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The Freedom of Expression

Category: 2012 Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Student: Nathan Oalican
School: Boston Latin School Boston, MA (Suffolk County)
Teacher: Cate Arnold

The freedom of expression is the freedom from which all others stem. It is the most basic liberty, because it allows for discussion and opinion without persecution from the government. In America we often take for granted our freedom of expression. However, we must remember that the rights we enjoy are not universal, and in many other countries citizens are oppressed and unrepresented, afraid or unable to speak out against a corrupt government. For example, the ongoing protests in the Middle East and North Africa have shaped the region, toppling many corrupt regimes and bringing the hope of freedom over a people shrouded in civil injustice and strife. But these protests were not started peacefully. It took a young Tunisian man by the name of Mohamed Bouazizi, lacking freedom of expression, setting himself on fire in front of the Governor's office to spark this revolution. His fire ignited the entire world, for in every single human soul burns the everlasting flame of liberty. Every person deserves the right to speak, to discuss, and to debate without the fear of harassment. To deny any being its innate right and desire to speak freely is not only despotic, but sickening and immoral. George Washington once said that If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. In America, our freedom of expression allows us to resist the slaughter, to think and to change the world through words, and that is what sets our country apart from many others.

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