Essay: Essay: may 18, 1970

VIOLENT PROTEST: A DEBASED LANGUAGE

WORDS, like trees, bend with the prevailing winds. In the climate of opinion of the past few years, the word dissent has undergone a decided transformation. For most of U.S. history, it clearly meant speech—the unorthodox opinion, the challenging idea. Then, during the 1960s, civil rights protesters took to the streets to fight segregation, and the word became associated with demonstrations as much as with speech. As protests have continued to broaden and increase, dissent has come to be used to describe and defend a wide variety of physical...

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