Ever since the beginning of this country, there has always been a battle for some form of “freedom”. With both opposing sides being very passionate about their point of views, some have even went to war over such opinions. To live and die by what you stand and believe in, is the duty that many Americans feel that they have the right to have and endure… truth and justice.
The problem in that issue is that there are many opinions and standards of living that different Americans demand that to live by – which is right for some, however wrong for others.
This is why we have the U.S. Constitution, and its many rules that we call “Amendments.” – A famous one being, The First Amendment, which states. “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 assembly, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
” This amendment for years and years has been used for good and bad. However the fact is that as Americans, we all must respect what the first amendment is to ourselves, which is a righteous path to speak one’s mind, and try to personify what the idle of America is to us all. What most fail to realize is, what is freedom of speech, without the word “freedom?!” If you believe that your rights should supersede someone else, you may be many things…but American is not one of them.
If you can’t value human life, then you are not an American.
The incident that occurred in the University of Missouri is an old sick tail of America’s past that still to this very day has yet to be resolved…racism. The ugly twisted tail of how sickening society can be, and whilst addressing those dysfunctional individuals, they use the same old saying – “well it’s my freedom of speech”, which most sick-minded bigots use to spread their unjustified hatred, yet fail to realize that they stain the very U.S. Constitution that they claim to love. The Missouri University incident involved Briana Gray, a black senior from suburban Chicago and her white roommate from rural Missouri. Briana claims that her roommate started playing rap music containing racial slurs and would then proceed to loudly sing aloud to them. Following this, the roommate questioned Briana whether black people had greasy skin because slaves were forced to sweat a lot. Another time, Ms. Gray said, she found a picture tacked to her door of what appeared to be a black woman being lynched. When her roommate claimed that a friend had done it as a joke, Ms. Gray said she attacked the girl and her friends. The police broke up the fight and no one was arrested. However Ms. Gray said her view on race relations had been indelibly changed (NY Times).
Other incidents involved white males yelling obscenities at young black female students at the University of Missouri, which they had told the University’s President Tim Wolfe of the incidents, but they fell on deaf ears. The turmoil at the campus keeps on brewing, until someone smeared a swastika on the side of a dorm building covered in feces. This is the incident that garnered the most press. When this occurred, along with a range of other problems that were never properly addressed, for instance insurance being cut for faculty and teachers and no student aid for graduate students, these occurrences eventually sparked a protest. The main architect of the protest was by a student named Jonathan Butler. Jonathan Butler used his first amendment speech in a unique way, he went on a hunger strike. The main reason for the hunger strike was for the resignation of Time Wolfe. The hunger strike gained such sympathy amongst the black students at the University of Missouri that the football team, which mostly consists of African-American students, went on strike until the situation improved, not only for the students of color, but all students as well. One of the issues Mr. Butler was demanding, other than Tim Wolfe getting fired, was to encourage more diversity at the school. He felt that if there was more diversity there would be less conflict with racism, especially against that black students.
The week during the University of Missouri’s football team strike, Tim Wolfe resigned, and the chancellor of University of Missouri’s flagship R. Bowen Loftin, also resigned, as well. The impact that the University of Missouri has been more than historical; it has been the beacon of what freedom of speech is all about. One month later, things are still at disarray, but are slowly matriculating and getting better. For instants, there is more diversity at the school with the hiring of interim president Michael Middleton, an African American civil rights lawyer. Even though this is a major step, the students still have been through hell from death threats, to conservative media badmouthing the struggle of the students. Regardless of the outcome, they feel that what is being done is, not only needed, but justified.
Like what was said in the being of those, many people use the freedom of speech to express their views, but none really hit the mark on what it is, and there are those that do use the freedom of speech for what it truly is, a platform to make America powerful. Our national symbol for America is the Bald Eagle, and if freedom of speech were a body part of that majestic creator, it would be its beautiful wings. Why would it be the wings? Because just like wings of an eagle, they keep it soaring high.