On racist hate speech and the scope of a free speech principle
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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As a liberal society, we are deeply committed to a principle of free speech. In fact, this commitment is so entrenched that it often seems to trump other very important liberal values, such as equality. Critical race theorists, among others, have argued that (some) racist hate speech ought to be regulated because it harms racial minorities in ways that are incompatible with racial equality, and so, in ways that a liberal society ought to prevent. A standard liberal response to these arguments accepts the connection between racist hate speech and harm, but claims that such harm is just the price we pay for our commitment to free speech.
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