Should Hate Groups Be Allowed Free Speech?

725 Words3 Pages
From the century-old Ku Klux Klan to the widely publicized Westboro Baptist Church, hate groups have always been prevalent in America. They have been around since humans have had the ability to share and act upon common hatred towards others. Why do they still exist today even after all the progress our society has made fighting against racism and intolerance? The answer lies in the First Amendment right to free speech. Our democratic society allows all citizens the freedom to express any and all opinions, no matter how offensive and hurtful. This leads many to question whether these hate groups should be allowed the right to free speech. I believe that hate groups should be allowed free speech because all Americans have the right of free speech, it is not discriminatory unless it incites violence, and hate can be prevented through education rather than criminalization. Hate groups are known to protest against otherwise agreeable opinions through rallies and speeches. The Westboro Baptist Church is known for picketing funerals, however they have never physically assaulted the people they hate, even when argued with by opposing bystanders. What they do may seem immoral, but it is not a crime to express an opinion. Their opinions and those of other hate groups are protected by the First Amendment which “should protect such expressions when they…do not present danger of an immediate breach of peace” (Attias). This was established in Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) in which the
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