Opinion: It’s a free country for hate speech

By Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Donald Trump is entitled to run for President… It’s a free country. Donald Trump and the others are entitled to say whatever they want, true or untrue… It’s a free country. Everybody is entitled to like or dislike whomever they wish… It’s a free country.

What makes us free and strong and unique in the history of nations is our Constitution, and in particular the first ten amendments to the Constitution known as the Bill of Rights. Included in the Bill of Rights is the freedom to worship without any impediments, the freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the freedom to peacefully assemble. The eighth amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment (i.e. torture). In addition, the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution confers citizenship on any person born in the United States. That same fourteenth amendment further states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of the law or deny to any person the equal protection of the laws. It is these precepts that has made America the exceptional nation that we are. At the time of the adoption of the Bill of Rights in 1791, these were unprecedented rights granted by the government to its citizens. It was revolutionary!

What is troubling about the candidacy of Donald Trump and others is that in exercising their right of free speech (facts be damned), he and others have revealed their vision for America. In a word, it is frightening.

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Flatiron residents want neighborhood history recognized in plaza redesign

Flatiron residents and business owners at the plaza planning workshop (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Flatiron residents and business owners at the plaza planning workshop (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents and business owners in the Flatiron District are hoping to highlight the history of the neighborhood and provide more space for public activities at the neighborhood’s pedestrian plazas.

They got to share their suggestions at a recent community workshop hosted by the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District on the future of the plazas, which stretch from 23rd to 25th Streets along Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

The workshop was held last month at the Porcelanosa building on 25th Street.

One attendee was neighborhood resident Jeanne Braun, who said the history of the area should be emphasized.

“It should be made to look like a historic district,” she said.

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