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Free Speech in America?

Updated on October 3, 2011

The Scandal

Since when was honesty a scandal? That’s my question in response to the Miss California issue of 2009. After being asked a “tough question,” according to Donald Trump, about gay marriage, the Miss America pageant contestant, Carrie Prejean, replied in opposition to gay marriage, an honest and bold answer that should not have been punishable by hurting her chances to get the crown.  It would appear that our right to free speech is being severely restricted and hindered to the point of making national news when someone speaks a little too freely.

Christina Ward, a South Florida teen, thinks this is unfair. “She gave an honest answer… they shouldn’t hold that against her,” she said. Not only was it an honest answer, it is a view that many people in this country hold and it shouldn’t be seen as discriminatory to state how you personally feel about religious, moral, or lifestyle choices. Wasn’t that the point of America in the first place? To free people from having to censor themselves in order to please a higher power (that power being God, Laws or Culture)?

 Xavier Gregory, also a representative of the teen generation, feels that unless you have power or status, your opinion “doesn’t mean anything.” And that is how would appear in the Miss California controversy. Her minimal status as a beauty pageant contestant deemed her the perfect target of attack because there would be little to contend with.

However, the activists forgot that she wasn’t alone in her views and that all of America would feel compelled to exercise their freedom of speech as well, which is probably why this blew up to the scale that it did. People realized that something fundamental was being threatened and they weren’t about to stand for it.

While some people, like Ward, might feel that the media should be focusing on more important things like the recession, there are those of us that feel that this is a significant issue that deserves the attention it’s getting.

“Everybody should be entitled to their own opinion,” said Gregory, and we needed this reminder so that people can stop getting into more trouble that it’s worth for speaking their minds.


My Opinion (expanded)

Free speech: Noun; the right to express uncensored opinions.

Right: Noun; enlightenment or freedom…a justified claim…the freedom to do something.

Freedom: Noun; a state in which someone is able to act and live as he or she chooses…

-MSN Encarta dictionary

Freedom of speech is a right according to our constitution. But based on the recent controversy over Miss California’s response to her question on gay marriage it would seem that this right is in jeopardy.

The fact that same sex couples use their free speech to stifle the right of those that might not agree with them is purely despicable. I believe that what this country stands for is greater than just living a certain lifestyle in peace, it’s about speaking freely about said lifestyles, whether in opposition or in favor, without the threat of persecution.

The issue of the Miss California scandal doesn’t lie with her answer but with the fact that a bias attack on a perfectly constitutional answer was entertained in the first place. Free speech is a two way street. If the gay and lesbian activists questioned someone’s right to give an honest answer, someone should have questioned their right to object.

The real issue is fairness and justice, two things that America undermines and ignores too often to protect the all too touchy “feelings” of its people. Too many times have we had to censor our morals in order to be tolerated and appear tolerable to things that we don’t necessarily agree with. The things that need censoring (porn, for instance) are barely regulated when this material is far more detrimental to the younger generation than a simple honest reply to a “tough question,” as Donald Trump put it.

If we are going to live in a world where true freedom of speech exists then it needs to exist for everyone not just the minorities and special interest groups.


Is Free Speech in Danger?

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    • tony0724 profile image


      8 years ago from san diego calif

      You are very correct in your assessment.Political correctness has just become another way of regulating speech.People have become so thin skinned that if you dare to say anything that does not fall into the PC , it usually ends up being litigated in court.I commend Carrie Prejean for speaking her truth. And that definitely lost her the crown. So as far as I am concerned that crown is worthless.And what the mainstream media did not report was the fact that the young lady who replaced her did not believe in same sex marraige either. I believe most people do not want to offend people. However when most people are getting so damn oversensitive this is the results !


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