Free Speech

Topics: First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Hate speech, University Pages: 3 (988 words) Published: February 28, 2012
Free speech is one of the most controversial and confusing of the amendments. Throw it into a college campus setting and it’s an extremely complex matter, especially when “Hate Speech” is involved. Many people have different views and definitions on what hate speech in tales, for instance in “Hate Speech on Campus”, Joseph S. Tuman, defines it as “Written or spoken words directed towards a particular group (typically although not exclusively a minority group) with the purpose or effect of verbally harassing and harming them” (413). A personal interpretation of hate speech is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. With this being said, hate speech is a form of free speech. By removing, or writing codes against hate speech on college campuses would be injustice, because it goes against our First Amendment, censorship, and hate speech codes are ineffective.
 The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive it’s content. The First Amendment states: 
 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 (Robinson 400). 
Banning hate speech will create an exception to the first amendment which slanders its meaning. To force students to refrain from using certain words would deny them the opportunity to explore the meaning of equality and understanding. Charles R. Lawrence III states, that “by protecting bad speech from government regulation, we will be forced to combat it as a community” (402). Restricting the speech of a group or an individual jeopardizes everyone’s rights because the same laws or regulations used to silence bigots can be used to silence you.
 Although hate speech can be vulgar...
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