The question of free speech is never far from the headlines and frequently declared to be in crisis. Starting from the observation that such debates so often focus on what can and cannot be said in relation to race, Gavan Titley asks why racism has become so central to intense disputes about the status and remit of freedom of speech. Is Free Speech Racist? moves away from recurring debates about the limits of speech to instead interrogate the use of the principle of free speech in today’s multicultural and intensively mediated societies. This involves tracing the ways in which free speech has been mobilized in far-right politics, in the recycling of ‘race realism’ and other outdated forms of knowledge, and in nationalist identity politics. Where there is intense political contestation and public confusion as to what constitutes racism and who gets to define it, ‘free speech’ has been adopted as a primary mechanism for validating, amplifying and re-animating racist ideas and racializing claims. As such, free speech ideas reveal much about the ongoing life of race and racism in contemporary society.
Free speech is guaranteed under the First Amendment. Although it may hurt and offend, hate speech is still free, under most circumstances. But what happens when institutions like universities adopt policies prohibiting offensive speech? Do such policies cause more harm than good? Should measures be taken to curb threatening or insulting comments? Or does that amount to little more than censorship? Is our quest to be polite and politically correct curtailing opportunities to express, learn, and grow? When does free speech become criminally threatening? These questions and more are thoughtfully examined in this important resource.
Most liberal societies are deeply committed to free speech, but there is evidence that some kinds of speech can be harmful in ways that are detrimental to important liberal values, such as social inequality. This volume draws on a range of approaches in order to explore the problem and determine what ought to be done about allegedly harmful speech.
Van Alstyne presents an "unhurried" historical review of the extent to which academic freedom has been accepted into domestic constitutional law. Two essays deal with the issue of tenure and academic freedom. Ralph S. Brown and Jordan E. Kurland agree that tenure reinforces academic freedom but wonder if there is not a large price to be paid for such a system. In a highly instructive review Matthew Finkin looks at academic tenure and freedom in the light of labor law. Focusing on freedom of artistic expression, Robert O'Neil raises difficult questions about what kinds of art displays taxpayers can be expected to tolerate in the colleges and universities they support. Rodney A. Smolla looks at the ways in which "hate" speech and offensive expression on campuses engage wide First Amendment jurisprudence. Judith Jarvis Thomson examines the vexed issue of selecting - and valuing - individual faculty members or disciplines with regard to ideology. Michael W.
Explores whether American free speech doctrine systematically discriminates against women and minorities.. Does American free speech doctrine discriminate against women and minorities? In Hate Speech, Pornography, and the Radical Attack on Free Speech Doctrine, James Weinstein carefully examines the charge that in interpreting the First Amendment
How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism
Author: Erik Bleich
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Social Science
We love freedom. We hate racism. But what do we do when these values collide? In this wide-ranging book, Erik Bleich explores policies that the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and other liberal democracies have implemented when forced to choose between preserving freedom and combating racism. Bleich's comparative historical approach reveals that while most countries have increased restrictions on racist speech, groups and actions since the end of World War II, this trend has resembled a slow creep more than a slippery slope. Each country has struggled to achieve a balance between protecting freedom and reducing racism, and the outcomes have been starkly different across time and place. Building on these observations, Bleich argues that we should pay close attention to the specific context and to the likely effects of any policy we implement, and that any response should be proportionate to the level of harm the racism inflicts. Ultimately, the best way for societies to preserve freedom while fighting racism is through processes of public deliberation that involve citizens in decisions that impact the core values of liberal democracies.
If the University had a constitution, would it contain a free speech provision such as exists in the U.S. Constitution? The author develops in some detail the idea of the University as a special social institution that has as its goal the dissemination and advancement of knowledge.Free Speech on Campus examines the arguments, pro and con, concerning appropriate standards of discourse and expression that are particularly germane to the campus context, public or private, whether or not they are constitutionally enforceable. Students and teachers in every discipline will find this book engaging and illuminating; it is especially relevant for ethicists and philosophers of education.
