Racism Persuasive Speech

Wednesday, December 22, 2021 7:02:02 PM

Racism Persuasive Speech



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Persuasive Speech - Racism

By labeling the show as a threat to children, it validates the negative effects on young children. But rather, the show should be viewed as a typical silly and harmless internet cartoon. The parents should discuss with their children about the entertainment they view on a daily basis should not influence their conduct or actions. Furthermore, if parents are truly concerned about their children discovering this type of content, they can take further action to censor these websites by setting a restriction and blocking them.

There are many solutions to combat this alleged issue, and Ellison was very narrow minded throughout her argument. In most, if not all the films viewed in this class, the common event that is going on is the Spanish Civil War. This event affected everyone. For adults, I believe that realism is the best way to deal with history, but since children are the focus in most of our movies, I think that fantasy is best and I will be defending it from the standpoint of a child. This paper will examine why fantasy is the better approach when dealing with history. Fantasy is best because it allows for children to understand what is going on, fantasy gives a different perspective on the situation, and it sheds light on how children were affected during the war.

The book sent eye-opening and thought-provoking messages including never to judge someone because of their colour. It has made me realise that I never want to be on the end of something like that, nor prejudging other people based on their outside appearance rather than what they have on the inside which just might be a whole lot more special. With each horrified look and each terrible first impression, especially if the crime was much more minor than most people would assume, the offender would feel more shame, but also more and more hate for the authority that requires them to have to go through such a shameful and likely ostracizing experience.

As that hate grows, the likeliness for disobedience of law increases, the opposite of the intended. The local race activist poses a bad counter argument. By saying that it is racist, they are actually being racist in the process, which ironically they are trying to stop. The media has a big role to play when it comes to over exaggerating conditions, and changing the views of the. Due to such beliefs, people are discriminating against each other.

Mainly racism generate the hate that can cause the division in between of human beings. It can even give bad thought to the people about not to believe on other people who were from the different race. Actually, racism is been relate to. The impact of racism on young people is really important. It can cause one to abandon their dreams and not achieve future goals since he or she is looked down upon and discriminated. Victims of racism often become bitter, anxious and angry, which can lead to violence. Pierre Peladeau by saying this comment, is preaching division among the people. If people think it 's okay to say racial swears they 're absolutely wrong, like a word like the n word is very bad. The history behind that is horrible and what white people did back then is very wrong.

There are people that think it 's right to make fun of different races or do it just to be racist. Some people could even get hurt using these words physically like fighting or threatens but most importantly the people will feel offended and they have every right to feel offended. The issue of racial profiling has been called to national attention recently resulting in inefficient policing due to high tensions between law enforcement officials and minority races. The American justice system must take the initiative to end the improper treatment and wrongful deaths of people of.

The deep divide between those of different ethnicities root back to slavery days. If the government wants to prevent citizens engaging in certain actions, riding motor bikes for example, it can limit their freedom to do so by making sure that such vehicles are no longer available; current bikes could be destroyed and a ban can be placed on future imports. Freedom of speech is a different case.

A government can limit some forms of free expression by banning books, plays, films etc. The only thing it can do is punish people after they have spoken. This means that we are free to speak in a way that we are not free to ride outlawed motorbikes. This is an important point; if we insist that legal prohibitions remove freedom then we have to hold the incoherent position that a person was unfree at the very moment she performed a speech act. The government would have to remove our vocal cords for us to be unfree in the same way as the motorcyclist is unfree. A more persuasive analysis suggests that the threat of a sanction makes it more difficult and potentially more costly to exercise our freedom of speech.

Such sanctions take two major forms. The first, and most serious, is legal punishment by the state, which usually consists of a financial penalty, but can stretch to imprisonment which then, of course, further restricts the persons free speech. The second threat of sanction comes from social disapprobation. People will often refrain from making public statements because they fear the ridicule and moral outrage of others.

