This I Believe

Alicia - Harrah, Washington
Entered on January 17, 2007

Are you free to speak your mind? Freedom of Speech is one of the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. We, as Americans, are privileged in being granted this right. Not everyone in the world has the opportunity to express their beliefs in their country, especially if they live under a dictatorship. I believe every human should be given the opportunity to express their opinion regardless of their culture, gender, and color of skin.

In the United States, we are given the opportunity to freely express our opinion. We can choose to express our opinion towards many things and in many ways. We have the liberty to freely put across our opinion by protesting, making a speech, or writing a book without the fear of being killed, or being thrown in jail. We are given the liberty to vote, and choose between candidates from different political parties. These are just a few examples of the many ways we can state our beliefs. This is a privilege not granted to people in countries that have a restrictive political system.

Dictatorship is something that has existed in many countries for several years and still exists to this day. Germany, Brazil, Cuba, and Iraq are all countries who have been under the rule of dictatorship, or still live under it. I believe no human has the right to limit someone else’s freedom of speech. People like Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein dedicated their life to overthrowing their country’s previous government and forming their own according to their beliefs. After the government was overthrown the people were left with no other option but to obey, the new rules. If they chose to contradict the leader they had to pay a price, sometimes the price was being assassinated along with their family. Killing others for not believing like you is something very cruel and not deserved by anyone. Dictatorship is a negative example Freedom of Speech, because the citizens of Germany and Iraq never had the opportunity to vote, or express their opinion in what they believed. A great man who once lived and was a great example in Freedom of Speech was Martin Luther King.

Martin Luther King is a good example of freedom of speech. Being a colored African- American he stood up for his beliefs, knowing what the possible consequences of his actions would be. Knowing the whites would act fiercely towards his opinion of equality for both whites and blacks did not stop him from believing in his dream, but only made it stronger. Dr. King had a desire for a future where blacks and whites would coexist harmoniously as equals. He dreamed of one day living in a nation where his children would not be judged by the color of their skin, but for the content of their character. He expressed his dream proving they were unpopular with many southern whites and that violence could result.

We Americans should be proud of living in a nation where we can freely state our thoughts. We should be proud of the nation and government we live under. I’m sure no human being wishes to live under a nation where expressing their opinion can cause them to risk losing their life. I believe we should all express our opinion, and be like Martin Luther King, who was not afraid of expressing his dream, and maybe we too can inspire and change the lives of many others.