In the essay the author is attempting to protect the rights of free speech through persuasion rather than through threats and intimidations. In promoting his views, the author cites the example of an incident that took place at Harvard.
It is the author’s contention that the university officials should not have enforced their rules on the offending students. Rather the officials should have spoken with the students in order to help them understand the effect that their action would have on the rest of the community. In developing his perspective, the author brings to light the dilemma that the first amendment presents in allowing such displays. However the author also suggests a way out. He is asking the university officials not to enforce any kind of rules on such displays.
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It is his contention that such a course of action will only generate more interest in such behaviors and therefore a vicious cycle will result. In other words, the author is suggesting that the university official should not create too much publicity in dealing with such an issue.
The author’s purpose in the essay is to explore the different ways in which arguments over free speech can be resolved. The incident that he mentions has to do with some students hanging a confederate flag in view.
The First Amendment permits this. However it offends other members of the community. Therefore this is a difficult issue to resolve. On the one hand, university officials should not restrict the expression of free speech. On the other hand, they cannot allow freedom of speech to offend other members of the community.
The author also mentions that some communities have enacted codes to resolve such situations while others have refused to impose such restrictions. The author’s purpose in this essay is to find a middle way. This is because enacting codes will only generate more interest in the area so that people will resort to more extreme forms of free speech.
Refusing to impose restrictions will also not solve the problem because in this case the rights of free speech will be abused. The purpose of the author in this essay is to suggest a different way in which the issues raised can be resolved.
In promoting his views, the author is citing examples of an incident that occurred at Harvard. This incident forms the core of this essay. Resolving the issues raised in this situation forms the structure of the essay. In developing the structure, the author draws upon the First Amendment to resolve the issue.
However he brings to light how the First Amendment fails to resolve the situation that arose at Harvard. Therefore he argues for a greater level of communication with the students in order to help them decide for themselves whether what they did was right or wrong. The author believes that this is the only way for the university officials to resolve the situation with the minimum of publicity.
The author believes that the publicity that will result from enforcing restrictions will have the opposite effect. Therefore the university officials should try to resolve the issue internally by talking to the students. In presenting his views, the author argued the validity of imposing restrictions when such restrictions will only create more interest in the problem.
The author clearly sympathizes with the students’ right to do what they did. However he seeks to communicate the importance of talking to the students in order to help them understand why what they could be considered subversive. He brings to light the fact that the students are clearly in their rights to hang the flag as it is permitted by the First Amendment.
However he also argues over the inappropriateness of this action. He advises against enforcing restrictions. He believes that this will only create more awareness of this problem so that other students will be interested to create similar situations.
Clearly it is in the university officials’ interest to minimize the number of these incidents and to that end, the university officials should resolve such situations privately by discussing the issues with the students.
Therefore the author seeks to find a third way other than enforcing codes or doing nothing. In this respect, he stresses the importance of maintaining the balance between free speech and mutual respect. He says that this objective can be met through education and persuasion.
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