by Billy Clouse
What does free speech mean to you?
“To me, free speech means you are given the right to say whatever or express yourself however you feel. Though there are limits on free speech, they are reasonable for the safety of society. I believe that my first amendment is very important. Whether people feel the need to speak up, take a knee during the national anthem or to engage symbolically, it is all our fundamental right.”
Where should the limits, if any, to freedom of speech be set?
“I believe that there should be limits on free speech, as I agree with the limits that are already set. I also believe that free speech should not protect hate speech. Hate speech is generally used to attack minorities and religions. I believe that our country should be ashamed of some of its history, such as the murders of Native lives, slavery, Japanese concentration camps, etc. Germany is absolutely ashamed of its history and has made it illegal to “heil Hitler,” as you will be arrested. The United States allows people to celebrate its history, even the ugly history of this country, and that is hurtful and disrespectful to different cultures. I believe that free speech is very important, but it should also be peaceful, and hate speech is not peaceful. I do think it would be hard to define all hate speech, but it is possible. Many countries have their own version of free speech and not permitting hate speech. Many people will say, "get over it, it's the world we live in," but until you experience firsthand racism and oppression, you cannot speak. I don't believe not permitting hate speech will end racism, but I do believe it will be a start of making lives of minorities easier.”
How should free speech be regulated, if at all, on university campuses?
“I do feel that free speech should be regulated on University campuses for the safety and convenience of the students. I also believe that hate speech should not be protected by free speech on campus. That is considered bullying and harassment, and can mentally and emotionally damage students, making it harder for them to adapt on campus. As a minority, I know that it would be hard to further my education on campus if students were able to say or express hurtful things about my ethnicity and/or race.”
Leavitt Center Podcast: How it stands
This Wednesday, September 13, the discussion will be based on the topic of government size.