FIRE’s Creeley on ReasonTV: Why Banning ‘Hate Speech’ Doesn’t Work

August 27, 2012

Earlier this month, we brought news that University of California (UC) System President Mark Yudof had received a recommendation to implement a “hate speech” policy from a working group comprised of members of UC’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion. The recommendation asks Yudof to implement policies that fundamentally violate students’ expressive rights—including an outright ban on “hate speech.” The advisory council even states that UC should “accept the challenge” of First Amendment litigation.

FIRE has asked President Yudof to reject that recommendation, and we’re cautiously optimistic about his response. To make our point even clearer, FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley recently appeared on ReasonTV.

What more is there to say? Will covers all the bases. Banning hate speech disempowers the very groups the rules are meant to protect, and silencing “bad” speech furthers fear and hatred. The only way to really fight unfavorable speech is with more speech.

Schools:  University of California

Cases:  University of California System: Recommendations for “Hate Speech” Policy