Free Speech for Anti-Semites and Other Racist Folks: Debates in Europe

There are some important and interesting debates on hate speech in Europe, with critics of new and old hate-speech laws often parroting “first amendment” arguments one often hears in the US.

The useful e-zine called Eurozine has several interesting article now on various sides of this debate. Check it out here and here.

And there seem to be more interesting websites debating “free speech,” such as this one, Free Speech Debate.


  1. cordoba blue

    My feeling about free speech is that it’s acceptable as long as it doesn’t promote violence or physical harm to anyone else, be it individuals or other races.
    This unfortunately leaves room for lots of speech that demeans other races and/or individuals without promoting or condoning violence. This is a morality issue and a very difficult one. But free speech, by definition, at least I believe, must allow everyone voice no matter how distasteful the message. Many free speech advocates claim that you must be willing to defend the speaker even if you despise the message. Well, ok. It’s a double-edged sword. The good news is we don’t have to listen to anything that conflicts with our sensibilities.
    If we are Forced to listen, that’s not freedom on the part of the listener. Which brings up an interesting point. We must be free to NOT ATTEND to speech or writing we don’t want to listen to. If we are mandated to sit in an auditorium and listen to content that we find offensive, that’s deleting the freedom of the audience. We should have the option to decide what we listen to.

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