Essay On Freedom Of Speech

Essay On Freedom Of Speech-3
As much as I agree with the motives, I disagree with the method.

As much as I agree with the motives, I disagree with the method.

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The current phenomenon of college students demanding “no platform” policies and “safe spaces” is admirable in its goal of protecting marginalised groups.

The passion that marks these efforts is of utmost importance in sparking necessary dialogue and highlighting the ills of society.

Yet, as history demonstrates, restriction of speech might be most deleterious to the very same people that such restrictions want to defend.

Hindering informed discussion, which considers the views of all sides, shows the validity of some over others, is likely to be ineffective and even counterproductive in resisting prejudice and offensive ideologies.

Such instances should, on a case-to-case basis, be subjected to legal action.

With those exceptions, however, there should be no infringement on free expression, and controversial speeches should be allowed, if not encouraged.My grandparents suffered the oppression of communism.Their contemporaries in America experienced the silencing of political dissidents during the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations.For others—younger people and those unfamiliar with the issues at stake—such strategies fail to educate or demonstrate the rigour of thinking that leads to certain ideological conclusions.Censorship is not only likely to be ineffective in confronting problems of inequality and prejudice, but it may be achieving the very opposite of what it intends.To achieve social change, we must engage in a discussion, not exclude our opponents, especially if our rival has substantial political power to influence social affairs, or if—as in the case of contemporary American politics—the “offensive” ideas are held by a majority of the public.Finger-pointing, name-calling and vilifying controversial speakers and their supporters is futile.He did not receive an answer but a label: “bigot,” “misogynist,” “-phobe.” Not only his “privilege” (white, straight, male) seemed to disqualify him from participating in such discussion, but the conversation itself was deemed inappropriate, offensive.In the next four years of tiptoeing around volatile words, I continuously witnessed the shutting down of important discussions—by both students and instructors—as logically valid but “offensive” questions were dismissed and those who dared to ask them were socially ostracised or punished.Four years ago, I left my home country, a former communist state in eastern Europe and travelled to “the land of the free” to attend a private university, whose founding motto is “The Wind of Freedom Blows”.I was leaving a country where my grandparents used to be afraid to read the Bible or tell political jokes (even in their own home), as such actions used to be punishable by imprisonment or, worse, being sent to a labour camp.


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