SY ’11-’12 #10 Protests un-American?

Earlier this week I saw a clip of Herman Cain referring to the” Occupy Wall Street” protesters as un-American.  I decided to pose the following question to my juniors in US history, since we had just wrapped up learing about the Constitution and Bill of Rights:  presidential hopeful Herman Cain referred to the protesters on Wall St. as “un-American”.  Do you agree or disagree and why?  Students responded anonymously. The majority of the class disagreed, here is one sample (it is typed just as the student wrote it):

“I disagree.  Americans have the freedom to protest, and if they don’t agree with something, they have every right to exercise that freedom.  In fact, I think protesting would make them more American for standing up for their beliefs.”

There were two that agreed (I have typed them as they were written on the paper):

“I agree because it is a free-market and the people are at fault for signing with high interest rates.”

“Agree, because people are selfish, there happy when times are good, but because there struggling, there blaming other people.”

I find the comments students made interesting just as I find Herman Cain’s comment interesting.  The First Amendment doesn’t qualify what can or cannot be protested, it simply says we have the right to peaceably assemble.  Anyway, thought it was something worth pondering.


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