Although we have the right to freedom of speech there are some restrictions such as “fighting words” that are not permitted by the First Amendment. The essay “There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It's a Good Thing, Too” by Stanley Fish, contains information about the court case Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire. The court declared in the Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire case that, “some forms of speech are not really speech because their purpose is to incite violence or because they are 'fighting words,' words likely to provoke the average person to retaliation, and thereby cause a breach of peace” (Fish 307) Chaplinsky was a Jehovah's Witness who got into a verbal argument with the town marshal. Chaplinsky was arrested and found guilty for calling the town marshal a “Goddamned racketeer” and a “damned Fascist” (Lakoff 264).
In the Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire case, the courts assumption was, “that some words are so very bad that on hearing them, an ordinary person must strike out (as reflexively as, when the doctor taps your knee with a hammer, you have to j...
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...ities in life and one of those is to realize when their thoughts and opinions are welcome and when they are not. These same people also know that they have the right to say what they want, they just should also know to have enough respect for the people to whom they are speaking. Everyone has rights and they should be able to keep them. Take advantage of your rights while you still have them.
Fish, Stanley. “There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It's a Good Thing, Too” Exploring Language. University of Oklahoma ed. New York: Pearson Custom, 2009. 304-16. Print.
Kors, Alan. “The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses” Exploring Language. University of Oklahoma ed. New York: Pearson Custom, 2009. 294-300. Print.
Lakoff, Robin. “Hate Speech” Exploring Language. University of Oklahoma ed. New York: Pearson Custom, 2009. 259-66. Print.
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