ENWR105 Essay1

Submitted By jesswowski
Words: 1245
Pages: 5

Jessica Karwowski


Professor Handley

February 11, 2015

The First Amendment

For a while now, there has been a considerable amount of quarrel involving the First Amendment. Many people of the United States believe that “hate speech” and political incorrectness should not be protected under the First Amendment because they believe it can ultimately entail violence and disturbance. Some believe that it is difficult to fathom the First Amendment when it guarantees the freedom of religion; meanwhile a certain religion may allow people to commit unlawful and devious acts. The First Amendment assures freedom of religion, freedom of speech and press, and the right to assemble and petition the government. There are ways in which we can iron out these issues and balance the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. It is extremely vital for the First Amendment to be upheld unconditionally. Allowing censorship of hate speech would not only take away our rights and freedoms, but would also put a restriction on our personal opinions and beliefs. In order to prevent religious groups from petitioning the government to legislate their beliefs, it is important that there stays a strict separation between church and state. There has been an immense amount of debate regarding “hate speech” and whether the First Amendment should protect this form of speech. In essence, placing regulations upon hate speech is telling people that their opinion or belief is erroneous and is downright violating our given rights. Yes, it is unfortunate and poignant that people make vulgar and insensitive comments that may offend others, but how can we make someone’s opinion illegal? This would be violating our given right of free speech. For example, in recent years, many universities have felt pressured to respond to the overwhelming amount of students who were objects of hate. In response, many of these universities have endorsed policies banning speech that offends any group based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stated, “That's the wrong response, well-meaning or not. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive its content. Speech codes adopted by government-financed state colleges and universities that amount to government censorship are in violation of the Constitution. And the ACLU believes that all campuses should adhere to First Amendment principles because academic freedom is a bedrock of education in a free society” (Hate Speech On Campus). . Hate speech is a form of speech regardless, therefore it is protected under the First Amendment. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech”. Therefore, we would certainly be violating the First Amendment by censoring hate speech. Censoring hate speech and creating codes and policies against it will not solve the problem. This is only creating a quick temporary fix and will not socially change anyone. The real problem is bigotry. Rather than coming up with quick fixes that do not help or solve the actual problem, there are other ways in which the problem can be resolved (Hate Speech On Campus). As for those who believe that hate speech and political incorrectness leads to violence, yes, it certainly can—but responsibility comes with freedom. Though it may lead to violence, we cannot silence the people. The Charlie Hebdo attack proves that with freedom of speech, comes great responsibility. Charlie Hebdo was a French satirical newspaper that would often publish articles that would mock several religions and groups. They published several cartoons mocking and lampooning Muhammad. This offended Muslim people and lead to an attack in Paris, killing eleven people (Charlie Hebdo Shooting). Charlie Hebdo was practicing free speech and expression. The people killed that day, died for their rights. On September 5th,