This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Freedom Of Speech In America And Its Limits

2983 words - 12 pages

Like most democratic nations in the world, the United States has had its own fair share of issues with hate speech. There has been a lot of controversy over whether hate speech should be regulated. In analyzing the concept of free speech, one cannot ignore that it does not occur in a vacuum. There have been all types of debasements ranging from ethnic, religious, racial and gendered stereotyping. Freedom of speech inherently includes all other fundamental human rights. Hence, as acknowledged through natural rights, other rights and personhood should adamantly be included within this scope of this protection. Hate speech is a limit on free speech, as it not only puts the victim under deliberate psychological and physical harm, but also silences them, and hence to prevent hate speech one needs to foster free speech.
Freedom of Speech is a human right. It is an extension of our autonomous nature and action. Free speech is about everyone having a level platform, not privileging any one voice above others. It is a right for everyone, not only those who have the loudest voices or sound most eloquent but a freedom to which all should have access. It means that everyone is given an equal weight when getting their ideas across. The point of free speech in a democracy is to allow progress and give citizens an opportunity to question authorities in ways that benefit society. Dissent is welcome in free speech; there is no wrong answer in the way one expresses oneself, as long as one does not bridge others’ rights to do the same. When addressing issues of hate speech, the right to insult someone is not what is in question. It is the fact that hate speech silences the others showing obvious disempowerment of the other in ways that they could not respond. The problem with hate speech is it restricts free speech.
Hate speech restricts free speech because this particular form of speech is ingrained in emotions and as a result is irrational and destructive. Hatred is blind inveterate anger. There is no intrinsic value in hate speech since it does not lead to the development of society. Victims of hate speech are silenced daily, “intimidated and subject to severe psychological and physical trauma by racist assailants who employ words and symbols as part of oppression and subordination.” The intent of hate speech is never to continue a conversation but to end it. Hate speech is neither mere offense of the other, nor the expression of dissatisfaction with people. Offending one another is the price of free society, but that is not what is in question. According to Mari Matsuda, hate speech is a racist speech that has to with “perpetuation of violence and degradation” of minorities. It is unjustifiable freedom that curbs others liberty by stifling their views. It relies on false facts, ignorance and bigoted ideas. As Matsuda contends, even though hate speech does not curtail all speech, it does “inhibits some expression.” Outside the context of hate...

Find Another Essay On Freedom of Speech in America and Its Limits

Freedom of Speech in Cinema

1014 words - 4 pages , in itself, an American pastime. Freedom of speech, as provided by the First Amendment, has fertilized the growth of cinema, and, in kind, the history of film has proven that free speech is easily applied to many media platforms, protective of controversial content, and accessible to all Americans, regardless of cultural background. The cinema is embedded in our nation’s history, driven by our passion for the motion picture and preserved by the

Freedom of Speech in Schools

1167 words - 5 pages interferes with the school day freedom of speech does not apply. This does not make too much sense even if a school is considered a government institution. Only what that proves is that if the government can manipulate their own standards they most assuredly would. This country is built around liberty and freedom yet a student cannot wear in armband in compliance to a simple protest? This is not hurting anybody so there should have never been a

Censorship and Freedom of Speech

634 words - 3 pages fought over what is deemed right and wrong. In today’s culture, censorship oppresses everything in the media. From movies and music to television and even news stories, most of the content viewed today has been filtered one way or another. Restrictions have been in place since early societies have been established. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press, two of Americans’ basic rights, were in place in ancient societies “that existed long

Freedom of Speech and Expression

1257 words - 6 pages to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” ( Although this law is in effect, there are exceptions to policy and many other categories that are excluded from the freedom, in which the government may enact within a reasonable amount of time, place or manner restrictions on speech. According to the famous speech written by Raphael Cohen-Almagor, it states that freedom of speech is a guiding rule, one of the

freedom of speech and media

4143 words - 17 pages Introduction : Introduction : "It is important for people to learn about the freedom of speech and expression and the power of media speech in order to create a culture of media in India and to combine them to some of the most fundamental aspects of our democratic society to create a balance." Freedom of speech and expression is a natural right. The history of this freedom goes way back to when John Milton urged,�&quot