Free Speech and Hate Speech in the United States explores the concept and treatment of hate speech in light of escalating social tensions in the global twenty-first century, proposing a shift in emphasis from the negative protection of individual rights toward a more positive support of social equality. Drawing on Axel Honneth’s theory of recognition, the author develops a two-tiered framework for free speech analysis that will promote a strategy for combating hate speech. To illustrate how this framework might impact speech rights in the U.S., she looks specifically at hate speech in the context of symbolic speech, disparaging speech, internet speech and speech on college campuses. Entering into an ongoing debate about the role of speech in society, this book will be of key importance to First Amendment scholars, and to scholars and students of communication studies, media studies, media law, political science, feminist studies, American studies, and history.
Free Speech and the Politics of Identity challenges the scholarly view as well as the dominant legal view outside the United States that the right of free speech may reasonably be traded off in pursuit of justice to stigmatized minorities. These views appeal to an alleged reasonable balancebetween two basic human rights: the right of free speech and the right against unjust discrimination. Compelling arguments of normative political theory and interpretative history show, however, that these rights are structurally linked: the abridgement of one compromises the other. To make thiscase, David Richards offers an original political theory of toleration and of structural injustice that addresses the nature and scope of the right of free speech and the right against unjust discrimination; its analytic focus is on the role played by members of subordinated groups in the protest ofthe terms of structural injustice (the politics of identity), advancing constitutional justice under law. While the argument is developed on the basis of American constitutional experience from the antebellum period forward, its normative force is brought to bear both in defending and criticizingsome aspects of American law and in challenging the continuing legitimacy of laws against group libel, obscenity, and blasphemy under national legal systems (including Germany, France, Britain, Canada, Israel, India, South Africa, and others), regional systems (the jurisprudence of the EuropeanCourt of Human Rights), and public international law. The book's innovative normative and interpretative methodology calls for a new departure in comparative public law, in which all states responsibly address their common problems not only of inadequate protection of free speech but correlativefailure to take seriously the continuing political power of such evils as anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia.
In authoritarian states, the discourse on freedom of speech, conducted by those opposed to non-democratic governments, focuses on the core aspects of this freedom: on a right to criticize the government, a right to advocate theories arid ideologies contrary to government-imposed orthodoxy, a right to demand institutional reforms, changes in politics, resignation of the incompetent and the corrupt from positions of authority. The claims for freedom of speech focus on those exercises of freedom that are most fundamental and most beneficial to citizens - and which are denied to them by the government. But in a by-and large democratic polity, where these fundamental benefits of freedom of speech are generally enjoyed by the citizens, the public and scholarly discourse on freedom of speech hovers about the peripheries of that freedom; the focus is on its outer boundaries rather than at the central territory of freedom of speech. Those borderline cases, in which people who are otherwise genuinely committed to the core aspects of freedom of speech may sincerely disagree, include pornography, racist hate speech and religious bigoted expressions, defamation of politicians and of private persons, contempt of court, incitement to violence, disclosure of military or commercial secrets, advertising of merchandise such as alcohol or cigarettes or of services and entertainment such as gambling and prostitution.
"This is an engaging and highly readable discussion of the intricacies of First Amendment jurisprudence as it is applied to the college campus." -- The Law and Politics Book Review "Lucidly written, the book can be read and understood by many audiences from student organizations to board members.... Essential for all college and university libraries." -- Choice "A pragmatic, libertarian-minded, and well-informed legal handbook for the First Amendment on campus..." -- Kirkus Reviews "... the most comprehensive and thorough examination of campus speech available today." -- Harvard Educational Review "Bob O'Neil has produced the seminal work on First Amendment freedoms on our university campuses. He has brought scolarship, clear thinking and clean prose to a book of critical importance to all of us." -- Bruce W. Sanford "Robert O'Neil has long been one of the brightest stars in the complex and controversial arena of freedom of expression. And he has never shined brighter and with more incisive clarity than with his new work, Free Speech in the College Community." -- Richar A. Roth, Trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Freedom