Freedom for the Speech We Hate, by Andrew P. Napolitano

Yes, so-called hate speech enjoys the full protection of the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

Last weekend, serious violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a group of white supremacist demonstrators was confronted by a group of folks who were there to condemn the message the demonstrators had come to advance. The message was critical of the government for removing a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public place.

For some, Lee is associated with the military defense of slavery. For others, he is associated with the military defense of the right of states to leave the union — a union they voluntarily joined. For the organizers of the Charlottesville rally, the removal of the statue provided a platform to articulate crudely their view that the Caucasian race is somehow morally superior to every other.

Such a political and philosophical position is hardly rational to anyone who respects the dignity of all people and their moral equality before God and legal equality in America. Believing that one race is morally superior to others is largely a hate-filled theory, supportable only by bias, prejudice, fear and resentment — and perhaps a wish to turn back the clock to a time when the Supreme Court declared that nonwhites were not full people under the Constitution, a declaration eradicated by war and history and constitutional amendments.

These hateful, hurtful ideas — articulated publicly through Nazi salutes and flags and incendiary rhetoric last weekend — aroused animosity on the part of those who came to Charlottesville to resist and challenge and condemn these views. After the police left the scene and rejected their duty to protect the speakers and those in the audience, a crazy person drove his car into the midst of the melee that ensued, and an innocent young woman was killed when she was hit by the car.

Is hate speech protected under the Constitution? In a word, yes.

To continue reading: Freedom for the Speech We Hate

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