Freedom of Speech Doesn’t Mean You Get To Be Racist

Wendy Kenigsberg/University Photography

You ever have a moment where someone says something so ignorant that all you can do is stare at them in disbelief? That happened to me in my English class last week.

We were broken up into groups and told to discuss different readings on the subject of reparations. After finishing our worksheet, one of my male group mates starts going on a tangent about politics and other related topics while the rest of us listened halfheartedly. I don’t remember how we even started getting into it, but he and I began to get into over freedom of speech. He asked me, “Do you believe in freedom of speech?” to which I replied, “It depends.”

“See no, I think everyone should have freedom of speech. I think no matter what they’re saying, they have that right. I think people have the right to be racist. I don’t think that way of thinking is right, but they are entitled to their right to think that.”

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