Freedom of Speech: Does Free Speech Help Minorities?

Ari Cohn,

Release Date
August 25, 2015


Free Speech

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When people call for censorship they often argue that offensive speech is harmful to the vulnerable and oppressed, but the reality is that a system ​of ​robust uninhibited free speech is actually ​an oppressed person​’s​ strongest weapon.
Oppressed and marginalized minorities by definition have little political power. Powerful majorities that are allowed to implement restrictions on speech will inevitably do so in a way that guards the status quo from descent and disruption.
This is why our founders considered the right to free speech so important that they purposely took that power away. Granting majorities the authority to determine when speech​ i​s harmful ​and when to censor it, only invites ​further o​oppression. ​What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Freedom of Expression (article): The ACLU breakdown on the importance of freedom of expressions.
Civil rights & the First Amendment (blog post): A First Amendment scholar explains how freedom of speech and the First Amendment were crucial to the Civil Rights Movement (and vice versa).
Abolition of Slavery & Free Speech (blog post): The National Coalition Against Censorship details some of the violent attempts to suppress the speech of abolitionists.