by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
“Hate speech” has risen to the fore of public debate recently thanks to the turmoil surrounding Ann Coulter’s just cancelled appearance at UC Berkeley. …
… All of the furor against Coulter was based on the assumption that her views amount to “hate speech,” which, according to many on the Left, has no justification for being expressed on a college campus. …
… Considering the lack of a good legal argument for suppressing so-called hate speech, it’s a wonder how anyone can justify censoring views they deem offensive. That’s because the more prevalent view for the vanguard of the left is to ignore the Constitution and go straight to emotional appeals about protecting vulnerable groups from danger.
The New York Times gave a platform to this view on Monday by publishing an essay from New York University vice provost Ulrich Baer. Baer dispensed with Constitutional justification, which there’s little, and went straight for feel-good, moralistic reasoning on making the world a more equal place.
Baer argued in his op-ed that we shouldn’t be obligated to allow those who express opinions that “invalidate the humanity of some people” to speak freely. Instead, “We would do better to focus on a more sophisticated understanding… of the necessary conditions for speech to be a common, public good. This requires the realization that in politics, the parameters of public speech must be continually redrawn to accommodate those who previously had no standing.”
The meaning here is that if protected classes in society say that a view offends them, then the common good dictates for that speech to be suppressed. Just like the Founders intended!