Article Review : On Racist Speech, By Charles R. Lawrence

1639 Words7 Pages
The three essays, “On Racist Speech,” “Protecting Freedom of Expression on the Campus,” and “Thinking Further about Facebook” serve the purpose to outline various incidents in which regulation of the First Amendment. In the first two essays we see regulation as a safeguard to protect against racial discrimination and in the final essay cyberbullying is brought up as a downfall arising from lack of regulation. Although touching on different subjects all three essays recognize that there is a problem with the liberties given by the First Amendment right of free speech. Upon the introduction of his essay, “On Racist Speech,” Charles R. Lawrence reveals that he has always taken full advantage of his cherished First Amendment Liberties;…show more content…
To present opposing views, Lawrence acknowledges the counter argument that states that minorities must live with the burdens of racial insults for the good of society, since limiting freedom of speech would be detrimental to democracy. To this Lawrence answers that two U.S. values are being fought against each other, that of the idea of democracy, and on the other hand, equality. To wrap up his thoughts, Lawrence pleas that the First Amendment should be a “vehicle of liberation,” not an “instrument of domination” (Lawrence 67). Furthermore, Lawrence appeals to his audience uncertainties by constructing the idea that although we think to understand the misery of the victims to racial insults we can not identify with them unless having suffered the discrimination ourselves. A strong point, Lawrence offers that regulations to the First Amendment have been instituted in the past, such as on obscene speech and libel, without any accompanying negativity. In summation, Lawrence reiterated that those who believe in equality must fight for the rights of the oppressed, and although it will be a strenuous fight, it is one that is necessary. A speed bump I encountered during my reading of this essay was thinking too quickly. While reading I tried forming conclusions about the author’s argument, but found myself confused when the
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