Ethics and Education 13 (3):296-308 (2018)

In May 2017, yet another South African university became a site of hate speech. Three students chose to display Nazi-inspired posters, which advertised an ‘Anglo-Afrikaner student’ event, under the motto ‘Fight for Stellenbosch’. That the posters provoked the response which it so obviously sought, was evident in the student outrage, and the swift condemnation from university management. Neither the prevalence of hate speech, nor its predictable responses, is new. The central concern of this article is to consider the extent to which tolerance can offer a plausible response to hate speech. The questions which arise, however, are: Does the right to divergent viewpoints hold the same legitimacy as antagonistic ones? When is the boundary between legitimate and hate speech breached? Does a democracy imply the tolerance of all forms of speech? Or, are there limits to the forms of speech that a democracy ought to tolerate?
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DOI 10.1080/17449642.2018.1477036
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