Freedom of speech or expression is an enshrined right placed within the Bill of Rights. That said, recently there have been way to many occurrences by those that see it as an anachronism. A simple web search will turn up more instances than I can possibly cite for reference but you are free to do so if you wish.
Having said that, I believe that the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights is a complete package. You can’t pick and choose which parts you will support, and those which you will not. They, each right, support one another. Bust the package, and you break the whole thing.
Does this mean that you can’t yell “fire” in a theater? Well, if the place is in fact on fire then I would submit that giving warning about it is in fact a civic duty. Does it mean that members of, by example the Ku Klux Klan or the New Black Panthers can spread what they consider to be legitimate ideology? Yes, it does, like it or not.
If we as a people allow one group to be silenced then any group can be subjected to the same treatment. Think about it.
Free Speech for some:
Former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo was recently invited to the University of North Carolina to share his views on U.S. immigration policy and tuition subsidies. Even before he began his talk in a UNC classroom on April 14, protesters stood with signs and banners, shouted obscenities and otherwise behaved rudely.
Just a few minutes into his speech, when Tancredo made a reference to illegal immigrants, demonstrators moved to the front of the room, blocking the audience’s view of Tancredo with a banner that read: “No one is illegal.” Seconds later, one of the protesters broke a window. University security officers, standing by, shut down the event.
That was it. The speech was vetoed by uncivil, violent dissenters intent on denying Tancredo’s willing audience their right to hear his message.
An angry, chanting mob at UNC labeled Tancredo a racist and a radical. He’s most certainly neither. He’s opposed to illegal immigration, regardless of race. And there’s hardly anything radical about securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws. What is radical in this instance is the behavior of these student demonstrators and their implicit notion that the U.S. should have open borders.
Their beef that “no one is illegal” is an offense to liberal, politically correct phraseology. So let’s rephrase it. The immigration status of people who cross our borders or remain in this country without the permission of our government is illegal. There, is that better?
If you treasure our Constitution’s guarantee of your individual right to freedom of speech, you must necessarily extend that protection to others — including those with whom you disagree. You must also take the risk that other people will listen to them, just as you want people to listen to you. If you refuse to make such allowances, your hypocrisy undermines the fundamental principle of free speech and endangers its very existence.
The First Amendment is not absolute in any of its applications, from speech to religion to assembly. Libelous speech is not protected; religious freedom does not extend to human sacrifice; and freedom of assembly doesn’t give you license to trespass on someone else’s property. But one’s free speech cannot legally be muzzled simply because someone else disapproves of it.
How ironic that left-wing college activism was launched at the University of California- Berkeley in the 1960s as the “Free Speech Movement.”
For today’s college lefties, free speech is a one-way street. They justify this double standard with an arrogant, self-absorbed, self- righteous belief that the ends justify the means, that they alone have a monopoly on truth, and that heretics cannot be tolerated. The broken glass that halted Tancredo’s speech is a symbolic flashback to the forebears of these UNC student thugs: the SS and Hitler Youth gangs that terrorized Jews. The violence is only different in degree. Student lefties have pushed pies in the faces of conservative speakers on campus. On principle, that is no less an affront to the First Amendment than clubs or guns.
These militant brats childishly call others “fascists” without understanding the meaning of the term while behaving like fascists themselves. But even more inexcusable is the complicity of grownups, those feckless university administrators responsible for protecting dialog and inquiry at centers of higher learning who allow students to stifle free speech.
Silent protest at PC marks Tancredo talk in contrast to the pure thuggery above.