Hate Speech should not be tolerated

Essay by nithin June 2002

download word file, 2 pages 3.2 1 reviews

Downloaded 120 times

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...