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Why Freedom of Speech is Important

Category: 2020 High School (Grades 9-12)
Student: Teba Latef
School: Mount Lebanon High School Pittsburgh, PA
Teacher: Marc Allemang

"I can't breathe." These were the last words of George Floyd, a young man suffocated to death by an on-duty police officer. Now, the words are echoed all over the country by protesters fighting for a change: a change that hopes to resolve the systematic racial injustice in America. Following the protests, governors vowed to reform police departments, sports facilities cancelled games in support of the movements, and recognition was given to George Floyd and other black citizens that were victims of the racial injustice. The problem has not yet been solved, but with the power of speech, it will be an obstacle that America will hopefully overcome as a united nation.

Freedom of speech, the first amendment in the United States Constitution, is the foundation of American democracy. Countries that prohibit protests may have issues that lead to illegal riots and toxic monarchies. Movements and demonstrations unite people and create a democracy that is stronger than any other government. As Abraham Lincoln addressed, in order for the government to be run in a way that is beneficial for the American people, it must be created by the people. Freedom of speech welcomes new ideas and opinions from Americans of different backgrounds. Each citizen is granted the right to speak freely no matter their gender, race, sexuality, or belief. Speech is a powerful tool for people to inform others, to recognize problems, and most importantly, to revolutionize American society. Bringing in different points of view creates important conversations that can resolve problems and challenge opposing ideas. Freedom of speech is important because without that basic human right, a fair trial would never be given to George Floyd and protests demanding for a change will not be able to fight for a future that destroys the systematic racial injustice in America.


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