For example, one could expect to be publicly condemned if one made racist comments during a public lecture at a university. Usually it is the first type of sanction that catches our attention but, as we will see, John Stuart Mill provides a strong warning about the chilling effect of the latter form of social control. We seem to have reached a paradoxical position. I started by claiming that there can be no such thing as a pure form of free speech: now I seem to be arguing that we are, in fact, free to say anything we like.

The paradox is resolved by thinking of free speech in the following terms. I am, indeed, free to say but not necessarily to publish what I like, but the state and other individuals can sometimes make that freedom more or less costly to exercise. This leads to the conclusion that we can attempt to regulate speech, but we cannot prevent it if a person is undeterred by the threat of sanction. The issue, therefore, boils down to assessing how cumbersome we wish to make it for people to say certain things. I have already suggested that all societies do correctly make some speech more costly than others. If the reader doubts this, it might be worth considering what life would be like with no sanctions on libelous statements, child pornography, advertising content, and releasing state secrets.

The list could go on. The conclusion to be drawn is that the problem we face is deciding where, not whether, to place limits on speech, and the next sections look at some possible solutions to this puzzle. Given that Mill presented one of the first, and still perhaps the most famous liberal defense of free speech, I will focus on his arguments in this essay and use them as a springboard for a more general discussion of free expression. This is a very strong defense of free speech; Mill tells us that any doctrine should be allowed the light of day no matter how immoral it may seem to everyone else.

And Mill does mean everyone:. Mill claims that the fullest liberty of expression is required to push our arguments to their logical limits, rather than the limits of social embarrassment. Such liberty of expression is necessary, he suggests, for the dignity of persons. These are powerful claims for freedom of speech, but as I noted above, Mill also suggests that we need some rules of conduct to regulate the actions of members of a political community.

There is a great deal of debate about what Mill had in mind when he referred to harm; for the purposes of this essay he will be taken to mean that an action has to directly and in the first instance invade the rights of a person Mill himself uses the term rights, despite basing the arguments in the book on the principle of utility. The limits on free speech will be very narrow because it is difficult to support the claim that most speech causes harm to the rights of others.

This is the position staked out by Mill in the first two chapters of On Liberty and it is a good starting point for a discussion of free speech because it is hard to imagine a more liberal position. Liberals are usually willing to contemplate limiting speech once it can be demonstrated that it does invade the rights of others. The example Mill uses is in reference to corn dealers: he suggests that it is acceptable to claim that corn dealers starve the poor if such a view is expressed in print.

It is not acceptable to make such statements to an angry mob, ready to explode, that has gathered outside the house of the corn dealer. As Daniel Jacobson notes, it is important to remember that Mill will not sanction limits to free speech simply because someone is harmed. For example, the corn dealer may suffer severe financial hardship if he is accused of starving the poor. Mill distinguishes between legitimate and illegitimate harm, and it is only when speech causes a direct and clear violation of rights that it can be limited.

The fact that Mill does not count accusations of starving the poor as causing illegitimate harm to the rights of corn dealers suggests he wished to apply the harm principle sparingly. Other examples where the harm principle may apply include libel laws, blackmail, advertising blatant untruths about commercial products, advertising dangerous products to children e. In most of these cases, it is possible to show that harm can be caused and that rights can be violated.

There are other instances when the harm principle has been invoked but where it is more difficult to demonstrate that rights have been violated. Perhaps the most obvious example is the debate over pornography. As Feinberg notes in Offense to Others: the Moral Limits of the Criminal Law , most attacks on pornography up to the s were from social conservatives who found such material to be immoral and obscene. This type of argument has died away in recent times and the case against pornography has been taken up by some feminists who often distinguish between erotica, which is acceptable, and pornography, which is not, because it is claimed it degrades, harms, and endangers the lives of women.

