The First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The first amendment states that all US citizens have the right to be able to say whatever they want: Freedom of Speech. However today one question is on everyone's mind, "should they?".
When America was first being structured the founding fathers wanted a set of guidelines that they could follow and can use for future generations, the Constitution. The first amendment they chose to start with was Freedom of Speech. Why?
When Great Britain was still in charge of the United States no one was allowed to talk bad about the king and if they did, bad things happened. This gave the press and others a hard time at saying what everyone was thinking (the king is trash). Consequently, the founding fathers decided that they would allow anyone including the press to give their opinions on the leadership of America. This gave the people the opportunity to hold future leaders accountable for their actions. If a president was doing something stupid they could say "hey the president is doing something stupid" with no legal consequences. This was a great way to give the people opportunities to help tell the leaders what they needed from them.
Fast forward to 2018, and now many are questioning the first amendment (and the second). We see how many are using the power of the first amendment to say harsh things about certain groups of people. We see many citizens calling other citizens degrading names. Unfortunately, they are allowed to do that. Due to all the hate speeches, many institutions are trying to limit freedom of speech.
Many colleges do not allow anyone to come on campus to rally or give speeches. Some colleges will allow it after you get approved, but sometimes if it's a hate speech then they will not allow it. Colleges such as MTSU will allow anyone to come on campus to speak about whatever as long as you put in the proper paperwork. For example every year during the spring semester a man comes on campus to yell at students "you're all sinners". MTSU allows it unless he calls out certain students. However, if he doesn't then he can stay as long as he wants.
Social media sites have started banning people based on what they talk about. YouTube has started being one of the most dominant sites that participate in blocking hate videos. Recently InfoWars has been banned from posting any videos due to its racist conservative views and conspiracy theories. Many other racist videos have been taken down also. YouTube has been praised for their choice to do so, but it has also been criticized because many believe that it is stripping citizens from their first amendment.
With all the hate speeches and harmful racist comments the question of “should we limit freedom of speech" is being bounced around constantly in society. Many believe that we need to limit what people can and can't say while others believe that it's their right to be able to say what they want.
What do you think?