Due April 27th

Drawing the boundaries of freedom of speech involves more than just knowing what the basic purposes of the First Amendment are. The United States of America are known at least in recent times for providing exceptionally broad protection for otherwise objectionable speech and expression, and hate speech is understood to be one of the areas in which United States of America have positioned themselves further out on the speech-protective end of the legal spectrum than perhaps most other countries have been willing to venture. There is little prospect of resolving controversies over hate speech in the absence of a general theory that integrates both the jurisdictions and the limitations on freedom of speech into a coherent whole. The debate on speech regulation raises crucial issues about the meaning and limits of free expression and its relationship to other fundamental values such as civility, equality, and dignity.

Outline

Introduction

i)Thesis statement

Purpose of paper

Body

i) Definition of hate speech

Hate speech is thought to include communications of animosity or disparagement of an individual or group on account of characteristics such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.

ii ) Description

Hate speech takes the form of anonymous, threatening, or obscene messages or telephone calls, conduct that is an invasion of privacy. Hate speech can also constitute the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

iii) Examples: Court cases: R.A.V v. City of St. Paul, Westboro Church, Brandenburg v. Ohio, Skokie affair  

Supreme Court ruling on the court cases.

Dilemma presented by regulation of speech

iv) Constitution

Constitutional views on freedom of speech and free speech regulation.The United States federal Constitution offers no definition of freedom of speech which it forbids government to abridge. The community, and the government that it establishes, have a duty to protect the rights of their citizens, who in turn have an obligation to obey the laws made to secure the rights of others.

v)Other Individual rights

other fundamental values such as civility, equality, and dignity.

John Locke, Natural rights theory

The natural rights background of the First Amendment suggests that free speech is limited by the rights of others, and that government may protect the individual rights from wrongful injury without violating the right to free speech.

vi) Debates

Opponents of restriction on free speech

Those who support restrictions on hate speech often argue that it should be regarded as an exception to the general rule of free speech. The Supreme Court has recognized other exceptions. Hate speech causes harms that are at least as serious as those that have previously been held to justify regulation. The restriction’s opponents, on the other hand, are often skeptical of the validity of previous exceptions. From the restriction’s opponent’s perspective, the proposed restriction to free speech appears to be an attempt to carve out an unprincipled exception to the First Amendment. The restriction’s opponents fear that there would be no principled basis for resisting other efforts to regulate speech if hate speech is regulated.

Conclusion

Advertisements
Published in: on April 27, 2011 at 1:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Due April 25th

Hate speech takes the form of anonymous, threatening, or obscene messages or telephone calls, conduct that is an invasion of privacy. Hate speech can also constitute the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress. When hate speech is directed towards a person it constitutes a direct attack on the self and thus violates the rights to emotional tranquility. Hate speech infringes the dignitary rights of target-group members as citizens. It also violates the community’s right to the integrity.Hate speech also violates the integrity of the deliberative process by undermining the possibility of reasoned discourse. Hate speech violates a fundamental principle of legal order based on individual rights by denying recognition to the personhood and rights of others. Hate speech in many instances violates the concrete rights of individuals’ rights to security, privacy, dignity, and emotional tranquility.

The controversy over hate speech appears to involve a clash between the right to free expression and other essential values such as civility, dignity, and equality. The apparent conflict between free speech and protection of the fundamental values results from the tendency of the First Amendment theory to conceive of issues in terms of an opposition between free speech and state interests – a term that embraces not only social welfare but also the rights of others who may be affected by the speech.

Those who support restrictions on hate speech often argue that it should be regarded as an exception to the general rule of free speech. The Supreme Court has recognized other exceptions. Hate speech causes harms that are at least as serious as those that have previously been held to justify regulation. The restriction’s opponents, on the other hand, are often skeptical of the validity of previous exceptions. From the restriction’s opponent’s perspective, the proposed restriction to free speech appears to be an attempt to carve out an unprincipled exception to the First Amendment. The restriction’s opponents fear that there would be no principled basis for resisting other efforts to regulate speech if hate speech is regulated.

