objective: take a stance on subject of your choosing and argue your position
note- wrote this during math class 30 minutes prior to it being due, still think its worth a read considering the recent events that unfolded at UF Thursday in Gainesville.
Conservative social and political writer, and prominent Trump supporter, Ann Coulter, has a quarrel with the left: The infringement of free speech, especially on college campuses, towards right-wing speakers and philosophies. Since the rise of The Donald, a plethora of instances have occurred in which a faction believes their rights are being infringed upon; Perhaps the most important right enshrined in the Constitution is our very first right, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble…” In this essay, I will dive in the Supreme Court’s ruling on our first amendment and how this relates to the current climate in today’s society, most notably on college campuses.
When Ann Coulter announced that she was going to speak at the prominent liberal college, University of California, Berkeley, it immediately created a backlash from those opposed to her views and beliefs. Students posted flyers around the school warning others that a fascist was attempting to have a speech at the school; those students also planned to protest Coulter’s speech. Coulter, in fact, was invited to speak by Berkeley College Republicans. Attorneys for Berkeley College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation told reporters that the university was denying conservative groups their right by not providing a room for Coulter to speak in. Due to the amount of protestor and the lack of police presence, school security advised the event be cancelled; Outrage followed and an immediate question was put forth, “Are college campuses limiting free speech?”
In all accounts, Ann Coulter is your typical conservative pundit; she opposes gay marriage, is pro Muslim-ban, and believes Roe v. Wade should be left up to the states. It is my belief that while her political views do not align with mine, I agree with her in that her first amendment right should not be infringed upon. While her viewpoints are not hateful, the Supreme Court recently ruled on the protections of hate speech; “Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/06/19/supreme-court-unanimously-reaffirms-there-is-no-hate-speech-exception-to-the-first-amendment/?utm_term=.aaf0666a6cc9) While it is protected to express “the thought that we hate”, this does not protect dangerous speech. By this, I mean speech that is provocative and intends to harm others, is not protected.
Whether it be Duke or Berkeley, I thoroughly believe that free speech must be protected on college campuses. I agree that Coulter’s political views are not my cup of tea, but I do believe her rights should be respected just as much as a left-leaning citizen.