Marc Randazza, a Nevada lawyer and columnist recently wrote a CNN article showcasing his views on free speech. As a free speech attorney, Mr. Randazza believes that people have the right to free speech to the full degree that it is protected by the first amendment, even when confronted by bigotry and closed-minded preconceptions about language or culture. Much of his work involves preserving first amendment rights, inside and outside the courtroom.
In Marc’s most recent article, he explains that a recent “National Language Week” celebration prompted some mistaken parents and families who had lost people in Afghanistan to vent their outrage because the pledge of allegiance was to be spoken in Arabic on a particular day in their local school, as the students were choosing one new language for each day of the week. He also brings up an incident in Florida in which parents were upset that their children had been taught about Islam in a history class. Mr. Randazza finds it unfortunate that the whole activity was cancelled due to a few peoples’ ignorance, when in fact Afghans don’t even speak Arabic!
The rest of the article speaks to Marc’s opinions on how, as Americans, we used to be encouraged to speak up, protest, and challenge the status quo. Now many people are afraid to truly speak their mind. He brings up one instance in which, at a college, instead of challenging an anti-abortion protestor, students chose to call the campus police. Mr. Randazza encourages to lose our disdain for being offended, and to “step away from the brink of ignorance,” but stretching our minds with healthy debate and maybe even trying to say the pledge in a different language.