To articulate the basis and scope of freedom of speech and expression, Americans draw on a variety of sources, including the traditional common law and the civic republican tradition. The most comprehensive framework that Americans look to, however, was the theory of natural rights and the social contract. As developed in the works of John Locke and many other writers, natural rights theory sought to determine the origin, purpose, and limits of government by tracing its rise from a state of nature. Human beings are inherently free and equal and vested with fundamental rights to life, liberty, and property.

The law of nature requires individuals to respect the freedom, equality, and fundamental rights of others. The community and the government it establishes, have a duty to protect the rights of their citizens, who in turn have an obligation to obey the laws made to secure the rights of others. According to the natural rights background of the First Amendment, freedom of speech is a right that exists within a larger framework of rights, and that is limited by the rights of others.

There is little prospect of resolving controversies over hate speech in the absence of a general theory that integrates both the jurisdictions and the limitations on freedom of speech into a coherent whole. The difficulty of developing a coherent view of limits of free speech may be traced in part to the language of the First Amendment itself, which appears to speak in unqualified terms: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of press….” Justice Hugo Black throughout his long judicial career maintained that the First Amendment was an absolute “put there on purpose by men who knew what the words meant, and meant their prohibitions to be ‘absolutes.’” There is more ambiguity to the first Amendment’s language than at first meets the eye. The word in the First Amendment raises the question of what is meant by “the freedom of speech” and whether the word “freedom” is merely a descriptive term, referring to an absence of external restrictions on the ability of individuals to speak, or whether the word ‘freedom” has a normative dimension , referring to some conception of the rightful exercise of that capacity.

Published in: on April 27, 2011 at 12:32 am  Leave a Comment  

Due April 20th

The United States of America are known at least in recent times for providing exceptionally broad protection for otherwise objectionable speech and expression, and hate speech is understood to be one of the areas in which United States of America have positioned themselves further out on the speech-protective end of the legal spectrum than perhaps most other countries have been willing to venture. Drawing the boundaries of freedom of speech involves more than just knowing what the basic purposes of the First Amendment are. The debate on speech regulation raises crucial issues about the meaning and limits of free expression and its relationship to other fundamental values such as civility, equality, and dignity.

Hate speech is thought to include communications of animosity or disparagement of an individual or group on account of characteristics such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or sexual orientation. The contemporary controversy over hate speech is so intense that it is easy to forget the problem is not a recent one, but one with a long history. The hate speech problem goes to the core of political and constitutional order by posing an apparently irreconcilable conflict between liberty, equality, and community. The problem can be traced back to the first settlement of the country, when it often took the form of conflict between different religious sects.

The United States federal Constitution offers no definition of freedom of speech which it forbids government to abridge. “The community, and the government that it establishes, have a duty to protect the rights of their citizens, who in turn have an obligation to obey the laws made to secure the rights of others” (Finkelman 20).Since government was established for the protection of individuals’ rights, it had a duty to refrain from violating free speech, but also an affirmative obligation to protect that right under the law. Efforts to regulate hate speech have generated a major political and constitutional debate, which has divided many communities, civil libertarian, scholars, and courts. Political lines have become increasingly blurred thus conservatives, liberals, and progressives all find themselves divided over the issue of speech regulation.

One reason why hate speech is deeply controversial is that there is a lack of a well-developed and generally accepted theory of when, if ever, speech may legitimately be restricted (Fisch 465-469). As developed in the works of John Locke and many other writers, natural rights theory sought to determine the origin, purpose, and limits of government by tracing its rise from a state of nature. In the state of nature human beings are free and equal, and vested with fundamental rights to life, liberty, and property.

The defense of free speech tends towards absolutism because there are no clearly definable limits to the restrictions that might be imposed on speech for the sake of general welfare. Any effort to restrict expression, even when necessary to protect the fundamental values, appears to pose a threat to freedom of speech. A “tragic choice” is thus faced whereby free speech cannot be defended without sacrificing fundamental values and the fundamental values cannot be protected without sacrificing the ideal of free speech (Finkelman 14-17).

