Is hate speech free speech? | WVIA

Is hate speech free speech?

Last Updated by MPR News, Staff on

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A law professor's take on the current controversies over free speech on college campuses.

Erwin Chemerinsky says students know too little about the Constitution and the history of free speech, and he thinks they need to understand that the First Amendment has been integral to every advancement of civil rights in America.

But should hateful, disrespectful or bullying words be censored?

The dean of the University of California Berkeley Law School Erwin Chemerinsky says many people believe offensive or racist speech should be prohibited. But free speech is one of the few issues that liberals and conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court agree on.

• More: When does free speech become hate speech?



Chemerinsky is the co-author of a book "Free Speech on Campus."

In an appearance at the Commonwealth Club of California he explores the history and some current events involving the First Amendment. University of California president and former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano was the moderator on December 4, 2017.

To listen to their discussion, click the audio player above.
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