The Effects Of Free Speech On Hate Groups, And The Protection Of Hate

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The relationship of free speech to that of hate groups, and the protection of hate speech under the first Amendment is a much debated topic of ethics and civil liberties. Although affirmative action protects against discrimination of race, religion, gender, and disabilities, it only protects from discrimination in educational institutions and employment. So how can a society that claims to protect civil rights allow the production of speech that opposes those same fundamental rights?, because this form of speech, although hateful in nature, are ideas, and “hateful ideas are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas” (McGough, 2015).
The First Amendment guarantees freedoms in regards to expression, religion, assembly, and the right to petition. Freedom of expression prohibits Congress from restricting the press or individuals the right to speak freely (Legal Information Institute, n.d.). A hate group, as stated by Walker Bragman, is “an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other designated sector of society” (Bragman, 2012). Speech that attacks, demeans, threatens, or insults a person or group on the basis of origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability is identified as hate speech (Random House Dictionary, 2016). By design the First Amendment was established to protect unpopular speech,

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