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Hate Speech

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Submitted By aturman
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Waldron urges readers to consider that many other countries have laws against hate speech and that such laws have sometime been passed in the United States, although not nationally. I think this is because, as mentioned by Waldron, many countries consider hate laws in Europe and in other countries in which manifestations of hate are prohibited rather than tolerated in the name of free speech. I also think this because other countries in which have these hate laws, their constitutions acknowledge that basic rights, including freedom of expression, are legitimately subject to restriction. I think it isn’t consistent because many states vary in the extent to which they allow their national legislation be guided by international human-rights laws. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education reviews the narrow definitions of exceptions for the free-speech clause of the U.S Constitution, noting that universities frequently go beyond these exceptions in their speech codes. Those narrow exceptions include: speech that incites reasonable people to immediate violence, so-called “fighting words”, harassment, true threats and intimidation, obscenity, and defamation. I think that universities go beyond these exceptions in their speech codes because of the recent events that have happened. For example, I think the Virginia Tech massacre made a lot of universities scared that something like that could happen at their university, so they started to go beyond exceptions of the free-speech clause to make sure that nothing like that would happen. Dean of Students Mike Edmonds at Colorado College made a statement about violence saying, “ In the climate in which we find ourselves today, violence—or implied violence—of any kind cannot be tolerated on a college campus.” I think that in our world today, violence has threatened universities enough to enact such exceptions. In the...

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