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‘Contrary to the very intent’

The First Amendment, freedom of speech, is the reason why a 17-year-old can write this article and the reason why Barbara Rose Johns walked out of Moton High School in the early 1950s.

No matter what title it goes by, the first part of the Bill of Rights might just be the most important element of democracy. Trials have been held and wars have been fought so that Americans can continue to exercise one of the most fundamental components of a free life.

The founding fathers fought hard to ensure that the rights of the common man would be preserved, but I doubt they were able to completely understand the implications this right would have for future generations. However, I know that they completely grasped the purpose of what they were doing.

I believe the First Amendment exists so people like Johns can use their voices to ignite change.

Even though they did not have the liberty to challenge the status quo, the founders of this nation used their voices to stand up to the unfairness of absolute monarchy, much like Johns used her voice to stand up to the terrors of racial injustice.

The freedom of speech is critical because it is the only avenue through which this nation can be improved.

The saddening part, however, is that the First Amendment is now being used to protect individuals who threaten the advancements that have been made under this same right.

It is quite a conundrum when the rights of man are being used by one group to challenge the rights of another. Hundreds of thousands of people have died for the cause of empowerment.

How devastating is it that the freedom of speech allows people to protest for the reversal of affirmative progress?

This liberty has been the impetus for so much positive change in America, yet now it is being used to undermine the greatest reforms that have been enacted in American history.

It is frustrating that white supremacists, neo-Nazis and racists are safeguarded by the nation’s founding document, but short of a Constitutional amendment that modifies the Bill of Rights, there are not many options for Americans who recognize this quandary.

The message spewed by hate groups is contrary to the very intent of the First Amendment.

Freedom of speech should be used to promote more freedom, not encourage its destruction.

Daniel Brickhill lives in Buckingham County. His email address is danielrbrickhill@gmail.com.