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Anthony Martinez
Mr. Lopez
English IV
14 Dec 2015
Free Speech is a Legal Entitlement
The freedom of speech is derived from the 1st amendment of the United States
Constitution. While it is a privilege to many individuals outside of this nation, it is regarded as a
right to those that reside within the United States of America. The freedom of speech should not
be limited, for a deprivation of expression is an obvious denial of the legal entitlement the people
of this nation hold; to restrict speech is unconstitutional and absolutely un-American.
The inclusion of free speech as part of the 1st Amendment of the United States
Constitution was done in order to promote insightful speech. It is true that some will use this
right as a means of protecting hate speech; however, this does not mean that freedom of
expression should be limited. Many individuals that would incite a group of individuals through
hate speech would also be willing to argue the merit of their beliefs; this is the response that
should be elicited by any hate speech. Journalist Uri Friedman states in an article regarding the
hate speech carried out by Donald Trump, ...the best way to defeat nonsense like this is to
engage in robust democratic debate. Americans of all likes reside in a nation that promotes
discussion; rather than barring what individuals may say, any disagreement should be debated.
Many college students throughout the United States find that they have been offended by actions
committed by faculty and other members of the student body; they have since protested for their
institution to act in a manner that would limit the expression that is allowed on campus. In
response to these recent incidents, David Bordelon of the University of Texas at Austin stated,

When protesters argue they have the right not to be offended at costumes, slurs and other
offensive behaviors, they are missing an important point. They should be offended, and they
should use their right to speech to educate the offenders on why those actions are offensive.
These men concur on a resolution to an issue that has been present since the introduction of free
speech as a right; they both come to the conclusion that the answer to offensive speech is to
participate in a debate to determine the merit of each side's argument. This will educate both
parties and act as an insightful discussion as the framers intended this right to be used for.
There are many that may believe that it is right to restrict the exercise of free speech. One
such individual is Pope Francis. When prompted to speak on whether or not speech should be
limited, the Pope stated There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity in freedom of
expression there are limits. (Topping). Todd Starnes states in an article reflecting on the recent
student protests discussed earlier, [this could be] the generation that will destroy America.
Some may think of this as a very erratic statement; however, it is not. A democracy must hold
that all may participate in the form of government; if speech is limited then a true democracy
cannot be held, for not everyone will be able to voice their honest opinion. On the other side of
the spectrum, students of Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio decided to write a resolution that
supported free speech on campus with the belief that true education is impossible without an
environment where the free exchange of ideas can flourish (Chasmar). The American Civil
Liberties Union also took an unpopular position in the 1970s when it fought to allow Nazi
demonstrators to march throughout the predominantly Jewish town of Skokie, Illinois. A
document regarding this instance states, We loathe the Nazis and are disgusted by all that they
stand for. But as Americans, and especially as Jews, we recognize the paramount importance of
preserving the rights of free expression (Sixty Jewish Leaders). Again, it seems more

appropriate for any offensive speech to be challenged rather than restricted; by challenging the
dissenting group you allow the freedom of speech to prevail while engaging in an intellectual
debate to educate the public. No good comes from restricting speech and the ACLU took upon
themselves to defend the freedom of expression because the group understood the merits of this
abstract and how it has shaped the United States as a nation. These unpopular views take the
place of the exact speech which was meant to be protected by the 1st Amendment, and it should
definitely not be limited by any means.
Despite the fact that some individuals may find themselves offended, there is nothing to
gain from a restriction of speech; all individuals may learn from an engaging discussion on any
topic individuals dissent upon. The restriction of speech will simply appease the majority for a
short period of time, silence the minority, and endanger the Democratic government we live in
today; therefore, the freedom of expression should not limited in any way.

Works Cited
Bordelon, David. "Recent Protests Threaten Freedom of Speech." The Daily Texan. University of
Texas at Austin, 24 Nov. 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
Chasmar, Jessica. "Ashland Student Government Passes Resolution to Support Free Speech."
The Washington Times. Washington Times LLC, 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
Friedman, Uri. "The Ethics of Barring Donald Trump From Your Country."The Atlantic. Atlantic
Media Company, 10 Dec. 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
"Sixty Jewish Leaders Voice ACLU Support." The Skokie Life 4 Sept. 1977. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.
Starnes, Todd. "College Campus Protests." Fox News. FOX News Network, 24 Nov. 2015. Web.
10 Dec. 2015.
Topping, Alexandra. "Pope Francis: Freedom of Expression Has Limits." The Guardian.
News and Media, 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.