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Charity Overstreet Wins First Amendment Essay Scholarship

Charity Overstreet Wins First Amendment Essay Scholarship

I’ve lived on a farm, in a small town, forty-five minutes outside of Nashville, for my whole life. As can be expected, with the kind of place I live, since I was able to walk I, along with my five older siblings, have had much to do with livestock (4H, animal husbandry, etc.). But our proximity to Nashville (along with my father’s accomplishments as a songwriter) also allowed me to become heavily exposed to music and the music business, giving me the passion to pursue a career as a singer. Being homeschooled has allowed me also to focus more on music. I was homeschooled from pre-school to 10th grade. As a junior I attended Nashville State Community College in order to participate in their dual enrollment program. I completed 18 hours with a 4.0 GPA. I intend on completing my senior year in the same way.  As for my college career, I’m not positive where I will attend, but I hope to complete a double major in English and Literature.

Charity Overstreet

Charity Overstreet

Freedom of Speech Makes America Great

America, from its establishment to today has more or less been revered as one of the most prosperous in government, economy, and the day to day lives of her people. It is easy to say that it is America’s notorious freedom that is the cause for her success. Of all of the freedoms that Americans are giver, it is not too far a step to say that freedom of speech is the most important.

There are so many important ways in which freedom of speech touches this country, among them being in the entertainment industry. When a person listens to a song, reads a book, watches a movie, or goes to a comedy show, they do not think about this as anything to be thankful for. However, the truth of the matter is, without freedom of speech much of it would not be possible. For example, during WWII when the Nazis burned books, and recently with the movie The Interview, which caused outrage in North Korea (a country that controls internet use among many other things). Americans take for granted the fact that they free to read about better places and far off lands, and listen to music talking about love and heartbreak, because people are free to write such things. Without this freedom our existence would be bland, dry, and free of any entertainment. Along with this, which some may call inconsequential, it is also deeply important to American politics.

Imagine a country in which the leader is absolute. Any outward expressions of displeasure with him or her may result in imprisonment or death. This is what is fought by freedom of speech. It allows for change, for opportunity. It is the backbone of our democracy. It would not be possible to have democracy without freedom of speech. How could it? What kind of democracy are you living in if you cannot share your opinion without fear of persecution? When important political and social events are brought to the attention of the American people they have the right and the privilege to support it, or protest it as loudly as they may please. This aspect however is often confused by those wishing to make slanderous claims and claim it as freedom of speech. That is not the purpose. It is not a right meant to give way for those wishing to harm others, but rather to allow those who may be harmed to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. And it does its job. It paves the way for voting, electing officials, and progress, big and small.

So how can there be any doubt that freedom of speech is what makes America great? It is the true basis of all freedom, for if the people are never allowed to speak than how can they ask to be free? It is much like a horse. Bridle the mouth and control the whole body, but once the mouth is free the creature is stronger than its oppressor times five.

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Charity Overstreet Wins First Amendment Essay Scholarship

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