In more than 20 years of free-speech advocacy on college campuses, I’ve seen virtually every form of ideological argument — particularly conservative ideological arguments — labeled “hate speech.” Yet I’ve never seen a single, coherent definition of the term. I’ve also seen the pernicious effect of hate-speech arguments on young minds. If you label a thought or an idea as hate speech, you don’t have to engage with it. You don’t have to rebut it. You merely have to oppose it.
The result isn’t liberty or safety or even civility. (After all, who would call angry, violent activists civil?) It’s an atmosphere of fear and a culture of ignorance. We’re raising citizens who know what they believe but don’t understand why they believe it. They can label their cultural enemies but often have no idea why they are wrong.
In reality, free speech is the best weapon against hate.
Amen. I know that wasn’t inclusive, but yeah. Amen.
No man has a monopoly on truth, and thus no man should be empowered to silence your ideas. Our nation’s moral renovations are not yet complete.