Freedom of Speech, Hate Speech, & Talk Radio
What is Freedom of speech? Well, the definition for freedom of speech is the ability to speak freely without being subject to censorship or without fear of retaliation from a governing body. There are at least two documents, the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that acknowledge that free speech is an unalienable right and protect it for all. There is another form of speech that may or may not be protected, depending on the circumstances, under the same documents and that is hate speech. Some of the limitations that are put in place by Government, employers, and educational facilities are a violation of what freedom of speech is really about, being able to freely speak your mind, but are necessary to protect the rights and liberties of other individuals.
The freedom of speech is a very powerful right that is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Our Founding Fathers set the stage when they wrote the Declaration of Independence by stating that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” (Choices, 81). One of these liberties and unalienable rights was the Freedom of speech. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was ratified in December 15, 1791, states that:
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.
Yet since that time there have been laws, rules, and regulations to exactly what, where, and when we can speak freely, which can be consider abridging the freedom of
References: Congress (1776) The Declaration of Independence, Choices: About Freedom and Justice Concepts, (pp 81 -85), Pearson Custom Publishing (2008) Boston, MA. Hate speech. (n.d.) Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1), Retrieved July 12, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hate speech Limburg, V., (n.d.) US Broadcasting Policy, Fairness Doctrine, Retrieved July 14, 2009 from http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/F/htmlF/fairnessdoct/fairnessdoct.htm Nation, The., (2009) Patricia J. Williams Columnist, Author Bios, Retrieved July 12, 2009 from http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/patricia_j_williams Spiceland, D., (1992) The Fairness Doctrine, The Chilling Effect, and Television Editorials, Appalachian State University, Retrieved July 13, 2009 from http://www1.appstate.edu/~spicelnd/fairdoc.htm Uelmen, G., (unknown) The Price of Free Speech: Campus Hate Speech Codes, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Retrieved July 13, 2009 from http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v5n2/codes.html United Nations (1948) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, retrieved July 11, 2009 from http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ Williams, P., (1994) Hate Radio, Choices: About Freedom and Justice Concepts, (pp 232 - 239), Pearson Custom Publishing (2008) Boston, MA.