From the opening sentence of the essay, “We are free to be you, me, stupid, and dead”, Roger Rosenblatt hones in on a very potent and controversial topic. He notes the fundamental truth that although humans will regularly shield themselves with the omnipresent first amendment, seldom do we enjoy having the privilege we so readily abuse be used against us.
Freedom of speech has been a controversial issue throughout the world. Our ability to say whatever we want is very important to us as individuals and communities. Although freedom of speech and expression may sometimes be offensive to other people, it is still everyone’s right to express his/her opinion under the American constitution which 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 the press”. Although this amendment gave people the right express thier opinions, it still rests in one’s own hands as how far they will go to exercise that right of freedom of speech.
According to Roger Rosenblatt “since free is the way people's minds were made to be”, freedom of speech is important to speak one's mind in a way that expresses his/her opinion even if this opinion does not seem to convince others. In my opinion, without freedom of speech, the United States would have failed to be such a powerful country as it is today.
. Although your opinions might disagree with others, you still have the right to voice them. For example, Roger Rosenblatt indicated that when a basketball player for the Denver Nuggets, was suspended from the league because of his religious conventions that stopped him from playing in the league. It was then argued that it was not the league’s right to suspend the basketball player even if his opinion was offensive to others, but he still had the religious freedom to express his opinions as stated in the American constitution.
Another example of a potential abuse of free speech from the essay is when pitcher John Rocker stated that he did not want to “ride New York City's Number 7 subway with all those single moms, queers, and illegal aliens” (Rosenblatt). Although such a speech from a famous baseball player, may sound racist and offensive to many people. John Rocker still had the right to say express his opinion.
While what one says to another may not always be positive in tone, one will always have the right to say it. As Roger Rosenblatt pictured freedom to be a legal drug in a way that can have negative and positive aspects, I believe that one should use that right to come up with positive things, as opposed to comments drenched in negativity. They are counterproductive and incite only anger and frustration. That is not to say that criticism is not without its merit, as it would be foolhardy to argue otherwise. However, I believe that one can criticize and still demonstrate respect, which is what I and others should always aim to do.