Pros And Cons Of Hate Speech

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Soon after the nation was left in shock by the events of Charlottesville, Virginia, free speech was both attacked and questioned. Should hate speech continue to be protected despite the harm that it can cause? Aren’t the views of these neo-nazis damaging and deserving of being silenced? Such questions have become prominent, threatening the very existence of free speech and deterring us from our fight against racism and the various harmful views still prominent in our society.
As said by Justice Hugo Black during a 1972 case regarding free speech, “The First Amendment protection must be accorded to the ideas we hate, or sooner or later, they will be denied to the ideas we cherish.” This is the core and most important reason as to why all free
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And it’s true; words are harmful. But silencing speech is like taking a giant mess in your room and shoving it into the back of your closet. The problem will never be fixed, but instead, these racist and harmful views will still be present in society, continuing to limit and harm minorities. Furthermore, the possibility of violence multiplies. Bigots will begin to feel as if they are the ones who are most oppressed, and as we’ve seen in Charlottesville, violent out lash can be deadly. Hate speech acts like a boundary between words and actions: it brings the harmful views to light before they are manifested into violence. Open discourse is absolutely crucial to the betterment of society, but sadly, government restrictions on hate speech limit discussions and stop us from ever reaching the most damaging and important topics. We can use free speech to normalize views of acceptance and equality for a long-term solution that protects from both violence and words.
Now, with the importance of free speech in mind, I’d like to ask that everyone do their part in speaking up for what they believe in. No matter what your views are, whether you lean left or right or choose to stay neutral, your voice adds to the discussion and allows our nation to improve. Looking at the civil rights movement and all the progress our country