The Illusion of Speech

A Political Cartoon that demonstrates the “louder is better” mentality of the media and society today. Source: (

Seth Anderson, Staff Writer

The 1st amendment of the United States Bill of Rights specifies, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

In layman’s terms, we have complete freedom of speech. The United States government cannot affect what we say and cannot do anything to change our opinions, whether they be religious, personal or even a broad statement. This allows for we, the people, of the United States of America to say whatever we want, whenever we want. It’s a freedom other countries cannot afford or want to have. It is yet another reason to love the USA right?

Not exactly. As of the last decade, social media has taken off to an unprecedented degree of success. The simplicity and connectivity it provides the people has never been seen before and is used in even the most mundane of tasks now from advertising, chatting, debating or just plain having fun. This sounds like a great thing, but like all good things, a negative must correlate. Social media’s particular negative happens to be a very scary one.

Bullying is something that we all hear about. It is also a very serious issue, whether it be online or in person. People can get hurt, mentally and physically, in the worst of ways, so why, in the politically correct world we live in, is bullying more prevalent than ever? Everywhere on the internet, people are harassed, hazed and hassled for having something we all hold dear: An opinion.

It starts small, with little comments like “I don’t agree with ______.” Tiny little nuggets that get on people’s nerves just a little too much. Instead of a smart, calm response, we get hateful, loaded assaults on people and their well-being just for saying something. This discourages people from having an opinion, and threatens to destroy the fabric of the 1st amendment in its entirety. Examples of this occurring primarily happen with radical members of any movement, whether it be feminism, LGBT, religion, and even in pop culture communities. From big to small, nowadays more than ever, it is more important to be loud than smart, obnoxious rather than calculated and outnumbering rather than tactical.

The worst example of this is happens in media with ABC news showing a story of a man named Milo Yiannopoulos and his unapologetic attack of Ghostbusters (2016) star Leslie Jones. The news station was only pointing out facts that helped their case, like “He is an editor at Breitbart, an ultra-conservative news website…” and “He is hoping to legitimize a growing community of negativity on the internet,” despite him saying “I am responsible for what I say, and no one else. If what they say is bad, I don’t need to answer for that.”

The interviewer is consistently name-calling Milo, and the station even makes it a point to use derogatory words to describe him. They even make “Donald Trump supporter” an insult, using ad homonym to make him sound like a despicable human being, and when describing Amy Schumer, they describe her with only positive connotation. It is sickening to see the media so deliberately hypocritical and act like they are doing a good deed. Now while Milo is not entirely in the right, (he calls Amy “Talentless” and says “we don’t love them”) he is entitled to his opinion, something ABC clearly does not think. The video is linked here.

What will become of the world if we do not stand up for this? The idea that bullying is being ignored and applauded by the very same people who can be suffering from it shows the sad sorry state we as Americans are in. It is like the old saying goes: “United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs” – Patrick Henry.