What Would Our Forefathers Say?
Free speech is one of the most controversial and most confusing of the amendments. Throw it into a college campus setting and it’s an extremely complex matter. Its guidelines are not clear because, given the nature of academic inquisition, the determination of students always looking to push their boundaries further, and the indecisiveness of school administrators during a time of trouble, students are often sent mixed signals as to exactly what kind of speech is deemed appropriate and what is not going to be tolerated. I believe that removing the right to free speech on a college campus, in this case “hate speech”, an injustice. Universities and places of higher learning especially, must balance the requirements free speech offers with humility, respect, and dignity because anything else would go against the First Amendment of the Constitution. Also, keeping up with every single accusation made against students on college campuses is hard to keep tabs on and becomes a distraction from the educational process. Lastly, student will have to deal with negative statements and actions at some point in their lives and it is wrong to try to shelter them from this when college is the most crucial time for internal growth. Students should be helped to deal with their problems head on instead of running from them.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive it’s content. Speech codes adopted by government financed state colleges and universities amount to government censorship, in violation of the Constitution. No social institution is better suited to fight bigotry than the university. It can do so in its courses and perhaps most importantly through the way it conducts itself as a community. Banning hate speech creates an exception to the first amendment which denigrates its meaning. Equality in the pursuit of education...