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Rauch and Rosenbaum Debate ‘Hate Speech’ on ‘HuffPost Live’

By February 10, 2014

Still waiting for your paperback copy of Jonathan Rauch’s Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought to arrive in the mail? Want to hear more from Fordham University School of Law Professor Thane Rosenbaum on the supposed merits of laws restricting hateful speech? You’re in luck: Rauch and Rosenbaum sat down with HuffPost Live’s Mike Sacks last Friday to share their respective views on whether the First Amendment should protect “hate speech.” And since “hate speech” has no legal definition, the two also debate about what would even qualify as such—and who would decide the boundaries of protected speech.

Rosenbaum argues that some speech should be prohibited when it comprises “assaulting, vicious attacks that are delivered in a particular way not to persuade, but to harm.” Rauch counters with the idea that trying to prohibit such speech is dangerous. Rauch points out that minorities advocating for equal rights will be unable to effectively fight oppression in a regime with speech restrictions based on subjective offensiveness.

Check out the full segment on HuffPost Live’s website.