Law and Ethics in Journalism - Freedom of Speech

1594 words - 6 pages consequence of his own temerity." (Blackstone)Journalists and their associations can be called upon to defend their freedom against those who are critical of the media and its operations, which often result in a journalist being sued for defaming a person, or organisation's reputation, or hold the party up to ridicule. In the other corner, Freedom of the press is the guarantee by a government of free public press for its citizens and their associations

Freedom of Speech and Expression - Little Freedom in a Complex World

1185 words - 5 pages Little Freedom of Expression Freedom of expression, like the air we breathe, is a luxury that most people in western civilization take for granted. I know I certainly took it for granted when I was in the twelfth grade, and that presumption almost got me expelled. In Cornwall, Ontario this last December the idea of freedom of speech did more than get a young man expelled. He was forced to spend the better part of a month, including

The Expansion of Rights and Freedom in America (1865-1975)

1067 words - 5 pages the Civil Rights Movements. This era is important, because it is when freedom finally became a reality for everyone. Its also still occurring at this very minute. Reconstruction was a major changing point in people’s views of freedom, because it presented the very idea of freedom for more than just white males and laid the foundation for other movements to follow. It occurred after the Civil War from 1865 to its official end in 1877. It

The Expansion of Freedom and Opportunity in America

1414 words - 6 pages Throughout the history of America, the qualities and freedoms of life have greatly changed. Starting with the struggling settlement of Jamestown, and leading to the United States of America, a new nation led by its people, and based on radical ideals developed by the philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment. A brief journey of this freedom will be shown in the following paragraphs. In May of 1607 three small ships, the Susan Constant, the

Freedom of Speech and Expression and Responsibility

1668 words - 7 pages Freedom of Speech and Responsibility     No matter how fervently someone believes in the justice of his cause, suppression of the free exchange of ideas is failure at best or downright wrong. The power or might behind an idea does not make the idea right. Many powerful people throughout history have been wrong. Few people, if any, would judge "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" to be subversive or wrong. In 1939 Ambassador Kennedy was so

The Limits of Freedom of Expression

3227 words - 13 pages Introduction The aim of this essay is to critically examine the limits of freedom of expression. The limits or constraints of free expression, in most cases, refer to the abuse of free speech, which may cause harm or offence. The essay focuses on defining what types of expression, or more specifically, speech is regarded as the limits of freedom of expression. The essay is divided into two major parts, the evaluative and the extensive part. The

Similar Essays

Freedom Of Speech In America

903 words - 4 pages No, all speech and expressions are not free in the United States of America even though government tries to claim that it is. If all speech were free in America, there is no way that a coach of a football team should be allowed to tell his football players to delete their twitter accounts. In the article “Towson Twitter ban comes as legislators move to protect student freedom”, the Towson football coach says he is trying to protect his football

Freedom In America. Speaks Of T He Freedom Of Speech, Color, Religion, Cencorship Etc

2614 words - 10 pages freedom in its entirety without compromise or fear.I think Langston Hughes captures the essence of the American immigrants' quest for freedom in his poem, 'Freedom's Plow.' He accurately describes American's as arriving with nothing but dreams and building America with the hopes of finding greater freedom or freedom for the first time. He depicts how people of all backgrounds worked together for one cause: freedom.I selected Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit

America, Land Of The Free. Discusses What Would Happen If It Didn't Have The Freedom Of Press, And The Freedom Of Speech

807 words - 3 pages America, land of the free. America, a country based in many ways on the freedom of press, and the freedom of speech. But what would happen to this great country, tis of thee, if these precious rights had ceased to exist? America, the land of liberty and home of the brave, would hold a great stock of uninformed and uneducated community, ready to rise up to anarchy at any moment; a crowd of undiverse and ununified people; and a population of souls

Freedom Of Speech In Norway

1776 words - 7 pages ). Norway, like every other country had to figure out how to represent one of the most difficult and most controversial areas in relation to the limits of freedom of expression. All these things were taken into account and used to create a section of their constitution. This was done in 1996 and in it was quickly in 2002 that Norway was rated by Reporters Without Borders to be one of the number one countries with freedom of speech. Due do to past filled