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 5:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Due April 18th

PART ONE

Hate Speech

Hate speech is thought to include communications of animosity or disparagement of an individual or group on account of characteristics such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.Hate speech is often directed toward others with the aim of violating specific rights that belong to the victim such as the rights to personal security, emotional well-being, and equal citizenship.Terms such as “faggs” “homo” “queer” “nigger”are all considered hate speech when used in a negative connotation.The problem of hate speech can be traced back to the first settlement of America when it often took the form of conflict between different religious sects. Hate groups known for hate speech and hateful actions are the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist organization, responsible for lynchings, murder, and other acts of violence.There are also Neo Nazi groups which are mainly racist and anti-Semitic. One of the recent groups is the Westboro  Baptist church that is known for its extreme stance against homosexuality and its protest activities such as picketing funerals and burning the American flag.

Free Speech/ Freedom of Speech/Expression

Freedom of speech is the liberty to speak freely without restriction.The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.The right to freedom of speech is recognized as an individual right under the First Amendment of the Unites States Constitution.The right to freedom of speech and expression is closely related to other rights, and may be limited when conflicting with other rights. In the journal article Hate Speech in the Constitutional Law, Fisch states that “The U.S federal constitution in the First Amendment, offers no definitio of “the freedom of speech” which it forbids government to abridge” (Fisch 464).

Equality

The United States was born with a Declaration of Independence that proclaimed, as a self-evident truth, that, “all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men.” According to the founders of the United States of America, all people are equal, by virtue of their humanity, in possession of certain rights (such as rights to liberty) that it is the responsibility of government to protect.

 

PART THREE

Thesis

The debate on speech regulation raises crucial issues about the meaning and limits of free expression and its relationship to other fundamental values such as civility, equality, and dignity. The hate speech problem goes to the core of political and constitutional order by posing an apparently irreconcilable conflict between liberty, equality, and community. Hate speech poses a uniquely difficult issue as it produces a clash between two constitutional commitments to equality and to freedom of speech.

Question: How does hate speech affect other individuals’ rights?

The thesis answers the question because it states the individual rights that are affected by hate speech. It answer the question by stating the individual rights affected by hate speech and presents the constitutional dilemma between the individual rights and free speech.

Rewritten Thesis

Efforts to regulate speech have generated major political and constitutional debate.The debate on speech regulation raises crucial issues about the meaning and limits of free expression and its relationship to other fundamental values such as civility, equality, and dignity.The hate speech problem goes to the core of political and constitutional order by posing an apparently irreconcilable conflict between liberty, equality, and community.

Published in: on April 19, 2011 at 1:11 am  Comments (1)  

Due April 13th

PART ONE

1. “Natual freedom is not unbounded, however, but is subject to the limits prescribed by the law of nature, which requires individuals to respect the freedom, equality, and fundamental rights of others.” Paul Finkelman “Hate Speech and the Constitution”

The quote states that individual freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment but is inherently limited by the rights of others. Although an individual has the freedom of speech, he or she should not cross the boundaries by not respecting another person’s rights such as equality, civility, and dignity.Natural freedom refers to the inaliable rights conceptualized by John Locke, an English philosopher widely known as the father of Liberalism . Individuals have natural rights to life, liberty, and property. The law of nature refers to the protection of the natural rights to life, liberty and property that every individual has. The quote is important to my focus because it talks about free speech and its limits. It contributes to my focus because it in a sense draws a boundary on free speech and states individual rights that are to be protected. In relation to my thesis, the quote presents the dilemma between the two constitutional commitments to the protection of free speech and the protection of other fundamental individual rights.

2.”The queston in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” William B. Fisch “Hate Speech in the Constitutional Law of the United States”

Fisch states that in situations that involve hate speech the goverment are to determine whether or not the words are likely to provoke a violence. In cases whereby words provoke a violent response or dangerous response Congress can regulate the activity without the concern for the Free Speech clause. Clear and present danger refer to acts of violence on either the victim’s side towards the aantagonst or vice versa. The quote is helpful because it presents a case or example whereby free speech can be limited by the government. The quote applies to my focus because it presents a boundary of free speech.

