Freedom Of Speech

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Freedom of speech is one of the many wonderful rights that we are granted with by just being present in this country. It is the right to say and express whatever you feel. What is wonderful about this right is that no one can take it away from you; not the government; not your mom, not even your English teacher.

Freedom of speech has done many things for Americans. It has given us the right to practice the religion of our choice, to express ourselves in speech and writing, and to give our own opinions in books, newspapers, and magazines. You can also consider the right to vote as a form of freedom of speech.

You are affected by this right in your daily life, from when you wake up in the morning, to when you go to sleep; when you go to school and work. Freedom of speech is very important and should not be taken for granted.

My first selection was "Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser" by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. This essay is about Matthew N. Fraser, a High School student that delivered a speech in front of 600 students nominating a fellow student for elective office. Fraser talked about his candidate with sexual and graphic connotation. A school counselor noticed the student's counteraction, they went wild practicing graphic and sexual acts as heard on the speech. The school has a rule that prohibit's the use of obscene material and the principal wanted him suspended for three days and make him ineligible to be valedictorian. Fraser did not let himself. He took it to court and he won the case. Ironically, Fraser was valedictorian and won by a write-in vote as done by his fellow classmates.

The kind of claim statement used for this essay is claim of policy, " We granted certiorari to decide whether the First Amendment prevents a school district from disciplinating a high school student for giving a lewd speech at a school assembly" (Rottenberg 520). The author used motivational appeals by mentioning that this was a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution. He used numbers as warrants. He metioned how much was compensated to Fraser and also, the author mentions how Fraser wins the election for valedictorian by a write-in vote made by classmates.

My next selection is "Ice-T: The Issue Is Creative Freedom" by Barbara Ehrenreich. It mentions how a rap artist, Ice-T, uses his freedom of speech through music. She describes how the lyrics of the song Cop Killer shocks and upsets many people. It upset so many people that there wasn't just a boycott on Ice-T's song, but on all Time Warner products. They denounced Time Warner as wrong and Ice-T as sick (Rottenberg 522).

The author undoubtedly used claim of value to direct her argument. I found the claim statement being "This is black anger-raw, rude, and cruel-and one reason the song's so shocking is that in post liberal America, black anger is virtually taboo". This sentence illustrates the song in one word-bad, and that black anger is practically prohibited. She obviously used the song Cop Killer as her main support. The whole essay talks about how controversial this song is. Her warrant is that the rapper Ice-T has been a rapper for a very long time.

My third and final selection is "Free Speech on the Internet: Opinion on the Constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act" by Stewart Dalzell. This essay mentions on how the internet is a great way where different people from all over the world can express themselves. He discusses how even though the Internet may have lots of benefits of hearing people's opinion from all over the world, we have many disadvantages because there is lots of unfiltered and vulgar material that can exposed to children.

The claim statement in this essay is where it says "The Internet is a far more speech-enhancing medium than print, the vilage green, of the mails" (Rottenberg 524). This is claim of fact. He makes true statement about the issues and uses them as support. He says that there is pornography that comes from all over the world and that there is lots of other indescent material on the Internet. His warrants are that parents can install software to prevent their children from viewing such material.