The harm principle can be invoked against pornography if it can be demonstrated that it violates the rights of women. This is an approach taken by Catherine MacKinnon She takes seriously the distinction between pornography and erotica. Erotica might be explicit and create sexual arousal, but neither is grounds for complaint. Pornography would not come under attack if it did the same thing as erotica; the complaint is that it portrays women in a manner that harms them. When pornography involves young children, most people accept that it should be prohibited because it harms persons under the age of consent although the principle would not necessarily rule out people over the age of consent from portraying minors.

It has proved more difficult to make the same claim for consenting adults. It is difficult to know if the people who appear in books, magazines, films, videos and on the internet are being physically harmed. If they are we then need to show why this is sufficiently different from other forms of harmful employment that is not prohibited, such as hard manual labour, or very dangerous jobs. Much of the work in pornography seems to be demeaning and unpleasant but the same can be said for many forms of work and again it is unclear why the harm principle can be used to single out pornography.

MacKinnon's claim that women who make a living through pornography are sexual slaves seems to exaggerate the case. If conditions in the pornography industry are particularly bad, stronger regulation rather than prohibition might be a better option, particularly as the latter will not make the industry go away. It is also difficult to demonstrate that pornography results in harm to women as a whole. Very few people would deny that violence against women is abhorrent and an all too common feature of our society, but how much of this is caused by pornography? MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin, and many others, have attempted to show a causal link but this has proven challenging because one needs to show that a person who would not rape, batter or otherwise violate the rights of women was caused to do so through exposure to pornography.

Caroline West provides a useful overview of the literature and suggests that even though pornography might not dispose most men to rape, it might make it more likely for those men who are already so inclined. She uses the analogy of smoking. We have good grounds for saying that smoking makes cancer more likely even though smoking is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for causing cancer. One possible problem with this analogy is that we have very powerful evidence that smoking does significantly increase the possibility of cancer; the evidence suggesting that viewing pornography leads men already inclined to rape women is not as robust.

If pornographers were exhorting their readers to commit violence and rape, the case for prohibition would be much stronger, but they tend not to do this, just as films that depict murder do not actively incite the audience to mimic what they see on the screen. For the sake of argument let us grant that the consumption of pornography does lead some men to commit acts of violence. Such a concession might not prove to be decisive.

The harm principle might be a necessary, but it is not a sufficient reason for censorship. If pornography causes a small percentage of men to act violently we still need an argument for why the liberty of all consumers of pornography men and women has to be curtailed because of the violent actions of a few. We have overwhelming evidence that consuming alcohol causes a lot of violence against women and men but this does not mean that alcohol should be prohibited. Very few people reach this conclusion despite the clarity of the evidence. Further questions need to be answered before a ban is justified. How many people are harmed?

What is the frequency of the harm? How strong is the evidence that A is causing B? Would prohibition limit the harm and if so, by how much? Would censorship cause problems greater than the harm it is meant to negate? Can the harmful effects be prevented by measures other than prohibition? There are other non-physical harms that also have to be taken into consideration. MacKinnon argues that pornography causes harm because it exploits, oppresses, subordinates and undermines the civil rights of women, including their right to free speech.

A permissive policy on pornography has the effect of prioritizing the right to speech of pornographers over the right to speech of women. MacKinnon's claim is that pornography silences women because it presents them as inferior beings and sex objects who are not to be taken seriously. Even if pornography does not cause violence, it still leads to discrimination, domination and rights violations. She also suggests that because pornography offers a misleading and derogatory view of women, it is libelous. Along with Andrea Dworkin, MacKinnon drafted a Minneapolis Council Ordinance in that allowed women to take civil action against pornographers. They defined pornography as:. Such arguments have so far not led to the prohibition of pornography which was not the intent of the Ordinance and many liberals remain unconvinced.

One reason that some doubt MacKinnon's claims is that the last twenty years have seen an explosion of pornography on the internet without a concurrent erosion of women's rights. If those arguing that pornography causes harm are right, we should expect to see a large increase in physical abuse against women and a hefty decrease in their civil rights, employment in the professions, and positions in higher education. The evidence does not seem to show this and social conditions for women today are better than 30 years ago when pornography was less prevalent. What does seem to be reasonably clear, at least in the USA, is that the increased consumption of pornography over the last 20 years has coincided with a reduction in violent crime against women, including rape.