PART TWO

The two quotes relate to each other because they refer to freedom of speech and its limitations. They both present situations whereby boundaries can be drawn on free speech. The quotes talk about rights. The first quote talks about individual rights whereas the second quote talks about the rights of government. The quotes differ in that the first qoute talks about individual natural rights in general whereas the second one focuses on specific cases whereby speech presents danger. Both quotes agree on that there should be limits on free speech based on their given examples. The quotes might agree because both authors are focusing on hate speech based on the Constitution. Both authors are explaining or giving examples whereby free speech should or could be regulated.

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Due April 6th

 

PART TWO:

“Hate Speech and the Constitution” by Paul Finkelman

The first chapter of the book focuses on the efforts by government to regulate hate speech. Hate speech is usually directed towards others with the aim of violating specific rights of an individual such as rights to personal security; to privacy, dignity, and emotional well-being; and to full and equal citizenship. The efforts to regulate speech have brought about major political and constitutional debates on whether or not speech regulation is unconstitutional in regards to the first amendment. The debate has raised questions about the meaning and limits of free expression. There are no clear limits imposed on free speech for the sake of general welfare. Free speech is only inherently limited when used to violate the rights of others. Any efforts to restrict individual’s expression, even when necessary appear to pose a threat to freedom of speech. In result there is dilemma in which freedom of speech can be protected only by sacrificing other important values and vice versa.

The book “Hate Speech and the Constitution” by Paul Finkelman can be considered reliable because of the publication, use of footnotes, and the author’s background. The book was published by the Library of Congress which is a federal source thus making the book reliable. Finkelman uses footnotes to refer to constitutional documents and articles to support his view. Finkelman has prior knowledge about the topic because he is a specialist in American legal history, constitutional law, and race and the law therefore making him a reliable source.

The book relates to my topic because it focuses on hate speech and regulation of hate speech. The book has a lot of important information that i can add on to my focus. The book goes deeper into my focus thus providing me with  information that I did not have prior knowledge of. I was also able to get more details from the book on the information i had previously acquired from journals and articles. There are ample examples in the book that i can use for my focus. Generally, the book gave me a better understanding of my topic.

Published in: on April 6, 2011 at 5:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Due April 4th

PART FOUR:

First article “Hate Speech is Not Free Speech” by Scriptor Obscura

Summary

 The article is a response to a Supreme Court ruling in favor of bigotry because of the freedom of expression clause in the first amendment. The author of the article Scriptor Obscura,  argues that  free speech should be regulated in cases such as the Ku Klux Klan, violent Neo-Nazi groups, and the Westboro church. Obscura argues that people should not have the right to make repulsive, rude, and inconsiderate messages of hate to others because of a person’s race, sexual-orientation, religion or nationality whereas the  right to yell fire in a theatre or bomb in an airport unless is regulated. The article mainly focuses on the Westboro, which is a Baptist church that is known for its extreme stance against homosexuality and its protest activities such as picketing funerals and burning the American flag. The Westboro people are able to perform their actions and express their hate towards the homosexual community because they are protected by the first amendment. The author argues that the Westboro people’s behavior should not be tolerated  in any situation because they infringes upon the rights and liberties of others. Obscura concludes stating that Americans should not have the right to unlimited free speech as the Westboro are a great example of the author’s reasoning ans statement.

Evaluation

The article is reliable because of the author’s use of references and experience. The author Scriptor Obscura, has written other articles regarding social issues thus showing that he has prior experience.Obscura also refers to a Supreme Court Justice, a court case, and a statement made by thr Southern Poverty Law Center to support his argument.

Relation to topic

The focus of my topic is hate speech and whether or not hate speech is or should be protected by the first amendment. The article relates to my topic because it focuses on why free speech should be regulated thus providing information for one side of the argument. The article gives a strong example, the Westboros, that is helpful in learning about the group. The article gives me another group that i can find more information on that is relevant to my topic. The conclusion of the article, that free  speech should not be unlimited, presents an argument that is very useful in my topic.

