The Extents of Speech Freedom Essay

Submitted By emacuna
Words: 793
Pages: 4

The American right to have the freedom of speech is found under the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Whether or not this is correctly being exercised is the question in today’s society. Does the federal government allow true freedom of speech to the American citizens? Shouting Fire helps the people understand that the government limits the civil liberties of the people most, in times of war and in public schools. The government also creates alternations of punishments who speak out against the government and punishes them for something other than denying their right to free speech. The government’s status in time of war can be considered more hostile than any other time. Any march, protest, or blog that degrades the government in any way is more than often dealt with immediately. For example, the McCarthyism Era and the Churchill Affair are prime incidents where the freedom of speech was cultivated and stretched. With McCarthy, he was accusing numerous teachers and people of communistic views during the Red Scare and caused a high number of intense investigations to be placed on the accused. This calling out of accusations going against the government caused national disloyalty issues. Relating to the Churchill Affair, Ward Churchill was a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and was asked to right an excerpt on what he thought the motives and intentions were with 9/11. In his excerpt, he made a statement questioning whether or not the government had something to do with 9/11 and it was not all terrorism. After gaining a lot of negative attention because of this excerpt, David Horowitz, an American conservative writer, came out with a list of “Most Dangerous Teachers” in which had the name of Ward Churchill and many others. This was a very McCarthyism characteristic. In the end Churchill was taken to trial and fired because of academic misconduct instead of punishing him for what he wrote. The freedom of speech in public schools is also an issue in the United States. The Chase Harper Homosexuality Case can portray this issue. Chase Harper created a shirt that talked negatively about homosexuals, using words like, “Be Ashamed” and used Bible verses that explicitly talked about homosexuality being shameful. Only wanting to voice his opinion and faith in a peaceful manner Harper was immediately sent to the administrative office and was suspended from school not because for what his t-shirt said, but for disrupting the learning environment of his peers. Harper fought against his punishment by saying the school had regulated his freedom of speech. He had been told by his principle that if his faith was offensive then it should be left in the car. This infuriated Chase because he could not stand the fact that he was being told he was not allowed to express his religion in ways he wanted. Once again, his peaceful protest was being taken away from him as well as his rights. The presented cases portray how the right of free speech is gradually being taken away from the American people. People come to the United States in hope for endless