Freedomof Speech Should be availed to all Groups
Protected by the “First Amendment,” freedom of speech is therequisite condition of practically other liberties (ACLU 1 Shapiro9). In fact, as the underpinning of a vibrant democracy, the freedomis indispensable for the development of other liberties, as withoutit, other basic rights would wane away. In this regards, the freedomof speech should be the bedrock of every society’s mission andundertaking (Hughes 8 Stanford University 2). However, the existenceand development of the right depend on other rights and processes ina democratic society. People should defend free speech and refuse allmanners and motifs of repression, but such repudiations should hingeon a common good (Shapiro 7). In this regards, all groups shouldenjoy the freedom of speech largely. Freedom of speech issignificant, but if unchecked, some groups would spew hate and untoldsufferings to other groups. However, limiting the freedom of speechto certain groups would make the right meaningless in fact, thefreedom should apply to all groups (Stanford University 2 Witte andNichols 17). In this regards, the right should be indivisible denythe right to one group, and all groups suffer, and extend them to onegroup and all groups remain protected. As such, the discourseprovides that freedom of speech should be availed to all groups toprotect them and allow them to voice their ideas as well as ensurethat people express themselves freely to give the public the right toknowledge.
Any form of censorship or constraint to a certain group in thedevelopment of the freedom of speech is wrong as it stultifies theamount of principles and ideas that people can pose, understand,challenge, and adopt. In this regards, governments should avail thefreedom to all groups in order to ensure that people hearinexhaustible opinions and ideas (Reader 499 Friendly 11). In fact,people’s right to a body of knowledge based on the opinion or ideapoised is as imperative as their liberty to express those ideasthus, the world becomes autonomous and aligned to safe values whenstates allow tangential discourses. In Sudan, Iraq, Syria, andAfghanistan, among other countries, less than 30% of people enjoy thefreedom of speech, which has greatly hampered the decision-making andgovernance in these countries (Massaro and Stryker 375). No matterthe expressed ideas, all groups should have the right to speak ormake discourses in which they express their philosophies, as thisgives the public a chance to hear different opinions. In fact,research shows that the exercise of the freedom in most countries hasimproved economic and political situations, for instance, in mostAfrican countries. In addition, countries such as Vietnam, Burma, andCambodia have used brutal force in cracking down bloggers, which hassignificantly led to oppression of other groups as well as limitingpeople’s development to knowledge (Massaro and Stryker 375 Reader501). Some people argue that governments should limit the freedom toprotect the majority, but this often results in the oppression of thepeople as well as little activism by people. In fact, people hold thepower of states thus, all groups should enjoy the freedom of speech.
Research shows that people living in countries that limit the freedomof speech have little democracy and do not enjoy other rights largely(Massaro and Stryker 375). The Supreme Court’s decision of 1969case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, which sustained free speech forKu Klux Klan points to the importance of the speech to all groups(ACLU 10 Gamreklidze 6). In fact, a 2013 study shows that 47% ofAmericans regard, the freedom of speech as the most significant formof liberty against other liberties such as religion (10%), right tovote (5%) (First Amendment Center 3). However, some people wouldopine that giving the right to these groups would result to hatespeech, but such an assertion fails to consider that the “FirstAmendment” protects ‘Hate Speech’ while 70% of Americanssupport freedom of speech to all groups even when it is highlyoffensive (Friendly 11). However, some people may assert statesshould limit the freedom of speech to certain groups, but this wouldonly lead to more rallies and the development of anarchy anduprising. Recent uprising in Libya and Egypt shows how people canresult in revolutions when denied the liberty of speech.
The US Constitution as stated earlier protects the freedom of speechto all groups, except when it acts as a form of coercion likely tostimulate terror of physical harm. The liberty of speech is asignificant societal value, thus, its extension to one group allowsthe protection of all group. For example, ACLU (American CivilLiberties Union) has constantly defended the rights of such groups asNeo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, Cross Burners, and White Supremacists sincelimiting the liberty of speech to these groups would oppress them,deprive them off their right of expression, and let them suffer(Witte and Nichols 17). In fact, countries such as Russia and Chinahave used group liberal regulations to oppress minority rather thandefend them. In fact, ACLU has repeatedly asserted that availing theliberty of speech to groups such as Neo-Nazis, allow people tounderstand the significance of a truly principled defense ofexpression, even when people deride the speech (Crawford and Pilanski842). In this regards, governments across the world have used liberallaws as aforementioned to oppress minorities and limit theirpolitical influence.
The freedom of speech is the most imperative liberty that a state canavail to people (First Amendment Center 3). Allowing all groups toenjoy the liberty means protection of people from forms of libel andcensorship. In fact, no government should extend the freedom to onegroup but fails to extend the freedom to other groups as this leadsto revolutions, oppression, and development of extremist groups tochallenge the government of the day, as seen in Iraq, North Korea,and Syria (Crawford and Pilanski 845 Hughes 8). In addition,countries such as America with extended freedoms to all groups havehigh levels of literacy, political activism, protection of people’srights, and increased participation of people in most forums unlikecountries with poor extension of the freedom such as Somalia,Cambodia, and Sudan.
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Friendly, Fred W. The good guys, the bad guys and the FirstAmendment: Free speech vs. fairness in broadcasting. RandomHouse, 2013. Print.
Gamreklidze, Ellada. "Freedom of Speech in US Supreme CourtJustices’ Opinions: Political Speech Protection as Applied by theRoberts Court." (2015). Print.
Hughes, Philip. "Freedom of speech." Pointers:Bulletin of the Christian Research Association 25.1 (2015):8. Print.
Massaro, Toni M., and Robin Stryker. "Freedom of speech, liberaldemocracy, and emerging evidence on civility and effective democraticengagement." Ariz. L. Rev. 54 (2012): 375.Print.
Reader, Bill. "Free press vs. free speech? The rhetoric of“civility” in regard to anonymous online comments." Journalism& Mass Communication Quarterly89.3 (2012): 495-513. Print.
Shapiro, Martin. Freedom of speech: the Supreme Court andjudicial review. Quid Pro Books, 2011. Print.
Stanford University. "Communism and Computer Ethics."Communism: Censorship and Freedom of Speech. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
Witte, John, and Joel A. Nichols. Religion and the Americanconstitutional experiment. Westview Press, 2011. Print.