How free is freedom of speech?

Freedom of speech was highly stressed by progressives in the 1960s through the 1980s, decades that represented anti-government views and the power of the people. The old progressivism partly inspired by President Andrew Jackson’s battle against the bank’s has been pushed to the right by new progressive values.

Some think the arrival of the neo-progressive movement has reignited the controversy on the limitations of freedom of speech. The new movement prioritizes equality and safety of individuals by removing offensive material or notifying those individuals about the potentially offensive content which may be put forward in a class or medium of presentation.

The movement also aims to erase inequality and systematic oppression. Critics — including junior Joel Soucheck — argue that freedom of speech means that an individuals should be permitted to voice their viewpoints without fear of being persecuted for doing so, and that speech which offends others shouldn’t be restricted.

“The right of Freedom of Speech is something that should never be infringed or trampled over,” he said. “Speech should be allowed no matter how much it is not politically correct or triggering.”

On the other hand, junior Brandon Rabel said some potentially harmful speech should be restricted.

“Speech should be restricted if it’s something like shouting “fire” in a movie theater,” he said. “But people shouldn’t silence other people’s speech just because they don’t agree with their opinions.”

By Billy Macom