Hate speech on campus: Is it correct for university authorities to ban hate speech?

  • Free speech only applies to public, not private institutions

    Universities are private institutions. They have the right to set the rules on their campus. Furthermore, a university is an institution where people go to learn, and hate speech can cause disruption and disorder in the community. A university should make sure that everyone is included, and banning hate speech on campus does that.

  • Nobody should have to listen to hate speech ever.

    Although I believe in freedom of speech nobody should have to listen to hate speech either. If someone wants to preach hate they have that right however they will also be held responsible for the things they have said. I have no issues with universities banning hate speech. Those that speak it should pay the consequences of their actions. If that includes being banned from attending school so be it.

  • This goes against our First Amendment rights

    No matter how radical our views, our freedom of speech should never be infringed. Universities should be of no exception. In fact, as an educational institution, university campus should be more tolerant towards different viewpoints as it prompts one to think more rationally.
    Moreover, the liberal ideologies brought to universities has led to a prominent formation of "double standards". A Fox News commentator once conducted a social experiment inside the campus of Berkeley University. First, under the guise of an ISIS sympathizer, he waved an ISIS flag fervently and at the same time chanting Anti-American rhetorics. It received rather positively and one passer-by even wished him luck. After a while he switched to the Israel flag and despite being the lesser of two evils, he was heavily criticised by passers-by and anti-semitic comments were spewed without hesitation. While the hate speech targeting one group was well-received, the hate group of another is being harshly condemned. Such double standards disparities will only get worse with the adoption of this ban. Chances are, only the unpopular hate rhetorics will be banned and people whining about white-imperialism and showing support for ISIS will continue to have a supportive platform for expressing their views.

  • Bans on hate speech fail in their purpose

    A (good) example of this is the University of Connecticut’s speech code. It named “inappropriately directed laughter” and “conspicuous exclusion from conversations and/or classroom discussions” as violations of its code. The ban was struck down in federal court.

    The problem with this ban is a number of things, but the big issue is how easily it would be to be prosecuted for violating such a ban. There are a few cases in which “inappropriately directed laughter” and “conspicuous exclusion from conversations and/or classroom discussions” would constitute hate speech. However, about 99% of the time, this is either a misunderstanding, or it has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, religion, or any other group the excluded belongs to.

    Because speech codes need to be so broad, they are often too broad. As a result of being broad, they are very vague.

    A case concerning the University of Michigan’s speech code was thrown out by a federal judge because the code stated it banned language “that stigmatizes or victimizes an individual.”

  • More speech is always better.

    The correct solution is not censoring; it's to explain why they're wrong and attack the root cause. The mission of a university is to create debates where all opinions can be heard. Wall Street Journal: "True belief and honest doubt are both impossible without [hearing criticisms of your own convictions and learning the beliefs of others]."

  • A Person's Right to be Unharmed

    The limit of free speech is a delicate topic in all of the United States, specifically on college campuses. In the case of hate speech, we have to decide if we are more interested in protecting the right to speech or the right of men and women to be safe from harm. Hate speech bleeds into harming someone to an emotional level that approaches criminal. The tricky part to these policies will be defining rules that can largely be applied to each case.

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