How Much Freedom for Racists?

Erik Bleich

in The Freedom to Be Racist?

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199739684
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914579 | DOI:
How Much Freedom for Racists?

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The comparative historical approach of the previous chapters helps us understand what countries have done. Noting the variety of approaches implemented also spurs us to think about how much freedom we should grant to racists, and just how societies should go about making these vital decisions. Rather than providing a one-size-fits-all answer to the first issue, this chapter offers a framework that encourages individuals to formulate conclusions based on the interaction of three factors: an understanding of the context of the decision; an assessment of the likely effects of particular policy choices; and a reflection about key principles that focuses on gauging the harm of racism and calibrating a proportionate response to that harm. Turning to the second concern, the chapter emphasizes the importance of a process of public deliberation. Balancing core values is a difficult task in any country. This chapter makes the case that the most legitimate outcomes are likely to emerge from citizen engagement through the legislative process rather than from top-down decisionmaking through the courts.

Keywords: freedom; racism; public values; context; effects; principles; harm; deliberation

Chapter.  10996 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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