The recent events surrounding the controversial racist posters raise a multitude of questions and concerns. Some people, a majority even, may instantly join the side of the argument that does not condone these posters whatsoever without thinking twice. I personally agree that these posters are utterly wrong and the morality behind the messages doesn’t exist. But, we live in a nation and a community that promotes many freedoms that prove to be controversial every day: freedom to carry guns, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc. The basis behind these freedoms is legislative, and our democracy chose to create these freedoms to protect the opinions of anybody and everybody. But at what point do higher powers have to step in and say certain actions are simply too much. For the same reason you can’t scream “FIRE!” in a movie theater or “BOMB!” in an airport, and given it was known who put up the posters in the first place, should the culprits be in legal trouble? And, should actions like this that would be considered free speech be illegal even though they don’t put any person in immediate danger such as the “FIRE!” example?
You don’t have to agree with something for it to be legal, which is exactly why we have a government and a legal system in the first place. But, this is a case that fits so well into the grey area of free speech that it can’t help but be discussed. On the other side of the issue, one could consider the people who took down the posters infringing on free speech of those who put them up. Again, controversy is natural, and without disagreement, nothing would ever change. The morals challenged in this case are extremely severe and completely generalized to a racial group, but it serves as an example for other cases that may not be so extreme. So, my fellow HSSPers, where is the line drawn for free speech (in this case or in any), and how do you think the University of Michigan deals with the freedoms we have on campus?