Second article “Hate Slime, The Orwellian new law thta wasn’t” by Dahlia Lithwick

Summary

 In the article, Dahlia  Lithwick posses the question of who should be protected by hate- crime laws.  The article is a response to a hate-crime bill that was not passed . The hate -crime bill would add crimes motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation to the existing hate-crimes law. The argument is that women, gays ,and the disabled should not be protected by the laws because they were not historically discriminated for abuse and oppressed. Hate crimes on groups based on religion, race, color, and nationality are considered more legitimate. Lithwick argues that there is a misconception of the consequences of the bill if it were passed.  Lithwick states that opponents of the bill are concerned that non-criminal religious free speech would be placed under the hate-crime law thus making “preaching” against homosexuality a crimnal offense. The opponents’ points of view are considered inaccurate by Lithwick because the notion that one can be jailed for his or her moral statements does not reflect the truth about the hate-crime laws. Lithwick states that if the bill were passed, speech would be considered a criminal offense only when  it presents imminent violence  otherwise speech would be protected.

Evaluation

The article can be considered reliable because the author uses ample references and explains the examples she gives. The author refers to documents in American history and court cases thus making the article more reliable. The author has a strong background in writing as she is a writer and editor and has writen about other legal issues.

Relation to topic

The article relates to my topic as it talks about the argument of whether or not hate speech based on sexual orientation that presents violence should be a criminal offense. My topic focuses on what should or should not be considered a criminal offense based on the first amendment. The article is helpful because it presents a current argument that  is presented in today’s society. Through the article i am able to get more information about the bills that are being debated on that are very relevant to my topic. The article is also helpful as it provides references that i could researh and find more information on.

PART FIVE:

http://www.latinosagainsthatespeech.org/

The first blog post I found talks about how the number of hate groups has risen in recent years. The blog is written by Latinos Against Hate Speech group. The article states that hate groups have risen by forty-eight percent since the year 2000 according to the Southern poverty Law Center (SPLC) , a civil law firm. The article focuses on hate speech in the media both on the television and radio specifically against the undocumented Latino immigrants. The blogger says “Hate speech against the undocumented Latinos has led to increase in hate crimes against all Latinos.” The undocumented Latino Immigrants are being blamed for the problems in society. Hate speech and crimes against all Latinos in general have  increased. The blogger is writing to Congress for more action to be taken in protectiong the Latinos. The blog relates to my topic because it talks about discrimination based on both nationality and race. All Latinos regardless of whether or not he or she is a legal or illegal immigrant are widely discriminated against by the use of hate words. Discriminators claim their right to freedom of speech and expression when using hate speech thus nothing can be done to stop the hate speech which lead to hate crimes because of the first amendment’s protection of individual rights.

http://jilliancyork.com/2009/04/24/what-is-hate-speech/

The second blog i found was by a blogger Jillian C. Yolk.  In the article Yolk talks about the true meaning of hate speech. Yolk discusses the question of what is considered hate speech and what should be done to stop hate speech. The article talks about facebook groups such as “Hate Israel” or “hate Jews” and whether they are to considered hate speech because they both oppose religion and a regime.   Yolk states “is it permissible for a pastor, priest, or imam to argue against homosexuality based on religious (Biblical or Qur’anic) arguments? “Yolk posses the question of whether if when words such as “faggs” or “homo” are used by a person who is  not a priest or pastor is different from when the words are used by a priest or pastor in a religious setting. The third question about the meaning of hate speech Yolk posses is whether use of racist words are considered hate speech. Yolk gives an example of the Dave Chapelle Show, whereby Dave Chappelle, an African American comedian uses the “N” word in his comedy sketches. The question is whether  the “N” word when  used by African Americans is considered hate speech or if the word is only considered hate speech when used in a negative connotation. Yolk concludes by posing  a question of whether America should be a nation whereby abusive words are considered a crime or if groups should continue to suffer by the discriminatory words. The blog relates to my topic because it talks about what actually constitutes hate speech and whehter anything should be done. The examples Yolk gives are related to my topic and gives me a broader view of my focus thus i am able to get more information that relates to my topic.

