The First Amendment in the United States, strictly defined as "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" is a subject matter which has sparked controversy in the US since the election of Trump, which merits discussion. In short, 1A grants freedom of all speech and expression, so long that it does not incite violence or threaten one's safety. The issue with this premise is, it allows hateful speech and expression to thrive, as hate speech is, from a legal standpoint, non-existent the US, in the sense that bigoted and hateful rhetoric can go without punishment. Examples of unarguably hateful speech and expression would be the N-word, Swastikas/Nazi propaganda, Confederate Flag, and other slurs directed to racial minorities, religious minorities, and the LGBT community. Matter of fact, a new study from the Washington Post estimates that up to 40% of college students in the US oppose the first amendment, which is far higher than ever recorded in history. My position on 1A (freedom of speech/expression) is simple. It should be abolished, just like 2A (right to own a firearm). Why? Because it not only allows, but justifies and protects, extremely harmful and bigoted types of speech/expression which dehumanizes marginalized people, most specifically African Americans, Jews, Muslims, and those of the LGBT community. Yes, because of 1A, Americans can go out in the streets chanting the N-Word, wave swastikas, and tell LGBT people that they aren't worthy of humanity, all because it's supposedly "not inciting violence or threatening". And this is more of a problem than ever right now, as President Trump emboldens hateful and oppressive rhetoric, extremist groups take to the streets to promote Nazism and openly racist/homophobic causes. These types of people are louder and more empowered than they've been since Jim Crow. These types of people attend LGBT pride marches with swastikas, and BLM rallies with confederate flags and shout the N-word, it has happened just a week ago or two. Though it is allowed under 1A, this type of speech/expression is immoral and oppressive, and simply should be illegal. To me, if you are truly an ally towards people of color, religious minorities, and LGBT individuals, then you would acknowledge that 1A is threatening to these groups and should be repealed, or drastically modified in the very least, so that these peoples are protected from hate speech and expression. What is the solution? A clearly defined list of hate speech and expression should be established. A large issue is, people debate what constitutes hate speech and hateful expression and cannot reach a consensus, which is why 1A has been in place for so many years and has not be replaced. The reason why hate speech in the US is still perfectly legal. Therefore, here is a simplified guideline which defines what is hate, and should be illegal. The punishment system would be this; those caught using hate speech would at first be given fines; serial offenders would eventually be arrested for a misdemeanor hate crime. This system would be similar to the ticket system for drivers; first you get a ticket and have to pay a small amount of money; if you get too many tickets, you'd be arrested for traffic violation, etc. You see the point. Speech which incites violence and overtly threatens ones safety (already illegal in the US). Speech and propaganda, which emboldens and promotes undeniably hateful ideologies such as Neo-Nazism, Ku Klux Klan, etc. Racial slurs. Religious slurs. Homophobic slurs. If other types of speech/expression should be added to these guidelines, feel free to add them to the thread. However, this important distinction should be made. These types of speech/expression only constitute as a hate crime if they are perpetrated IN PUBLIC ONLY. One who uses the N-Word or flies a Nazi flag in their home should (reluctantly) not face criminal punishment, though one who uses the N-Word to a black person or flies the Nazi Flag in the street therefore would be punishable. If one says the N-Word, for example, under their breath in public, would not be punished, though one who walks up to a black person and calls them that slur, most definitely should be. Point is, laws regarding this should be flexible and situational. The goal of hateful speech/expression being banned (restricted 1A) is simple: to protect the marginalized from hate. If people are no longer allowed to openly voice their bigoted views, than marginalized people would likely be more inclined to voice their opinions as they would not have to worry about being ridiculed and shut down by bigoted people. This is the type of America we should be striving for. As the current state of freedom of speech/expression is heavily disputed, I encourage you to voice your opinion on these matters and engage in some thoughtful discourse. Lets get the ball rolling!