“Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo

In the United States, it’s easy to take our rights and privileges for granted. We are born into a society with electricity, running water, opportunity, and civil or individual rights; amenities people in the world feel the absence of on a daily basis. At the heart of our nation lies one particular right that has shaped the world’s history: freedom of speech. Our nation has wrestled with the meaning and diversity of forms of this right since the creation of the Constitution. Free speech comes in sharing an opinion, even if that belief speaks against the government or an authoritarian power. It also takes on a more abstract expression, such as black armbands to protest the Vietnam War. Free speech can also manifest itself paradoxically — by not speaking at all.

As a journalism website, free speech reigns as our license to share. Each facet of our lives — whether large scale with the recent women’s marches across the globe, or closer to home with M-A students’ personal experiences with bullying and prejudice — can be expressed, celebrated, and measured through reflection and writing.

And thanks to free speech, we can write; we write to inform, connect, inspire compassion, and create a community that is awake and aware of the world moving around it.

The Free Speech Project is M-A Chronicle’s column dedicated to issues and events related closely to freedom of speech. With the rising tensions between the media and our government, our ability to express — whether displeasure, joy, relief, or anger — and to inform the world of the realities of political reform, suffering, and progress is more important than ever. The Free Speech Project champions our right to express opinions without censorship and to write honestly about our school, our community, and our nation.

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