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 1:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Due March 23rd

PART TWO:

1.   Hate Speech in the Constitutional Law of the United States by William B. Fisch

The article by Fisch discusses the limits on constitutional protection of  “hate speech” against a person or a group of people defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. The first amendment protects freedom of speech for all individuals and does not provide any limits to an individual’s freedom of speech. The first amendment forbids government from abridging an individual’s right to freedom of speech thus leaving it up to the United States Supreme Court to determine regulations of hate speech. Fisch diiscusses the classifications hate speech must fit in order to be considered a crime or a constitutional attack. Speech that incites others to violence, speech that provokes a violent reaction against the speaker, speech that directly threatens unlawful harm to others, and speech that constitutes unlawful discrimination, are all protected in The United States law by the Freeedom of Speech Clause despite their social harm. Only when speech is actualized by violence or other unlawful action towards an individual or individuals does expressions go over the limit of freedom of speech.

2.

The aricle by Fisch can be considered academic because Fisch uses multiple references from various sources such as books, the Constitution, acts and laws, law reviews, and court cases. The article can also be considered reliable because it was published by American Society of Comparative Law which is  a society that promotes the comparative study of law and the understanding of  legal systems.

3.

The article relates on my topic of “hate speech.” The focus of my topic is to discuss whether or not there are regulations on the freedom of speech when it comes to hate speech. The article discusses the various aspects of speech that are considered constitutional or unconstitutional thus making the article helpful in providing information that directly relates to my focus. The various examples provided in the aarticle relate to my focus and give me a broader view on the topic of hate speech. The article would be very helpful in my research.

Published in: on March 23, 2011 at 2:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Due March 21st

PART THREE

The first website  i found on Google was on exploring constitutional conflicts on the regulation of fighting words and hate speech. The website consists of various examples of hate speech and the government’s role in regulating the conflicts without going against the first amendment. The author of the article is not stated on the website but various references such as pictures and court cases are used. The website would be useful in getting information on the constitutional conflicts the government faces when it comes to the regulation of hate speech.

The article that i found on Google Scholar was on hate speech in American history. The author of the article is Samuel Walker. The article poses the question of whether or not hateful words that incite prejudice against groups because of race, religion, or sexuality should be subject to criminal penalties. The article would be helpful in exploring the question and finding more information about it.

The article from Google Scholar seems more reliable because the name of the author and the place of publication are provided in contrast to the website i found on Google which did not include the author’s name. The article on Google Scholar had more information on the topic in comparison to the Google article.

PART FOUR:

Im somewhere in between when it comes to conductiong library- based research. I have had some experience in conducting library- based research from the Lied  libraray from previous classes.

 

Published in: on March 21, 2011 at 5:57 am  Comments (3)  

Due March 9th

PART ONE:

 From the list my group came up with regarding the first amendment, I am most interested in focusing on the freedom of speech regarding public hate speech for example racist comments and gay bashing among others in the media. I am interested in this particular aspect of freedom of speech because I am interested in learning and finding more about hate speech in regards to freedom of speech. Whether or not it is okay for a person to say bashful words regarding another person’s race, nationality, religion, or sexual preference because of the first amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression for all individuals.I am also interested in researching the effects hate speech has had on society.  I know that more people today are publically voicing their opinions on internet sites, books, magazines, radio, and television regarding their opinions on whatever they believe is ethically right or wrong. I want to learn whether or not there are laws against hate speech and the circumstances if any at which the laws against hate speech are enforced. I would also like to learn if all states have laws against hate speech or if there are some states that do not have laws a against it.

PART TWO:

When i used both Google and Google Scholar to search for hate speech, there were no similarities in the results on the first page between the two search engines. When i used Google to search for hate sppech, the first result that came up was a reference to Wikipedia. The Google search engine also contained videos from youtube, images,  and results that had the words hate and speech that were not related to what i was specifically searching for. The Google Scholar search engine had results from articles and scholarly journals. The results from Google Scholar were all related to hate speech.

The Google Scholar search engine seemed like it would be more useful to me because it contained scholarly articles that would be useful in writing the research paper.

Published in: on March 8, 2011 at 2:42 am  Comments (2)