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Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship. Inalienable Rights
HATE dispels misunderstandings plaguing our perennial debates about hate speech vs. free speech, showing that the First Amendment approach promotes free speech and democracy, equality, and societal harmony. We hear too many incorrect assertions that hate speech which has no generally accepted definition is either absolutely unprotected or absolutely protected from censorship. Rather, U.S. law allows government to punish hateful or discriminatory speech in
specific contexts when it directly causes imminent serious harm, but government may not punish such speech solely because its message is disfavored, disturbing, or vaguely feared to possibly contribute to some future harm. When U.S. officials formerly wielded such broad censorship power, they suppressed
dissident speech, including equal rights advocacy. Likewise, current politicians have attacked Black Lives Matter protests as hate speech.
Hate speech censorship proponents stress the potential harms such speech might further: discrimination, violence, and psychic injuries. However, there has been little analysis of whether censorship effectively counters the feared injuries. Citing evidence from many countries, this book shows that hate speech laws are at best ineffective and at worst counterproductive. Their inevitably vague terms invest enforcing officials with broad discretion; predictably, regular targets are minority views
and speakers. Therefore, prominent social justice advocates in the U.S. and beyond maintain that the best way to resist hate and promote equality is not censorship, but rather, vigorous counterspeech and activism.
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PROTECTING FREE SPEECH IN 21st CENTURY:
HATE CRIMES ARE RISING TO THE TOP OF THE POLITICAL AGENDA IN 2018
An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”
We suspect that the title “Hate” is slightly misleading for some readers because of the rise of “hate” criminality in 2018 which continues to dominate the political agenda. The issue of censorship remains high on the political and legal agendas where no reforming change seems to be in the wind in the free speech versus privacy argument.
Therefore, it’s a most useful exercise to read this new book about “hate” from author, Professor Nadine Strossen, who successfully “dispels misunderstandings plaguing our perennial debates about "hate speech vs. free speech." We do not know whether she actually does this or not because the matter remains high on the active list of things we “must do” although not agreement which way to go is clear with strong feelings on both sides.
This title come from the United States of America jurisdiction where Strossen illustrates her main point: that the First Amendment approach promotes free speech and democracy, equality, and societal harmony.
It is said that we hear too many incorrect assertions that "hate speech" -- which has no generally accepted definition -- is either absolutely unprotected or absolutely protected from censorship. Yet, it still causes massive upheaval and anger for many accused of behaving in such a manner! Such is life.
So, this being an American edition from Oxford University Press, the author says that US law permits the government to punish hateful or discriminatory speech in specific contexts when it directly causes imminent serious harm.
It’s unfortunate, then, that whilst the government may not punish such speech solely because its message is “disfavoured, disturbing, or vaguely feared” raising a view that it possibly contributes to some future harm. As the author says, when US officials “formerly wielded such broad censorship power, they suppressed dissident speech, including equal rights advocacy.” Likewise, current politicians have attacked Black Lives Matter protests as "hate speech." This book tries to gives some balance at a time of change.
"Hate speech" censorship proponents point out that the potential harms such speech might further include discrimination, violence, and psychic injuries. However, there has been little analysis of whether censorship effectively counters the feared injuries to date.
Citing evidence from many countries, the writer shows that "hate speech" laws are “at best ineffective and at worst counterproductive”. Strossen concludes that their “inevitably vague terms invest enforcing officials with broad discretion, and predictably, regular targets are minority views and speakers”.
Therefore, prominent social justice advocates in America and elsewhere contend that the best way to resist hate and promote equality “is not censorship, but rather, vigorous "counterspeech" and activism”. A fair point in that this approach seems the most practical, at least for the time being.
The book was published on 1st May 2018.
