Freedom of speech for everyone?

The French philosopher Voltaire once said:

“I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Watch Farred Zakaria on CNN talk about how conservative voices are being silenced, being concerned about how on both sides of the political spectre, people seem less interested to hear the arguments and opinions of the other side.

How far does freedom of speech go?

Can you lose your freedom of speech? How/why?

How should we react when someone uses their freedom of speech to offend us?

Visit this site from The Wall Street Journal and choose a topic.

See how conservative and liberal Facebook present the topic you have chosen.

Write a post where you discuss:

  • which topic did you choose to look at?
  • What is the conservative posts about, and what is the liberal posts about?
  • Are there any posts which you felt were offensive or promoting hate/negativity? Why?
  • Think about freedom of speech, should we be allowed to post whatever we want on social media, or are there limits?
  • Look at the side you disagree the most with, and try to find their best argument. Is there anything you can see having merit, making sense, something you can understand that people would think? What?

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(Picture from https://thequeerness.com/2016/03/07/freedom-of-speech-is-no-longer-about-rights-its-about-power/)

Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globe Speech

Find it here. At the top of the article is just a short clip, while at the bottom you find the entire speech on film. The article contains a transcript of the speech.

You can use this transcript to look for language features and literary devices she uses in her speech. This is excellent practice for task 1a on the exam.

Speeches on Multiculturalism

Former Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, held a famous speech on multiculturalism in 2012 at the Munich Security Conference. Current Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, held a famous speech in 2015 at the Assembly of First Nations, where he announced that Canada was going to renew its relationship with its native groups.

After having seen Cameron’s speech, write a blog post of about 400 words where you present the basic ideas of the speech, comment on the speaker’s attitude and way of presenting his ideas to the audience. Also, choose one of the following statements and discuss them in writing on your blog.

  • Non-violent extremists are just as dangerous as violent ones.
  • Universities are bastions of freedom of speech and democracy; therefore, all ideologies no matter how extreme should be allowed to be taught.
  • Multiculturalism separates groups of people from each other, assimilation should be encouraged.

On Wednesday, January 10th, we are going to watch Trudeau’s speech and blog the assignment handed out to you in class about how the Prime Minister and Canadian politicians have followed through on the promises made in this 2015 speech.