Essential Restrictions on the First Amendment
Limitations on freedoms of society are crucial, especially in America. As Roger Rosenblatt noted in his essay, “We Are Free to Be You, Me, Stupid and Dead,” many people express their freedom of speech in very offensive and controversial ways. Often their expressions violate other amendments and freedoms as well.
A few examples given by Rosenblatt included acts of freedom of speech performed by professional sports players. Many believe these were just their statements of opinion and in turn, their right as an American. However, I find them offensive to say the least. One problem with their open dialect is the position they hold in society. As a public figure, representing a professional sports team, they should not be able to vocalize such ignorant thoughts. Not only do many people in America and other countries as well, idolize them, they also represent the team they are employed by. This gives the whole team a bad reputation, among others. As an American, we all equally have the right to be whomever we choose. By stating their opinions of non-acceptance, they are violating other freedoms expressed by those they offend.
In his essay, Rosenblatt made a very relevant point when he said, “Freedom is like a legal drug. How far will we go?” Limitations of our verbal freedom are not only necessary but important for our society’s wellbeing. His example of the interview with Philip Morris was a seamless example of what offends me personally about American freedoms. Rosenblatt’s question, “How do they live with themselves,” was ignorantly answered, “Quite comfortably, thanks.” Not only is it unpleasant to know the company has knowledge of the harm their product causes the society that keeps them in business, but to read their free expression of belligerent speech is downright appalling. This excerpt is one of the many examples of how free speech can only justify harsh punishment for wrong doing verbally notated....
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