(ConservativeInsider.org) – Freedom of speech is under attack in the United States. From academia’s attempt to limit what students can say to recent media censorship, Americans often can’t say what’s on their mind without considering the consequences. Has the notion of tolerating opposing viewpoints been lost?
Saving Our Freedom of Speech
On Thursday, November 12, US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito spoke to the Federal Society about the state of freedom in our nation. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) shared some of his words here:
Well said by Justice Alito:
"The pandemic has resulted in previous unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty… The COVID crisis has served as a sort of constitutional stress test… it has highlighted disturbing trends that were already present before the virus struck." pic.twitter.com/1gPGiHwcGE
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) November 13, 2020
When it comes to freedom of speech, Alito warned that Americans must “prevent it from becoming a second-tier constitutional right.” He pointed out that in academia, and specifically in law school, students face “face harassment and retaliation if they say anything that departs from the law school orthodoxy.”
“Unfashionable Views” Are Not Illegal
Whether at work or school, many citizens wonder if they can voice their opinions on marriage, identity, or even politics in a public setting. While the First Amendment does protect free speech, it seems like many large institutions may not.
Alito called this process a “growing hostility to the expression of unfashionable views.” One “unfashionable” view is the traditional view of marriage, which Alito speaks about here:
Here is Justice Alito complaining that the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision has crushed the free speech of anti-LGBTQ advocates. pic.twitter.com/0eH9QsxMTU
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) November 13, 2020
What Is the Answer to Save Our Freedom to Speak Freely?
Jay Hartzell, the President of the University of Texas-Austin, is fighting to keep his university a place where his students can voice their opinions without fear of retaliation.
In an op-ed for The Dallas News, he warned what the politicizing of free speech would do to the country. He said it’s “at the heart of the scientific method and all of the scholarship, creative work and research.” In summary, it allows free-thinking Americans to push to make the world a better place.
He emphasized that “free speech does not endorse the truth, value or morality of what is expressed.” Rather, it allows people to listen to other points of view and come to their own conclusion. Disagreements are actually healthy for the functioning of a free society.
True Tolerance is Key
Rather than shutting out friends and neighbors with different views than you, it’s crucial that we have open discourse to move forward together. Free speech should unite our nation together, not divide it.
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