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Come and see the Hate Speech inherent in the system!!

Posted by Lissa on March 13, 2009

Of course, back in my college days I probably would have been one of the protesters standing outside holding a sign like this one —

speech

It’s easy to say “Free speech doesn’t equal hate speech!”  It sounds very nice and pleasing and respectful. 

Unfortunately, sometimes that’s EXACTLY what free speech means — it means that your ideological enemy has the right to say exactly what you hate.

It never occurred to me that when you say, “Free speech doesn’t equal hate speech,” you are also by definition saying, “and *I* decide what hate speech is!”  But that second part of the sentence goes irretrievably with the first.

We hit the same logical disconnect with this quote from another source:

“There’s absolutely no room for hate speech on this campus,” said winter 2008 graduate Natalia Tylim. Her friend, senior Katie Perry, concurred, adding “I think campuses are places for open-mindedness, and this is the opposite of that.”

Because “open-mindedness” means, “Only those opinions which I think are correct are allowed to be heard.”  Right?

I absolutely give those students a right to protest outside the hall — that’s an exercise of free speech.  But to disrupt and derail a speech they find “hateful” — because it deals with “hate speech” in a manner they don’t like! — well, it’d be funny if it weren’t sad.

(h/t to Michelle for both links)

UPDATE: Shoothouse Barbie and Hsoi linked.  Thanks!

UPDATE: Firearms & Freedom linked.  Thanks!

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5 Responses to “Come and see the Hate Speech inherent in the system!!”

  1. secretlivesofscientists said

    “Because “open-mindedness” means, “Only those opinions which I think are correct are allowed to be heard.” Right?”

    Slam dunk, Lissa.

  2. […] Free Speech 101 Lissa talks about “free speech” on college campuses. […]

  3. totwtytr said

    Apparently someone forgot to tell them that the purpose of the First Amendment was to protect offensive speech. By definition, conformatory speech isn’t offensive and doesn’t require protection.

    It was precisely speech which is offensive or upsetting to the powers that be that was intended to be protected.

    Allowing offensive speech also allows us to identify who the hatemongers are among us.

  4. […] Unfortunately, sometimes that’s EXACTLY what free speech means — it means that your ideological enemy has the right to say exactly what you hate. – Lissa […]

  5. td said

    Very good points!

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