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The Importance of Rhetoric and Discussion of Freedom of Speech

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In the essays, “In Defense of Prejudice: Why Incendiary Speech Must Be Protected” by Jonathan Rauch and “The Debate over Placing Limits on Racist Speech Must Not Ignore the Damage It Does to Its Victims” by Charles R. Lawrence III, the writers express their beliefs on the topic of freedom of speech and prejudice speech; particularly racist. As far as any benefits of prejudice speech go, the two writers thoroughly disagree. Lawrence believes that there are no benefits of prejudice speech and it should not be included in what America’s “freedom of speech” entails, because of its effect on minorities as he writes, “Whenever we decide that racist speech must be tolerated because of the importance of maintaining societal tolerance for all unpopular speech, we are asking blacks and other subordinated groups to bear the burden for the good of all” (Lawrence 624.) Rauch disagrees as he suggests, “…the realistic question is how to make the best of prejudice, not how to eradicate it” (Rauch 1) as he thinks prejudice has benefits that effect not only our freedom of speech in general, but other things such as science and our ability “to challenge orthodoxy, think imaginatively, [and] experiment boldly” (Rauch 2.) Although the two writers disagree on the benefits, they do agree on some negative connotations of prejudice speech. Lawrence believes that there is real harm that can be inflicted upon a person when a victim of prejudice speech, of which is “…far from trivial” (Lawrence 623.) Rauch similarly agrees as he views the prejudice speech to be effecting to the inner body and the soul as he notes, “All of these things are noted preverbally and assessed by the gut” and that “The fear engendered by these words is real” (Rauch 6.) However, Rauc...


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...on Rauch and Charles R. Lawrence III would like to make an omelet, but have different opinions about how to go about it. One could say they are prejudice against the others opinions and dissenters to each other’s side.






Works Cited

Citations
Rauch, Jonathan. "Articles by Jonathan Rauch." 'Articles by Jonathan Rauch' N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. .
Harris, Robert A. Writing with Clarity and Style: A Guide to Rhetorical Devices for Contemporary Writers. Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Pub., 2003. Print.
Lawrence, Charles R., III. "The Debate over Placing Limits on Racist Speech Must Not Ignore the Damage It Does to Its Victims." (n.d.): n. pag. Print.
"College of Arts and Sciences." The Writing Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. .



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