Ever Since The Establishment Of The First Amendment, There Seemed

1276 words - 5 pages

Ever since the establishment of the First Amendment, there seemed to be controversy, as to what point an individual can take his verbal freedoms and symbolic expressions. What might have been accepted by society fifty years ago has drastically changed and will continue to do so as our culture evolves. Likewise, our views on certain hateful phrases directed at different individuals and social groups affect us in a whole new way. Our standards have changed so much that it's nearly impossible to keep a constant law that would satisfy those supporting the First Amendment while protecting the ones degraded by it. Everyone immigrating to this country greatly appreciates the fact that you're granted with many freedoms, but how do we punish those who take those freedoms to extreme levels? What may seem as an appropriate statement to represent one's feelings about a certain issues may not necessarily be accepted by the majority. What perplexes us most is how do we create a law that will keep the delicate balance between right and wrong? According to Richard Goldstein, in his writing "Hate Speech, Free Speech and the Unspoken", he represents his perspective on the debate of banning hate speech. There are certain criteria that must be used in determining the imposing threat of "fighting speech". Some situations may require a certain degree of harsh speech, while others are just a mere example of ignorance and abuse of one's privileges. A proposed solution to this problem arises with the implication of regulating "content-neutral" speech. Content -neutral speech is a way of analyzing whether a statement is a threat merely by looking at the crime itself instead of considering words themselves as part of the speaker's motivation in premeditating his actions. Punishing an individual on the basis of what he says, rather than on the intentional relevance of his words, is unjust and jeopardizes ones rights to express personal thought because it gives too much authority to those who may take advantage of it while depriving us of basic constitutional principles initially offered by the First Amendment.Hateful speech can be expressed by a wide array of ways. Verbal expression is no less exemplary of violence than is a symbolic one. It's often hard to distinguish at which point an offensive gesture or phrase may be the cause of later violence against an individual.In the harsh years of the nineteen fifties when color separation among blacks and whites in the United States was still thriving an discourteous remark of a racist remark made by a white individual may not have been even considered offensive. In contemporary times however, the general acceptance of what is considered violent speech has altered drastically, that now we can make so many exceptions depending on a situation that we merely have a freedom of speech at all. One cannot just protect hate speech against a certain minority and not pay attention to bias remark directed at a woman trying to express her...

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