As Nadine Strossen writes eloquently in her new book, HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, a democracy succeeds only when the rights, thoughts, and aspirations of all its citizens are respected and given voice, and the citizenry believes that this is true, regardless of viewpoint. * Maryanne Wolf, John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University and author of Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital Culture * Nadine Strossen is one of the great civil libertarians of our day. This book provides a powerful and subtle defense of free speech. Don't miss it! * Dr. Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, Harvard Divinity School * In this work, Strossen stakes out a bold and important claim about how best to protect both equality and freedom. Anyone who wants to advocate for 'hate speech' laws and policies in the future now has the `Devil's Advocate' right at hand. No one can address this issue in the foreseeable future without taking on this formidable and compelling analysis. It lays the foundation for all debates on this issue for years to come. * Geoffrey Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at University of Chicago Law School * One of life's hardest tasks is to tell natural allies they are wrong. Nadine Strossen is clear in a time of confusion, consistent in an era of hypocrisy, and brave in an environment of intimidation. Her book is a fitting capstone to a career in defense of our civil liberties. * Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., President of Purdue University, former Indiana Governor * Strossen has accomplished something remarkable in this slim book - she has ventured into a complex and heavily examined field and produced a book that is original, insightful, and clear-headed. My guess: this book will become the go-to work in the field. * Ronald Collins, Harold S. Shefelman Scholar at the UW School of Law, Publisher of First Amendment News * While other countries provide significant protection for free expression, the United States provides a significantly elevated level of protection, particularly for hateful speech. Nadine Strossen's insightful and eminently readable study on why we protect such speech and why we should continue to do so is an all-too-rare example of first-rate legal scholarship that the public at large can learn from and savor reading. * Floyd Abrams, Senior Counsel, Cahill Gordon & Reindel; Adjunct Professor, NYU Law School; Author, The Soul of the First Amendment * Nadine Strossen's new book makes an important case for the importance of free speech without limits... it is welcome to hear voices like Strossen's making themselves heard. * Jodie Ginsberg, spiked * Professor Strossen gives an impassioned and articulate argument for why the best medicine for offensive speech is more speech. Strossen calls on all who hold the ideals of a pluralistic society, to resist the easy fix of speech restriction and instead execrcise their right (if not obligation) not to remain silent. The book offers as well, advice for the European continent. In 1974 the European Court of Human Rights established in Handyside v th UK that freedom of
expression is "one of the essential foundations of any democratic society. Now, we struggle with the turmoil that has marked the first 20 years of the new millennium, perhaps the best remedy for hate speech is not restriction of offensive speech but rather a more robust debate, requiring that all people
of good will exercise their right not to remain silent. * Lawrence Siry, Collaborateur de Recherche, University of Luxembourg * Strossen has written a book that should be widely read. * John Samples, Economic Blogs * Strossen delivers an important message: At some point in time, some speech will offend and emotionally harm someone somewhere and depending on the powers that be, it could be yours. Engagement, not censorship is the answer... The UK needs to hear Strossen's cautionary tale of how the practice and application of hate speech laws widely undermine the good intentions, ultimately leading to frustration over legless political correctness or at worst, paving a path from
liberal democracy towards totalitarianism. * Chloe M. Gilgan, University of York * For centuries free speech has been the cause of political progressives. Many have died for it. Only recently have progressives abandoned it, allowing the far right to become the new heroes of open and critical public discourse. That was a bad move in principle, and has never yielded any of the desired results in practice. Censorship constantly bolsters the views that progressives insist they are challenging. Nadine Strossen remains the powerful voice of a
dangerously jeopardised tradition. She understands the social problems associated with hate speech but explains why censorship, which may be a facile solution, is neither politically defensible nor socially effective in the age of the electronic revolution. This book is for those who think they already know
all the free speech arguments. * Eric Heinze, Queen Mary University of London * HATE tackles the many misunderstandings that fuel and confuse current political life... There is a lot to like about this book. * David Cowan, Global Legal Post * A principled and persuasive analysis of how hate speech prohibitions are threatening free speech, written eloquently and comprehensibly. A powerful contribution, not only to First Amendment thinking but to other legal systems where expression rights are less well protected. * Geoffrey Robertson QC, Doughty Street Chambers * I have said it before about books, but this time I couldn't be more emphatic about it: everyone should read this book. * Lucy Kogler, LitHub * Nadine Strossen speaks power to Hate. * Sloane Crosley, Vanity Fair * For the most laudable sets of reasons, many decent citizens endorse legal limitations on hateful speech. In this accessible and much-needed contribution to current debates, Professor Strossen offers a compellingly cogent response which challenges that endorsement. Of interest to readers in the UK, US, Canada and beyond, the author critically dissects arguments for constitutional bans. She offers an alternative, speech-friendly solution to this most pressing of
contemporary problems that demands to be read. * Ian Cram, Professor of Comparative Consitutional Law, University of Leeds *