of Expression "This is the first integrated discussion of the fascinating free speech issues that pertain to teachers and students. It is an unusually informative, vivid and balanced treatment and an absolute must read for all academics and students." -- Norman Dorsen, former president of the American Civil Liberties Union "Free Speech in the College Community is a very timely book written by a dedicated scholar of the First Amendment. Challenging and readable it should be studied by all academicians, students, legislators and lawyers." -- Nancy Kassebaum Baker, United States Senator (retired) All of today's "hot-button" issues are dealt with in this timely book, from Holocaust denial to claims of racial determination of intelligence to hate speech. Former college president Robert O'Neil dramatically illustrates the many types of problems that confront university administrators, frequently using representative fictional characters and discourse to present the situations. Free Speech in the College Community illustrates the many problems that now confront universities by questioning whether or not speech on campus should be freer than speech on the streets. Join the Web debate about free speech on campus: http://www.indiana.edu/~iupress/freespeech
In an era when much of what passes for debate is merely moral posturing--traditional family values versus the cultural elite, free speech versus censorship--or reflexive name-calling--the terms "liberal" and "politically correct," are used with as much dismissive scorn by the right as "reactionary" and "fascist" are by the left--Stanley Fish would seem an unlikely lightning rod for controversy. A renowned scholar of Milton, head of the English Department of Duke University, Fish has emerged as a brilliantly original critic of the culture at large, praised and pilloried as a vigorous debunker of the pieties of both the left and right. His mission is not to win the cultural wars that preoccupy the nation's attention, but rather to redefine the terms of battle. In There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, Fish takes aim at the ideological gridlock paralyzing academic and political exchange in the nineties. In his witty, accessible dissections of the swirling controversies over multiculturalism, affirmative action, canon revision, hate speech, and legal reform, he neatly eviscerates both the conservatives' claim to possession of timeless, transcendent values (the timeless transcendence of which they themselves have conveniently identified), and the intellectual left's icons of equality, tolerance, and non-discrimination. He argues that while conservative ideologues and liberal stalwarts might disagree vehemently on what is essential to a culture, or to a curriculum, both mistakenly believe that what is essential can be identified apart from the accidental circumstances (of time and history) to which the essential is ritually opposed. In the book's first section, which includes the five essays written for Fish's celebrated debates with Dinesh D'Souza (the author and former Reagan White House policy analyst), Fish turns his attention to the neoconservative backlash. In his introduction, Fish writes, "Terms that come to us wearing the label 'apolitical'--'common values', 'fairness', 'merit', 'color blind', 'free speech', 'reason'--are in fact the ideologically charged constructions of a decidedly political agenda. I make the point not in order to level an accusation, but to remove the sting of accusation from the world 'politics' and redefine it as a synonym for what everyone inevitably does." Fish maintains that the debate over political correctness is an artificial one, because it is simply not possible for any party or individual to occupy a position above or beyond politics. Regarding the controversy over the revision of the college curriculum, Fish argues that the point is not to try to insist that inclusion of ethnic and gender studies is not a political decision, but "to point out that any alternative curriculum--say a diet of exclusively Western or European texts--would be no less politically invested." In Part Two, Fish follows the implications of his arguments to a surprising rejection of the optimistic claims of the intellectual left that awareness of the historical roots of our beliefs and biases can allow us, as individuals or as a society, to escape or transcend them. Specifically, he turns to the movement for reform of legal studies, and insists that a dream of a legal culture in which no one's values are slighted or declared peripheral can no more be realized than the dream of a concept of fairness that answers to everyone's notions of equality and jsutice, or a yardstick of merit that is true to everyone's notions of worth and substance. Similarly, he argues that attempts to politicize the study of literature are ultimately misguided, because recharacterizations of literary works have absolutely no impact on the mainstream of political life. He concludes his critique of the academy with "The Unbearable Ugliness of Volvos," an extraordinary look at some of the more puzzing, if not out-and-out masochistic, characteristics of a life in academia. Penetrating, fearless, and brilliantly argued, There's No Such Thing as Free Speech captures the essential Fish. It is must reading for anyone who cares about the outcome of America's cultural wars.
