confederate flags due to the imagery associated with these symbols. While people should attempt to be considerate of those around them, this is not always the case. This imagery could cause others to react violently. This leads one to wonder the true extent this covers, a question for which there are no easy answers.
The First Amendment is often used as a means of protection from hate speech. Everyone claims it is their right to express themselves and it is. There is nothing in place to indicate that anyone has a right to not be offended. People are only human. Anything someone may say or do can cause someone else to be offended. Some people are easily offended. How could it be determined whose rights outweigh the others? There has to be a way to achieve a balance.
At times, groups attempt to have certain words banned. These are words that can be hurtful. While the words are not necessarily banned, the exposure leads to awareness that these words are used in a hurtful manner and may have a derogatory connotation. This often leads to that particular word becoming used less often as societal pressure makes the use unacceptable; however, if society makes every word that can be offensive less acceptable, words that can be used will become limited. Eventually, words will lose meaning.
The libertarian approach appears to support the idealism established through the language of the Amendment while the communitarian approach is more restrictive. The libertarian approach acknowledges that the Constitution provides the basic foundation of freedoms in the U.S. and that freedom is an integral component of life. The communitarian approach provides the ability to establish rules and guidelines for use within the community. The guidelines are agreed upon and recognized as the standard for that community. When standards are established for a community, it needs to ensure that these are recognized and observed by the community as a whole. Newcomers should be advised of these standards so they can then decide if they wish to abide by those restrictions. These restrictions are in place to detail the community expectations of any individual within the boundaries of that location. When someone moves into these communities, they are agreeing to abide by these standards of conduct. That is a decision that can only be made by that particular individual.
People have their differences and should be able to express their personal opinions. If this is restricted, then the U.S. is no longer a free society. It will lead the way to other restrictions and erode the basic principles on which this country was founded. Any organization has the right to control activities within their confines, but do not have the right to dictate this control to general society. Anyone can state their opinions. These opinions are not going to be accepted by all. That does not diminish their right to their opinions, even if it is a product of hate. That is a basic right of being an American. Anything less is oppression.