Analysis Of Free Speech Follies By Stanley Fish

1102 Words 5 Pages
Over the years people have been overusing the First Amendment as source of defense. Since the first amendment entitles people the freedom of speech, people like to use it as an excuse to express their emotions about a certain situation knowing that the first amendment protects them. Therefore, they take less responsibility for their actions and blame the constitution for their slip-ups. In Free-Speech Follies by Stanley Fish, Fish addresses the First Amendment issue. Fish states that people use the First Amendment to excuse themselves from the criticism that their actions have cause. He further emphasizes the need for people to assume full responsibility for their actions and building a sense of judgment. Fish uses various examples that support …show more content…
The university invited and uninvited poet Tom Paulin various times because of comments he had made about anti-Semitism. Paulin said, “Israel had no right to exist, that settlers on the West Bank ‘should be shot dead,’ and that Israeli police and military forces were the equivalent of the Nazi SS.” After the department heard “censorship, censorship” they said “"This was a clear affirmation that the department stood strongly by the First Amendment." Fish said, “It was of course, nothing of the kind; it was a transparent effort of a bunch that had already put its foot in its mouth twice to wriggle out of trouble and regain the moral high ground by striking the pose of First Amendment defender.” I agree with Fish in this case because it’s quite obvious that the Harvard English department had already done their research on Paulin, meaning that they probably knew he had said those comments. They really wanted this poet to come to their institution so they choose to use the First Amendment as an excuse so portray good …show more content…
The First Amendment was not created to harm someone else’s life as most of these newspaper articles try to do. I also believe that private institutions should be more responsible and sensitive to what they consider freedom of speech. I say this because if something goes wrong, the private institutions are most likely going to defend themselves by saying the First Amendment rights protects them as we’ve seen in the three previous examples that Fish brought up. A private institution should also be responsible for what they say because saying the wrong thing whether it’s offending or controversial, it can really ruin their reputation and can lead to hatred. The First Amendment is not going to stop people from hating or criticizing their institution. In the Santa Rosa Junior College, the Daily Illini newspaper, and in the Harvard English Department case the same thing happened, they were criticized and called out for there comments. Even though, they tried getting away by saying that the First Amendment defends

Related Documents