At the University of Pennsylvania, a student is reprimanded for calling a group of African-American students water buffalo. Several prominent American law schools now request that professors abstain from discussing the legal aspects of rape for fear of offending students. As debates over multiculturalism and political correctness crisscross the land, no single issue has been more of a flash point in the ongoing culture wars than hate speech codes, which seek to restrict bigoted or offensive speech and punish those who engage in it. In this provocative anthology, a range of prominent voices argue that hate speech restrictions are not only dangerous, but counterproductive. The lessons of history indicate that speech regulation designed to protect minorities is destined to be used against them. Acknowledging the legitimacy of the concerns that prompt speech codes and combining support for civil liberties with an acute concern for civil tights issues, Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex demonstrates that it is difficult, if not impossible, to draw the line between unprotected insults and protected ideas. Decrying such speech regulation as overly concerned with the symbols of racism rather than its realities, Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex offers a balanced and well-reasoned perspective on one of the most controversial issues of our time.
About Henry Louis Gates Jr.See more books from this Author
Proponents of hate speech regulations, notes Harvard Afro-American Studies department head Gates in the best of these six essays, must be met with more than conventional free speech absolutism.| Read Full Review of Speaking of Race, Speaking of...