Sample English Paper on Free Speech in United States
Free speech has become an issue of discussion in the United States primarily because whereas there some provisions that support free speech, most of the people who use these provisions have used them to antagonize some members of the society. In light of the constitutional provision that people should be offered the right of free speech, it has become apparent that some members of the society have used this right to inflict damage to some members of the society which have results. This article will look into three articles associated with the concept of free speech in America and highlight how this constitutional right has been abused by some people at the cost of some members of the society.
On Racist Speech
In his article, Lawrence asserts that hate speech in the United States is not acceptable on the basis that it manifests itself in how free speech is actually restricted. In this respect, hate speech is represented as playing a critical role in suppressing the voice of minorities which subsequently leads to the minorities being excluded from the concept of free exchange of ideas. However, the free exchange of ideas should be promoted by the right to free speech (Lawrence 435). The thesis of this article is that suppressing hate speech plays a critical role in suppressing the minorities’ ability to benefit from free exchange of ideas.
Lawrence begins off by examining the landmark case titled Brown v. Board of Education. Through this case, Lawrence identifies the fact that the case holds important sentiments of equal protection under the constitution in the history of the United States. In this respect, everybody should be entitled the right of being a participating American and that the segregation of education undermined this ideal. He then argues that hate speech has been responsible for the restriction of minority groups participating in social issues which leads to the sentiment that it should be legislated against. However, the way that the laws are applied does not reflect on their intended purpose of ensuring that people are afforded the right to social participation.
The speed bumps of understanding this article is highlighted through the fact that the writer has used historical facts that reflect on the development of the constitution and some landmark cases. However, it is important to note that the author has also used good language and choice of words that enhances the understanding of this article. This enables the reader to fully understand the perspective of the writer and at the same time ensure that the primary theme and message are delivered effectively.
Protecting Freedom of Expression on the Campus
Derek Bok’s article revolves around an event where two students at Harvard University hang confederate flags where members of the public could see the flags. This event had a tremendous impact of the entire university. In this article, Bok questions whether it is really plausible for students to have truly the right of freedom of speech at the campus. The thesis of this article is that the freedom of speech is very complex in the United States as a whole and there is no real stability of freedom of speech in the contemporary society.
In this article, the writer highlights some of the facts that have been argued at Harvard University in regards to the freedom of speech. In his article, he poses the question of the amount of freedom that the students are afforded to university campuses. It is important to note that the two students who hung the confederate flags at their dorms were greatly criticized within the university and by the society at large. People could not comprehend why people who are recognized as the elite of the society could do such an appalling thing. From this action, the society started reflecting on how much freedom of speech the students had and the students and the administration started arguing on what should be prohibited because it was overly offensive. In this respect, the author argues that although freedom of speech should be afforded to students, there are some things that are off putting and they should not be allowed in the school.
Although the article has various obstacles to understand, it is important to note that the tone and application of logos, pathos, and ethos have played a critical role in ensuring that the reader fuller understands the concept and theme of the story. However, the speed bumps of understanding include using some choice words that the reader needs to understand in order to get the concept of freedom of speech.
Thinking Further about Freedom of Expression and Facebook
The author of this article highlights the issues that resulted after a student disagreed with the approach of a student and posted a Facebook stage that told off the teacher and even invited friends to comment about the teacher and why they disapprove of her. However, the primary question that is posed by the article is whether Facebook should be considered a place where free speech is allowed or it borders on cyber-bullying which is has been identified a legally prohibited practice across many countries around the world. The thesis of this article is highlighting to what extent social media posts should extend their freedom of speech.
Social media has been noted for its influence in the society. The fact that people can post anything on social media without facing any consequence has brought the use of social media usage to the limelight of social debates. There are beneficial uses of social media such as for informational and educational purposes that have helped many people to learn new things and even agitate for political change in their countries. However, this technology when used by ill-intentioned people has been known to have very dire consequences including people who have committed suicide due to cyber bullying. In this respect, people who use social media need to restrain themselves even though the country has allowed free speech. Just like the law applies to hate speech, libel, and incitation, the constitution should protect people from being injured, either emotionally or physically, through messages sent through mass media.
As these articles, have shown, free speech intends purposes and their application have very different influences on the society. Whereas law abiding citizens could use free speech for socially constructive purposes, there are people who use social media just to antagonize other members of the society which has been noted for its dire consequence. People should be aware of the consequences of the messages they send to the society through the provisions of the right to free speech. This is particularly important in the contemporary society where people are offered a variety of avenues of expressing themselves and where they may hind their identities and at the same time perpetrate heinous acts that have severe consequences to the society.
Lawrence, Charles R. “If he hollers let him go: Regulating racist speech on campus.” Duke Law Journal 1990.3 (1990): 431-483.