Essay about Freedom

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Freedom “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.” These are the words of Ronald Reagan, former President of the United States of America, speaking on the topic of freedom, a subject he frequently dealt with during his long presidency. Over the years, freedom in the U.S. has become an increasingly controversial topic, and the effectiveness of the government in affording these freedoms has been called into question. Through certain historical documents and events, the government’s effectiveness at ensuring freedoms for all can be confirmed. The occurrences of several major events in the history of America eventually gave all blacks equal rights and fostered a culture of change in American society. The Emancipation…show more content…
Additionally, approximately a century later, bigotry received its final, most important, blow when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. The act was one of the most important pieces of legislation in American history, outlawing discrimination of not only blacks, but women, in terms of voting, public education, and workplaces. The passing of this act was a catalyst for social reform, and racial and sexual acceptance. Although delayed and incredibly late, Lincoln and the United States government eventually granted and ensured all American citizens the same freedoms that still exist in the country today. A prime example of the freedom afforded to citizens can be seen through the exploits of the immensely controversial Westboro Baptist Church. The church, according to the Anti-Defamation League, is a “small virulently homophobic, anti-Semitic hate group that regularly stages protests around the country” (Extremism in America 1). According to Bill Mears with CNN, the church, which has long been a source of controversy, was recently sued for inflicting emotional distress upon a family as a result of protesting at the funeral of a dead marine. However, despite a powerful statement by Chief Justice John Roberts in which he claimed that “speech is powerful” and that it can “inflict great pain,” he also said that “we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker” (Mears 1).
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