Freedom of speech has its limits

To the Editor:

As a Morse freshman living in Durfee Hall, the hate sign article (“Hate Sign Removed from Durfee Hall,” 10/30) and its subsequent columns and letters of reaction hold special interest for me. The removal of the banner does not constitute suppression when in actuality it is a protection.

As an occupant of Durfee, do I not have the right to come home every night without being sickened and offended by banners posted a few feet from my window? I have nothing against people expressing their own unique views in any situation; they could publish a book and hope to sell it for all I care.

I do mind, however, when they choose to advertise their views on the building in which I also reside. By hanging their banner on Durfee, it generates the assumption that the banner’s message reflects the attitude of all Morse and Durfee residents, a fact spectacularly incorrect.

When a message intended for the public offends so many, it exits the realm of freedom of speech and becomes a violation of my rights. The true meaning of freedom of expression requires that everyone, not just those who decide to speak but the listeners as well, can expect a defense of personal views and rights.

Audrey An ’05

November 1, 2001

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