Free Speech and Hate Speech
Yonatan Zunger

The first Amendment merely means you cannot be arrested for your comments but it does not say that you have an unadulterated right to spew hate speech wherever and whenever you choose. Berkeley students pay good money to go to that school and they are telling Coulter, Milo and others that the raw sewage that spews forth from their mouths does not belong at an institution of higher learning and I agree. You cannot “yell fire in a theater” or “burn a cross” because these acts have real direct consequences toward specific communities. Well so does Coulter’s hate speech. Gay Americans have traditionally been the targets of systemic violence that was thought to come with the territory until very recently. If one of these right wing yahoos leaves a Coulter presentation provoked by her hateful rhetoric about LGBT rights, and goes out beats up some poor gay student how is that different from a black American who is victimized by a cross burning? The same applies to immigrants, legal or not legal. Coulter and her right wing disinformationists have plenty of outlets for their hate speech. I am behind the students who tell her she is not welcome. Revolution occurs 100% of the time when people become angry enough and whether you are talking about The Boston Tea Party or the French Revolution, violence is a fact of life and it gets results. The USA embraced Martin Luther King 2 years after the Watts Riots and with Malcolm X threatening militancy behind him. The carrot is useless without the stick. Without a big stick, a carrot is just rabbit food and rabbits ARE food. I would not “legislate” any ban on hate speech but I support students if they want to burn the campus to the ground until they get the idea of what is appropriate.

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