During the summer of 2017, a fierce dispute over the removal of Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Va. captured national attention.
The events that summer led to racial animosity and heated debate over our nation’s history and the First Amendment, and threw one historic city into turmoil, ultimately culminating in death and tragedy during the weekend of Aug. 11.
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by Rodney Smolla to reflect on what happened in Charlottesville. Smolla is Dean and Professor of Law at the Delaware Law School of Widener University. He is also the author of a new book, “Confessions of a Free Speech Lawyer: Charlottesville and the Politics of Hate.”
Editor’s note: This podcast was recorded on Wednesday, May 20, prior to the protests that began last week surrounding policing and race in America. Had these events taken place before our recording, they almost certainly would have been addressed, as there are many dots to connect between Charlottesville and our current moment, especially as they relate to race, the police, and our First Amendment rights.
- Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942)
- Doe v. McKesson (5th Circ. 2019)
- Beauharnais v. Illinois (1952)
- Virginia v. Black (2003)
- “Student survey: Did student attitudes toward campus speech change after Charlottesville” by Kelsey Naughton
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