Many times in life you will probably hear the quote “actions speak louder than words”. You’ll probably hear it from your parents, your teachers, and maybe even your lover. Your parents will get mad at you one day because you came home at 3:00 A. M. For the 3rd time this week and you promise to never, ever disappoint them again and they’ll say, “Actions speak louder than words! I’ll believe it once I see it”.
You’ll tell your teachers that you’re going to start getting better grades and stop being late to lass and they’ll tell you “actions speak louder than words… I’ll believe it when I see it” and one day, your girlfriend will get mad at you because you forgot your 2nd month anniversary and you’ll swear to her that you’ll never forget again because you love her so much and she’s important to you and you don’t want to lose her and then she’ll sigh with slight disbelief and sluggishly say “actions speak louder than words… I’ll believe it once I see it”.
Point is, no matter what you say, how you say it, or even how much you mean it, other people will never see the true value in your words, until hey see you doing things to prove that you really mean what you say. Coming home early to show your parents that you are willing to change Just to avoid disappointing them again, will convince them that you do seek change, trust, and forgiveness. Getting good grades and perfect attendance will show your teachers you’re completely dedicated and you’re 100% true to your word about doing better in school.
Taking your girlfriend on a date to Six Flags for your 3rd month anniversary will show her you have changed, and you’re willing to remember the little things that re important to her. You’re doing things to prove a point to someone, without saying one word. Symbolic speech in America, is pretty much the same thing. People want to prove a point without saying anything because actions do speak louder than words, and they make you feel things about a certain issue that words cannot.
In the United States, acts of symbolic speech should be protected by the first amendment because it is an extreme form of expressing your point through specific actions that represent and express the way you feel. Actions speak louder than words, and listening with our eyes is far more powerful than hearing with your ears. Symbolic speech is a very powerful way to represent the way you feel about a certain issue, without saying anything at all. For example, back in March 31st, 1966 David Paul O’Brien was arrested for burning his military draft card.
Why would he burn his draft card? Simply because he was against the war. Things became complicated not because he burned his draft card, but because it was illegal to burn your draft card due to the Selective Service Act which prohibited the desecrating or destroying the draft card. The reason why the government didn’t want these men burning their draft cards not because it represented them being against the Vietnam War, but because it would seriously derail the government’s efforts to enlist soldiers in the war.
O’Brien felt that the Selective Service Act was going against the First Amendment because he was trying to send the message that he didn’t care for the war by destroying his draft card, and the government was making that illegal. He was totally against it and burning his draft card was a way of showing he didn’t want anything to o with it. O’Brien knew well how important the draft card was to the government because of the war, and that’s why he burned it. His message was very strong, powerful and clear.
He shouldn’t have been punished for putting his message out in the open. Words, or actions, they still took his right of freedom of speech away, regardless how he chose to say it. There are many ways you can express the way you feel. The most common way is through art. Through art you can express yourself, while still sending some kind of message at the same time. Symbolic speech is omitting like art, you don’t have to say anything in order to express the way you feel about something, and still send a clear message.
In 1984, Gregory Lee Johnson poured kerosene on an American flag and set it on fire. Many Americans would be appalled by this unacceptable behavior, but little would actually understand the meaning and reasoning behind it. He was a member of a private company who promoted the communist movement. He lit the flag on fire to protest capitalism and the way the government was being run. Johnson was expressing his anger by setting he flag on fire because he knew it was a powerful way of showing disrespect towards the country.
The American flag is a immensely respected object in the U. S. And burning it is a clear way of saying that this country means nothing to him if it isn’t being ran the way the people Monsoon and his private company) want it to be ran. Even though the ways symbolic speech is used can be offensive, it should definitely be protected under the First Amendment. It is a simple, but powerful way to express an idea and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it causes no harm to others.
In conclusion, the acts of symbolic speech should be protected under the First Amendment because it is a strong, way to represent and express what you feel and believe. In the U. S. It should be okay to say what you want to say how ever you want to say it, whether it’s through letters on a paper, words coming out of a mouth, or a silent action. In life you are going to hear a lot of things that you don’t like, and you’re going to see a lot of things that you don’t like, but does the government protect you from that? Of course not.
In life, we should be able to say, think, believe and do what you want because that’s what this country is all about. Freedom. Freedom to be your own person, with your own points of views and perspective, and to share that with other people, regardless in what form it’s share in, should be protected by the First Amendment (as long as it doesn’t cause harm to others mentally/physically). Actions speak louder than words. Expressing and representing those actions should not be a crime Just because you chose to say it in a different way, silently but truly, powerfully.
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