The right to speak out about hate speech

Lee Rowland, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU, overlooked something in her piece about defending speech that we hate.

While bemoaning the outcry that resulted in Ann Coulter’s Berkeley appearance being canceled, she ignores the fact that students and the rest of us have as much a right to free speech as does Ms. Coulter.

To paraphrase Rowland, when the students who wanted no part of Coulter’s hate speech soon graduate, they’ll step into the horrific “maelstrom of civic life,” where homophobic street preachers, avowed racists and others are free to spew what they will.

True enough.

Those students and others who do not respect Coulter, however, have their own right to express themselves, as loudly as they feel is necessary.

If Congress tries to pass a law that infringes on Coulter’s right to free speech, I’ll be right there with the ACLU to fight against it, but that’s not what is happening on college campuses. You would think an ACLU attorney would have a little better understanding of the difference.


One thought on “The right to speak out about hate speech

  1. You are correct, of course. It is circular that we have people asserting the right to object to the right of others to object to the right of others to speak about what some do not want to hear.


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