In the United States, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, among other guarantees, bars Congress from making any laws “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
While this amendment is very general and room is left for interpretation, it is guaranteed that the Amendment was designed to be interpreted for each new generation.
The Framers of the Constitution would only find this distressing if, within the new generation, abandoned that principle concept. It’s every generation’s responsibility to continue developing this responsibly.
Olivia B. Waxman, from TIME writes, “A decade ago, the same media were thought to be the final answer to an open marketplace of ideas, and the final realization of free speech because now everybody can speak. We have to understand the arguments for protecting [extremist speech] and we have to be open to the arguments against protecting.”
She continues on, saying, “The Supreme Court has two decisions that meet diametrically opposite conclusions on this; in 1952, the Supreme Court said that Illinois could punish somebody for racist speech that happened in that case, and then in 1968, in Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court reached a different result, saying a meeting of the Klan that included potential threats against blacks and Jews was protected speech. Brandenburg has sort of won the day, but that issue continues to be a matter of debate.”
The conversation begins with three Supreme Court cases: Schenck, Frohwerk and Debs. All of which unanimously ruled that the claim that free speech had not been violated. This was an inauspicious start to the First Amendment as we know it today.
How do we expect to hold those accountable for making threats versus expressing their freedom of thought?
Destructive speech is seemingly rooted in social-media platforms. Years ago, these social media pundits were thought to be the precipitous of free speech in an open marketplace: all people are now capable of free speech, as it is now socialized.
But that is not what has happened on campus, nor in the country. In fact, this technology take over has caused more restrictions than freedoms.
There have been countless attacks on college and high school students nation wide based simply off of what speech is considered free or not.
Turning Point USA is the spearhead in advocating for students to be able to speak their mind and their opinions, even when that speech is not common to others.
As TPUSA has seen first hand, the United States is becoming more sensitive to permitted speech, despite the First Amendment still being upheld in the United States Constitution.
More so, the mainstream media rarely show the violations of such a right. Conservative students have trouble getting their voices heard in schools, sharing their ideas, or debating fellow classmates.
This becomes extremely detrimental as it stunts the growth of new ideas, new conversations, and new relationships on campus and in America.
While Turning Point USA is undoubtedly leading the fight for this today, it can only be reversed by the impact from students who fight to get their voices heard and acknowledged every single day on campus, in the workforce, and on social media.