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Thu Oct 31, 2019, 04:46 PM

Why America needs a hate speech law

By Richard Stengel

Oct. 29, 2019 at 8:20 a.m. EDT
Richard Stengel, a former editor of Time, is the author of “Information Wars” and was the State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs from 2013 to 2016.

When I was a journalist, I loved Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s assertion that the Constitution and the First Amendment are not just about protecting “free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”

But as a government official traveling around the world championing the virtues of free speech, I came to see how our First Amendment standard is an outlier. Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran. Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?


Full Article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/29/why-america-needs-hate-speech-law/


Stengel makes some compelling arguments here. I personally favor hate speech laws akin to what we see in the UK and other European nations. Even Canada has hate speech laws on the books. Hate speech is treated as an act of violence or incitement to violence in such places.

At any rate, interesting stuff.

18 replies, 935 views

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:24 PM

1. No...the 1st A is ours so we aren't the UK or Canada

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:24 PM

2. oh sure lets have blasphemy laws and burns violators at the stake. nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:41 PM

3. That's not what Stengel was advocating.

It's interesting that you interpreted it that way. I just checked, and no blasphemer has been burned at the stake in England for centuries. I guess they're waiting for us to be bamboozled into adopting such laws before they get their medieval on.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:49 PM

5. He suggests it should be illegal to burn the Koran in the first few paragraphs.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:02 PM

6. Right....

"But as a government official traveling around the world championing the virtues of free speech, I came to see how our First Amendment standard is an outlier. Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran. Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?
It’s a fair question..."


Does he think the same about burning a Bible? He doesn't address it....I wonder why? No I really don't.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:59 PM

16. It would be prosecuted under "incitement to racial or religious hatred" in the UK

and several other EU countries.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #16)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 07:18 PM

17. And is wholly incompatible with American law.

That someone who once served as president of a “Constitution Center” you would think he could elucidate this principle in conversation.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 05:47 PM

4. +1000

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:02 PM

7. I'll be succinct: I will never support repealing the First Amendment.

“Hate speech” is never clearly defined in this article, but why any sane person would want to give Attorney General Barr or Sessions the power to decide on such charges is beyond me.

I think they could have some different ideas on who should be prosecuted and for what...

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:09 PM

8. Hate speach is not free speach.

 

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Response to Joe941 (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:19 PM

11. So let's have Bill Barr's Justice Department decide who gets charged.

Great idea! Can’t think of anything going wrong.

The First Amendment contains no exception for “hate speech”

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #11)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:31 PM

13. Amazing how people who support this crap don't seem to realize how it can be used against them

The first time someone posts an OP critical of Franklin Graham and Barr's DOJ invokes "hate speech" laws they'd understand.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:09 PM

9. No we don't. Not the government's job. Nt

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:13 PM

10. No, just no.

I hate religion, for example, and should forever be allowed to say so.

"Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran."

LOL

By the same people who don't condemn the discrimination against and even executions of professed atheists such as myself. And there's the crux of the matter: what unbiased person(s) get to decide what constitututes "hate speech"? Pat Robertson? Bill Barr?

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:28 PM

12. I vigorously oppose European style hate speech laws

The quote below illustrates a big reason why:

Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran. Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?


I oppose European style hate speech laws because I oppose blasphemy laws, including de facto ones. Why is anybody's holy book deserving of special protection?

I oppose European style hate speech laws because I shouldn't have to worry about being fined or jailed because I expressed my opinion that the hijab is a visible symbol of oppression and patriarchy.

I'll keep our unique First Amendment, warts and all rather than spend my life worrying if the blog post I make will earn me a jail sentence.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:35 PM

14. When you decide to ban hate speech...

...who gets to decide what is hateful?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #14)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:43 PM

15. Funny how the Brits are able to figure that part out just fine.

I guess we're dumber than they are.

Trump wouldn't be possible in the U.K. White nationalist/supremacist louts like Tommy Robinson see bars when their hateful, racist incitements go too far. In the U.S., they become President.

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Response to jcmaine72 (Reply #15)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 07:26 PM

18. Boris is doing a pretty fair Trump imitation IMO

And Brexit at its heart was a fear of ‘others’ coming into their nation.

Their anti-speech laws didn’t seem to moderate it a bit.

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