Once President Trump was elected, there were people who feared he was an evil dictator who was going to strip citizens of their rights. In the wake of all these hollow assumptions, the same people who accused Trump of these ludicrous intentions took it upon themselves to speed up the process.
At Berkley, students and citizens led violent protests against allowing Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative writer for Breitbart, to speak.
I do not condone a lot of what Milo says. Quite frankly, I think most of what comes out of his mouth is absurd. However, protesting against his constitutional right to freedom of speech easily matches the vocal obscenities uttered by Milo, which is the supposed reason for the protesting.
Protesting is a very strong tool, and I think that it is one of our most powerful rights as Americans. When used effectively, it can alter history for the better. Unfortunately, it was on the wrong side of history when foolish protestors abused their right at Berkley.
What I mean is, these people thought they could use their right to protest to take someone else’s right to freedom of speech away. Protesting and freedom of speech are both constitutional rights. So I guess I am just having a little trouble trying to understand why these protestors felt as though their right to protest was more important that someone’s freedom of speech. If these people are so worried about their evil president taking away their rights, then why are they helping him?
Yiannopoulos should have been allowed to speak. Protest by not attending the event. Protest by going to the event and debating with him. Protest by letting him speak and discrediting his opinions. Not letting him speak just put him in the spotlight even more.
Following the protest at Berkley, Bill Maher, a liberal comedian who coincidentally also had his invitation to Berkley revoked, invited Milo onto his show to debate. Maher did the right thing here.
When you do not agree with statements that people have made, or opinions that they have, the last thing you should do is cowardly restrict their right to freedom of speech. Instead, Maher welcomed it and was able to engage in debate, thus allowing the public to form an opinion not based off of riots and protests, but off of facts.
The abuse of our constitutional rights saddens me. We are granted these rights, but abusing them leads to restrictions. As a nation, we need to be more responsible and more importantly, think before we act. There are a lot of issues right now that many do not agree with. To overcome these struggles, citizens need to form peacefully and stop pushing their rights to the limit.
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