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The Importance of Freedom of Expression in America

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The Importance of Freedom of Expression in America

Would life be the same without freedom of expression? Expressions of hate, sometimes called hate speech, are highly prevalent in today's society; one group using them is the KKK, in particular Charles Brandenburg. Government leaders may also want to repress free speech for the motive of keeping the citizenry in the dark so they don't learn about corruption in the hierarchy of our country. The aforementioned corruption is what freedom of expression was created for; to give the populace some control over the government's actions. The Vietnam War was one of the largest events where freedom of expression was used. From wearing black armbands to the massacre at Kent State University, people definitely showed their discontentment. For these and many other reasons, American citizens should have absolute freedom of expression with no interference from the government.

Expressions of hate can be tolerated, but become a responsibility of the government when they are acts inciting violence, such as hate crimes. In the Supreme Court Case Brandenburg v. Ohio, the KKK leader Charles Brandenburg's rights of freedom of speech were violated. He gave a speech to a group of other Klan members with a reporter there filming it. Brandenburg encouraged taking revenge upon the branches of government because they were restraining the white race, according to him. This went against the Ohio Criminal Syndicalism statute of 1919. That law made it illegal for anyone to advocate action against the government. This case was instrumental in how freedom of speech is looked at today. The Supreme Court decided that the, "...constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to ...

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...he end of the United State’s involvement in Vietnam.

The government should have no interference in the absolute freedom of expression rights the American people have. These many things affected our right to freedom of speech in their own way, but always the American people have come out stronger because of it. Because these rights are guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States of America, the U.S. government should have no say whatsoever in changing or limiting them. If the government takes away our rights of freedom of expression, then what is the war in Afghanistan and Iraq's purpose? What are we fighting for if not the civilians rights to freely express themselves?

Works Cited

* No named author. Kent State, May 4, 1970: America Kills Its Children:. 1 June 1995. The Ethical Spectacle. 8 Dec. 2004 <http://www.spectacle.org/595/kent.html>.
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