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The Contradiction with Freedom of Speech

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

There are contradictions presented in the idea of freedom of speech. There are multitudes of issues and people tend to overlook them when they want to use that right.

There is currently a truck blockade going on in Windsor, preventing people from crossing to and from America over the Ambassador Bridge. The truckers are currently frustrated with the COVID vaccine mandates that have been implemented to keep both countries’ health in mind. People don’t want to get the vaccine for personal reasons to cross to and from the border, and this is where the idea of freedom of speech comes up. People are using their voices to say why they aren’t interested in taking the vaccine, but in doing so, they are causing problems to the community surrounding them.

Freedom of speech is essentially the principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. People are allowed to speak their minds concerning any issues, in any community that is willing to let them speak. Granted, there are certain times when peoples’ opinions are not justified, especially concerning hate speeches during protests for the rights of those that are discriminated against. Nevertheless, this ideology of being able to say whatever your thoughts are to the public without direct opposition is something that many Western civilizations have prided themselves in. Doing this has allowed people to express ideas on things that are brushed under the radar (such as police brutality) and to hear the voices of those who are constantly ignored (such as DACA children).

Freedom of speech used to be viewed as a privilege because, in the past, people would be threatened or hurt for sharing their voices with the public. Many people both in the past and present have been threatened to the point of being unable to comfortably share their thoughts, while others, unfortunately, faced death. Those who were allowed to share their ideas did so without restrictions and fear. But as the tension constantly grows with the current society (especially COVID mandates), people are now establishing freedom of speech as their right. But this right or entitlement to something has prevented students from the nearby universities from getting to school due to parking and worries with protestor interaction. You have a right to protest, but this does not mean that you can prevent others from continuing to have their own opinions. The issue presents itself where those who are protesting are preventing others from going about their own lives, without being in a counter-protest of any sort. It’s hurting the community. Freedom of speech means that you should be allowed to express yourself, but never at the expense of others.

But the overall idea is that freedom of speech should never be restricted and people should continue to voice their opinions. But there is danger in the way that people protest for what they believe is right, and they should be wary of the problems they can cause surrounding them that do not correlate with their issues.

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Amandine Soho

UWindsor '24

Amandine is a second year student majoring in Forensics and Criminology, with a minor in Communication, Media and Film. In her spare time, she loves talking about everything and nothing, watching TV shows and movies, writing fictitious stories and eating all types of food (except black licorice). She doesn't know how but she hopes to inspire someone one day.
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