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The First Amendment : The Importance Of Hate Speech

Decent Essays
The first Amendments and it’s protections of speech, religion, press, and assembly are considered almost sacred rights by the American people, but in light of recent events such as the rise in prominence of the alt-right movement and white nationalist protests occurring on college campuses, we must review how certain rights and privileges granted by our constitution are misused by groups that perpetuate hate, violence, and fear. In this paper, I would like to argue that hate speech, and other forms of speech that injure shouldn’t be protected by the First Amendment’s free speech clause because it has the power to incite people to violence and cause harm to marginalized groups. Hate speech has been defined as speech that expresses hatred towards a specific group, often due to factors such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc, (Merriam-Webster). This type of speech not only causes psychological and emotional harm to it’s listeners but is harmful to society as a whole. Richard Delgado in his article, “Words That Wound,” discusses how hate speech is one of the more insidious manners that racial hatred is communicated in this country because it makes the victim feel inferior due to circumstances of birth, and the negative effects they suffer as a consequence of this speech while interacting with people outside their race and with social institutions. He goes on to say, “Such language injures the dignity and self regard of the person to whom it is addressed,
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