Topics: First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Discrimination, The Reader Pages: 3 (1218 words) Published: March 17, 2013
We live in a society where we pride individuality and staying true to who we are, but contradictingly enough we have large numbers of minorities being discriminated for being who they are. Racism being a strongly relevant issue, even in our day and time, doesn’t get dealt with as seriously as it should. Charles R. Lawrence III takes a firm stand addressing this issue arguing that racist speech should be regulated in universities rather than be protected by the first amendment. He claims that universities need to regulate racist speech in order for their students to really receive the equal educational opportunity they deserve. Getting rid of racist speech would be the only way to give all students the equal opportunity to learn and participate in their university. Lawrence makes strong claims in his argument; however, a lot of his argument is supported through his writing techniques. Charles Lawrence in his argumentative essay “On Racist Speech,” implements emotion-provoking diction, subtle figurative language and a thoughtful use of detail in order to effectively dispute the need for the regulation of racist speech. In his essay, “On Racist Speech,” Lawrence argues that universities should regulate racist speech. He points out that when racist speech involves insults, catcalls or assaultive speech, it becomes “fighting words,” which have been declared by the Supreme Court to not be protected under the first amendment of free speech. Lawrnence argues that racial insults shouldn't be protected by the first amendment anyway because, the speakers intentions aren’t to “discover the truth or to initiate dialogue, but to injure the victim”. He also says that the need for regulations on racism advocated under the university’s responsibility to offer equal educational opportunity. Students don't have the equal opportunity to learn and participate when they are crippled by the fact that at any time they could be struck with verbal harassment or assault. Lawrence offers a...
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