Hate Speech should not be tolerated.
Essay No. 3
In his argument "Should This Student Have Been Expelled?" Nat Hentoff is
against the expulsion of Doug Hann from Brown University. In the letter to the editor
Vartan Gregorian says Brown University has never expelled anyone for free speech, nor
will it ever do so. Hentoff opposes Gregorian saying that Doug Hann was expelled for the
unsavory content of his speech, and not for his actions. He used Art Spitzer's (legal
director of the ACLU's National Capital Area affiliate) simple test to support his
statement. Hentoff blames Brown University by saying that the Brown Code or the rules
are vague and ambiguous. He says that Brown Code should be made clearer.
We can agree with Hentoff's point that the penalty-bearing provisions of Brown
University are vague. The Brown code should be made clearer so that the students and
teachers applying for admission or employment at Brown will know what they are getting
Gregorian's commitment to free speech and condemnation of racism and
homophobia are well known from the letter to the editor. The case of Doug Hann is quite
complex in that it exists on a fine line between hateful speech and hateful speech that
confronts and insults others. Hann crossed the line between merely freedom of speech
and hateful speech that directly confronted and insulted other undergraduates. Freedom of
Speech is necessary, but allowing hateful speech that directly confronts and insults others
tends to worsen the overall situation for minority groups. It is oftentimes impossible or
dangerous for minority members to try to respond to hate speech directed at them. People
need protection from hate speech. If we care about the quality of life, we have to be in
favor of some form of censorship of freedom of...