On September 19, 2002, New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka read a controversial poem entitled "Somebody Blew Up America" at the Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey. The poem included the stanza, "Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed/Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers/ To stay home that day/Why did Sharon stay away?", implying that the Israelis knew about the incident on September 11 and did nothing to prevent it from happening. After reading the poem at the festival, Baraka was accused of being anti-Semitic and he was urged by Governor James McGreevey to apologize and resign. Despite the constant pressure, Amiri Baraka refused to resign or even apologize. I think that Baraka did the right thing by not giving in and he shouldn't have to resign.
America is always been spoken of as a country with free speech.
Obviously, the speech here isn't as free as we are told it is. Many people say that we do have free speech but Amiri Baraka is representing New Jersey, so he should respect the opinions of people who live there. There can't be an exception to the rule of free speech otherwise there is no rule because it doesn't apply to everyone. Sure, common people have free speech, but nobody listens to common people. I noticed that it's always the people who have a lot of attention focused on them that don't have free speech instead of the majority. Free speech should be for everybody, not just the people the government likes or that aren't considered a "threat". Baraka should be given the right to express himself in his poem in the way he wishes to even if it means possibly offending a person or a group of people.