Richland Student Media

The Student News Site of Dallas College - Richland

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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

Dallas


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Richland Chronicle 5/07/24
Richland Chronicle 5/07/24

EDITORIAL: Land of the free isn’t actually so free

(Staff Illustration/Aislyn Smith)

The First Amendment is what guarantees Americans’ freedoms of speech, press, assembly, petition and religion. There is concern, however, that the freedoms offered by the First Amendment don’t make one as free as it seems.

Many people in all walks of life experience inhibition of their freedoms in some way or another. Students cannot say or do certain things while on campus. People in an airport can’t joke about a bomb. Protesters are forced to disassemble when things get out of hand. But when exactly should your freedoms be taken away? At what point does somebody have the right to impede those freedoms?

We believe that everyone should have the freedoms listed in the First Amendment with little to no exceptions. After all, one of the biggest benefits of the First Amendment is its ability to facilitate equality and dissent of opinion amongst the American people. However, we believe that with the right to freedom, people need to understand that those freedoms often come with consequences as a result of actions taken.

Yes, protesters should have the freedom to choose how they protest and what messages they promote. However, if they begin to bring harm to someone as a result of their actions, they will be held liable and face consequences.

This can be seen with protests happening all around the country, where pro-Palestinian protesters seek the divestment of investment funds from and other support of Israel. When peaceful and respectful, the protests are allowed to continue, and protesters may continue to promote their messages.

Once students begin to block other students from entering campus or forcefully taking over buildings and building encampments, that is when they may face consequences.

The overall idea is that sometime your freedoms may not be truly “free.” Sure, people should have the freedom of speech, petition, religion, assembly and press. However, at some point, they may also face the effects of their choices as they break past the conventions of the First Amendment rights. Only through this are all Americans truly free.

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