If we return to West's smoking analogy, we would have to rethink our view that smoking causes cancer if a large increase in smokers did not translate into a comparable increase in lung cancer. The matter remains unsettled, and the lives of women might be significantly better if pornography was not around, but so far it has proven difficult to justify limiting pornography by way of the harm principle. It is important to remember that we are currently examining this issue from the perspective of Mill's formulation of the harm principle and only speech that directly violates rights should be banned. Finding pornography offensive, obscene or outrageous is not sufficient grounds for censorship.

Nor does Mill's principle allow prohibition because pornography harms the viewer. The harm principle is there to prevent other-regarding not self-regarding harm. Overall, no one has mounted a compelling case at least as far as legislators and judges are concerned for banning pornography except in the case of minors based on the concept of harm formulated by Mill. Another difficult case is hate speech. Most liberal democracies have limitations on hate speech, but it is debatable whether these can be justified by the harm principle as formulated by Mill. One would have to show that such speech violated rights, directly and in the first instance. I am interested here in hate speech that does not advocate violence against a group or individual because such speech would be captured by Mill's harm principle.

The Public Order Act in the U. There have been several prosecutions in the U. For his sins he was fined pounds and made to pay pounds in costs. Taylor was prosecuted and received a six-month suspended sentence. Barry Thew wore a t-shirt hours after two women police officers were murdered near Manchester in Also in , Liam Stacey took to twitter to mock a black professional football player who collapsed during a match. He then proceeded to racially abuse people who responded negatively to his tweet. He was sentenced to 56 days in jail. This case provoked significant commentary, most of it taking the form of slippery-slope claims that the decision would inevitably lead to Britain becoming a totalitarian state.

The most recent June case to receive public attention involves Paul Gascoigne, the former English football star, who has been charged with racially aggravated abuse after commenting, whilst on stage, that he could only make out a black man standing in a dark corner of the room when he smiled. It is doubtful that any of these examples would be captured by Mill's harm principle.

The most prominent person prosecuted under the Act is Andrew Bolt, a conservative political commentator, who was found guilty of racially vilifying nine aboriginal persons in newspaper articles in He suggested that the nine people had identified as aboriginal, despite having fair skin, for their own professional advantage. The case prompted the Tony Abbott led Liberal government into a failed attempt to change the legislation. It should be noted that Section 18C is qualified by Section 18D often ignored in the backlash against the Bolt decision. It is clear that these qualifications remove some of the teeth from Section 18C. The conclusion of the judge in the Bolt case was that none of the Section 18D exemptions applied in his case.

Even with these qualifications in place, however, it seems that the Racial Discrimination Act would still be ruled out by Mill's harm principle which seems to allow people to offend, insult, and humiliate although perhaps not intimidate regardless of the motivation of the speaker. The United States, precisely because it fits most closely with Mill's principle, is an outlier amongst liberal democracies when it comes to hate speech. The most famous example of this is the Nazi march through Skokie, Illinois, something that would not be allowed in many other liberal democracies.

It is clear that many people, especially those who lived in Skokie, were outraged and offended by the march, but were they harmed? There was no plan to cause physical injury and the marchers did not intend to damage property. The main argument for prohibiting the Skokie march, based on considerations of harm, was that the march would incite a riot, thus putting the marchers in danger. The problem with this argument is that the focal point is the potential harm to the speakers and not the harm done to those who are the subject of the hate. To ban speech for this reason, i. If we turn our attention to members of the local community, we might want to claim that they were psychologically harmed by the march.

