Chapter

Background and Chronology

in Speak No Evil

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780226305530
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226305134 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226305134.003.0002
Background and Chronology

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This chapter provides a history of contemporary hate speech regulation, a study that traces itself back to the civil rights era and continues forward to this day. There are central questions in the hate speech debate, ones that do not have easy answers. Among those who have written on hate speech, the prevailing view is that hate speech turns on the intent of the speaker. Where an individual seeks a legitimate debate, even on controversial questions, his message should not count as hate speech. But when the purpose is to offend, to silence, to marginalize, then speech becomes hateful. Historically, there have been only five bases under which the courts are willing to restrict speech: obscenity; libel; time, place, and manner regulations; the clear and present danger test; and fighting words.

Keywords: hate speech regulation; civil rights; speech restrictions; obscenity; libel; danger test

Chapter.  12413 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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