We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities.
Because on your fast day you see to your business and oppress all your laborers!
Hamas claims to be fighting for freedom while invoking laws that oppress women and religious minorities.
You can only oppress a community for so long before they will fight with toothpicks against machine guns.
Sure, as Sotomayor wrote, “democratically approved legislation can oppress minority groups.”
I am unable to stand longer to give utterance to the feelings of gratitude which oppress me.
How you oppress me, my dearest friend, with your politeness!
I do not allow care to oppress me; I do not shrink from responsibility; I am not afraid of danger.
But I will not oppress you, my dearest friend, with further reflections of this sort.
White Fang knew the law well: to oppress the weak and obey the strong.
mid-14c., from Old French opresser "oppress, afflict; torment, smother" (13c.), from Medieval Latin oppressare, frequentative of Latin opprimere "press against, press together, press down;" figuratively "crush, put down, subdue, prosecute relentlessly" (in Late Latin "to rape"), from ob "against" (see ob-) + premere "to press, push" (see press (v.1)).
It is the due [external] restraint and not the moderation of rulers that constitutes a state of liberty; as the power to oppress, though never exercised, does a state of slavery. [St. George Tucker, "View of the Constitution of the United States," 1803]Related: Oppressed; oppressing.