The Hell You Say By Kelefa Sanneh Essay

The Hell You Say By Kelefa Sanneh Essay

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The Controversial American
Creating a safe space is more important for some rather than others. In “The Hell You Say” by Kelefa Sanneh for The New Yorker, he provides an interesting look at the views of Americans who support censorship of speech and those who are completely against it. Another issue I gathered from his article was that people use their right to free speech in wrong ways and end up harassing people. Providing two sides of a controversial debate, his article makes us think of which side we are on. So, whether or not censorship should be enforced; and how the argument for free speech is not always for the right reason, Sanneh explores this with us.
The initial reaction I had after reading this article was that his tone seemed to be mocking others opinions on the whole free speech debate. In the first paragraphs, he follows the story of a girl at a pub near a college campus who, to my assumption, politely asked the D.J. to stop playing a song she thought to be encourage sexual harassment and violence. The D.J. ended up ignoring her request though. And then Sanneh hits back with, “. . . in the days that followed she and her allies took to social media to voice their dissatisfaction, suggesting that the pub was promoting ‘rape culture’.” Now, maybe its just me, but when I hear the word allies, the first thing that comes to mind is war and fighting. Using a word like this here had given a negative tone of sorts because it’s not like she was trying to start a huge fight with the D.J. She just wanted to enjoy the music he played, but the situation was much bigger than that. However, the author does have great word choice—I actually had to use a dictionary to look many of them up.
The purpose for the author to write this...


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...ticle, such as where he
Where Sanneh stands on this debate, I am unsure of. He bounces back and forth between each argument so often that I was very confused. Along with him adding extra information that probably could have been left out, I can’t say that I understood the article well enough to find my own stance on the censorship/no censorship of free speech debate. I would go so far as to say that. My opinion is that we shouldn’t use freedom of speech to allow us to say whatever we want. It would also be hard to control what could be said by people, which could require 24/7 monitoring, and turn out to be like some George Orwell crazy stuff. Freedom of speech does not give people the right to oppress, marginalize, harm, or treat others poorly. Rather it allows people to voice their opinions in a respectable manner without forcing those opinions onto someone else.

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