The First Amendment and Me

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Hi Guys! This post is not really a book review, but it is “an” interpretation of the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution, a written text, so I decided to add this under the “Literature” section of the blog.

I have been a resident of USA for 22 years and its citizen for 16 years. Through the years I have lived here, I have seen, heard, and experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly (pardon the cliche) this country has to offer. One of the most prominent topics in current years is the first amendment and what it means to us Americans. I thought I’d offer a unique perspective.

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Around October 2017, Facebook founder, Mark Zukerberg’s apologized for Facebook’s impact in the 2016 election. I am not sure of the nature of the involvement, but frankly, I am unsure why he felt the need for it. Facebook has about 1.5 billion users with various (and I don’t use that word lightly), eclectic, sometimes contradictory beliefs. So how can you police all their opinions? The real issue is how can you censor some free speech and not the others? To be equal, you cannot, but to be fair, you should.

A Muslim posting an anti-Israel video should not be treated differently as India posting an anti-Muslim or anti-Pakistani video or post (trust me I witnessed that at college). A video supporting pro-choice stances should not be censored while white supremacist spread their hate openly. My point is you cannot pick one issue over the other. If you allow anti-Trump rallies, which can get downright ugly, in my opinion, the same first amendment should protect ANY form of peaceful rally or protest to air “grievances”.

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Where I feel we need to draw the line is when people get hurt physically or property gets damage or the intention is deliberate to hurt a person. If it hurts you emotionally or even if it downright offends you, these feelings you just have to cope with. That is what makes us a true tolerant society.

How can we regulate it without stifling anyone? As I mentioned in a video I posted on Facebook there should be a difference between free speech and protected speech. Free speech can be anything light, neutral, well-meaning, while protected speech like Neo-Nazi rallies need to be under protected speech and require permits to assemble peacefully. We need to distinguish between the two.

Then the issue of cyber space comes in.  I think social media does a decent job warning people of graphic footage-this should extend to hot/controversial/divisive topics such as birth control rights, race rights, and free speech (ironic) rights, etc. Videos should have a warning, posts should be scanned for offensive (naked) pictures and swear words. Other than the meanings should not be monitored and stopped. That’s truly free speech.

I hope my post starts a conversation. Why? Just because I want this country be a truly progressive country that practices tolerance and honorable free speech.

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