Americans should not just tolerate dissent. They should encourage it. In this provocative and wide-ranging book, Steven Shiffrin makes this case by arguing that dissent should be promoted because it lies at the heart of a core American value: free speech. He contends, however, that the country's major institutions--including the Supreme Court and the mass media--wrongly limit dissent. And he reflects on how society and the law should change to encourage nonconformity. Shiffrin is one of the country's leading first-amendment theorists. He advances his dissent-based theory of free speech with careful reference to its implications for such controversial topics of constitutional debate as flag burning, cigarette advertising, racist speech, and subsidizing the arts. He shows that a dissent-based approach would offer strong protection for free speech--he defends flag burning as a legitimate form of protest, for example--but argues that it would still allow for certain limitations on activities such as hate speech and commercial speech. Shiffrin adds that a dissent-based approach reveals weaknesses in the approaches to free speech taken by postmodernism, Republicanism, deliberative democratic theory, outsider jurisprudence, and liberal theory. Throughout the book, Shiffrin emphasizes the social functions of dissent: its role in combating injustice and its place in cultural struggles over the meanings of America. He argues, for example, that if we took a dissent-based approach to free speech seriously, we would no longer accept the unjust fact that public debate is dominated by the voices of the powerful and the wealthy. To ensure that more voices are heard, he argues, the country should take such steps as making defamation laws more hospitable to criticism of powerful people, loosening the grip of commercial interests on the media, and ensuring that young people are taught the importance of challenging injustice. Powerfully and clearly argued, Shiffrin's book is a major contribution to debate about one of the most important subjects in American public life.
Since the advent of multiculturalism in the 1970s, the redefinition of race in cultural terms has gone hand in hand with an official discourse of respect for cultural difference and diversity. Today, in the wake of 9/11, the rhetoric of tolerance is visibly breaking down. As state policy shifts from the celebration of difference to an anxious call for assimilation, the racial other (whether citizen or immigrant) is under renewed pressure to integrate herself into society. In this issue of Mute, contributors read the crisis of multiculturalism - political, scientific and social - as both a neoliberal offensive and a challenge to rethink the relationship between particular identities and universal rights, evolutionary science and biopower. Texts by: George Caffentzis, Matthew Hyland, Daniel Jewesbury, Marek Kohn, Eric Krebbers, Hari Kunzru, Melancholic Troglodytes, Angela Mitropoulos, Luciana Parisi, Benedict Seymour
Irish, Jewish, and African American Struggles over Race and Representation, 1890-1930
Author: M. Alison Kibler
Publisher: UNC Press Books
A drunken Irish maid slips and falls. A greedy Jewish pawnbroker lures his female employee into prostitution. An African American man leers at a white woman. These and other, similar images appeared widely on stages and screens across America during the early twentieth century. In this provocative study, M. Alison Kibler uncovers, for the first time, powerful and concurrent campaigns by Irish, Jewish and African Americans against racial ridicule in popular culture at the turn of the twentieth century. Censoring Racial Ridicule explores how Irish, Jewish, and African American groups of the era resisted harmful representations in popular culture by lobbying behind the scenes, boycotting particular acts, and staging theater riots. Kibler demonstrates that these groups' tactics evolved and diverged over time, with some continuing to pursue street protest while others sought redress through new censorship laws. Exploring the relationship between free expression, democracy, and equality in America, Kibler shows that the Irish, Jewish, and African American campaigns against racial ridicule are at the roots of contemporary debates over hate speech.
Hate speech laws have existed in various forms in Australia for well over a decade. Unlike other countries, such as the United States and Canada, they have not faced constitutional hurdles to their existence. The general acceptance of hate speech laws in Australia opens intellectual space for the exploration of a range of interesting questions regarding the laws' operation, the underlying values they pursue and the context within which hate speech is occurring. How should the regulation of hate speech be balanced against Australia's political and cultural commitment to freedom of speech? Who are the hate speakers and how does their speech manifest? What types of hate speech are targeted by existing laws? How are these laws enforced? How can the laws be changed to improve governments' response to hate speech? How does the emergence of bills of rights affect the regulation of hate speech? Drawing on a broad range of academic and practical experts, this book addresses these questions. The essays in first part of this book outline the landscape within which hate speech regulation occurs. They include consideration of the legal, policy and historical context for vilification, the ways in which the language of hatred is changing, and a new look at the longstanding debate about the tension between freedom of speech and hate speech as a conflict between liberty and equality. In part two, the book considers the practice of hate speech regulation in a variety of Australian institutions and includes practical perspectives from the legal profession. In the final part the essays consider hate speech regulation within a broader human rights framework, taking into account the emergence of bills of rights in Australian states.