Words are powerful things
April 11, 2016
Filed under Opinion
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The First Amendment says, “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 assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
This basically states, that as a United States citizen, we have the rights to our own opinions, religious beliefs, and can express these peacefully. Now with these comes a few “don’ts” when it comes to our freedoms.
In the 1919 case of the United States v. Schneck, Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes uses the example of yelling “fire” in a movie theatre, and how that is not in our rights, because it causes unnecessary disturbance. There are some other obvious things that go against our rights to the First Amendment, such as threatening others.
But when it comes to where our freedom of speech really ends, it’s a very blurry line. There is no clear ending point in what we should, and should not say. And because of this, there is a lot of things being said, that is just offensive and downright rude. But not much can be changed about this, because it is in their rights.
“People cross boundaries on the internet, you can say whatever you want and nobody can stop you cause they don’t know who you are.” Said Eliza Snyder, sophomore. “You can’t be rude to everybody.” Just because you can say something, doesn’t always mean that you should. Words can be a very powerful thing, both positively and negatively.
What you can say can hurt others around you, and that isn’t fair to them. But, what you have to say can influence others in changing, growing into a better person, and even inspiring them to help influence others.
Ultimately, we are a free country, we have the right to have our own opinions, and we can even speak them, but what needs to happen, is we need to really decide for ourselves where that boundary lies, and not cross it, once it is found.