This is much more difficult to demonstrate than harm to a person's legal rights. It seems, therefore, that Mill's argument does not allow for state intervention in this case. If we base our defense of speech on Mill's principle we will have very few prohibitions. It is only when we can show direct harm to rights, which will almost always mean when an attack is made against a specific individual or a small group of persons, that it is legitimate to impose a sanction. One response is to suggest that the harm principle can be defined less stringently. Jeremy Waldron has made a recent attempt to do this.

He draws our attention to the visual impact of hate speech through posters and signs displayed in public. Waldron argues that the harm in hate speech the title of his book is that it compromises the dignity of those under attack. A society where such images proliferate makes life exceedingly difficult for those targeted by hate speech. He claims that prohibiting such messages assures all people that they are welcome members of the community.

Waldron does not want to use hate speech legislation to punish those who hold hateful thoughts and attitudes. The goal is not to engage in thought control but to prevent harm to the social standing of certain groups in society. Liberal democratic societies are founded on ideas of equality and dignity and these are damaged by hate speech. Given this, Waldron wonders why we even need to debate the usefulness of hate speech. Waldron doubts that we require hate speech to prevent such an outcome. He needs to convince us that an attack on a person's dignity constitutes a significant harm.

My dignity might often be bruised by colleagues, for example, but this does not necessarily show that I have been harmed. Perhaps it is only when an attack on dignity is equivalent to threats of physical abuse that it counts as a reason for limiting speech. Waldron does not offer a lot of evidence that a permissive attitude to hate speech, at least in liberal democracies, does cause significant harm. There is no specific hate speech regulation in the United States, for example, but it is not clear that more harm occurs there than in other liberal democracies.

David Boonin is not convinced that there is a need for special hate speech legislation. He claims that hate speech does not fit within the regular categories of speech that can be prohibited. Even if he can be persuaded that it does fit, he still thinks special hate speech laws are not required because existing legislation will capture the offending speech. I will examine one example he uses to make his point. Boonin argues that threatening speech already sits within the category of speech that is rightfully prohibited.

He suggests, however, that hate speech does not fall within this category because a significant amount of hate speech is not directly threatening. A group of black men, for example, will not be threatened by a racially abusive elderly white woman. He argues that this example, and others like it, show why a blanket ban on all hate speech on the grounds that it is threatening cannot be justified. Nor is it likely, he suggests, that racist attacks by frail old ladies will contribute to an atmosphere of danger. This argument might be less persuasive. If it really does turn out to be the case that all hate speech is threatening in the appropriate sense, this still does not justify special hate speech laws because there is already legislation in place prohibiting threatening language.

Boonin is opposed to banning hate speech because it is hateful not because it is threatening. The arguments of Waldron and Boonin seem to be a long way apart and the latter suggests that anyone who argues for hate speech laws is taking an extreme position. There is, however, a lot of overlap between the two, particularly as both focus on harm, and neither wants to censor hate speech simply because it is offensive. This becomes clearer if we take a suggestion offered by Waldron. Such a move goes a long way to reconciling the arguments of Waldron and Boonin.

Both authors agree that prohibition is acceptable when speech is threatening; they disagree on what counts as a harmful threat. Waldron thinks most forms of racial abuse qualify whereas Boonin is more circumspect. But the disagreement between the two is about what causes harm rather than any major philosophical difference about the appropriate limits on speech. If both agree that a threat constitutes a significant harm, then both will support censorship. This still leaves lots of room for disagreement, particularly as we are now more aware than was Mill of psychological as well as physical harm. I cannot delve into the topic here except to say that if we expand the harm principle from the physical to the mental realm, more options might become available for prohibiting hate speech and pornography.

There are two basic responses to the harm principle. One is that it is too narrow; the other is that it is too broad. This latter view is not often expressed because, as already noted, most people think that free speech should be limited if it causes illegitimate harm. George Kateb , however, has made an interesting argument that runs as follows. If we want to limit speech because it causes harm, we will have to ban a lot of political speech. Most of it is useless, a lot of it is offensive, and some of it causes harm because it is deceitful and aimed at discrediting specific groups. It also undermines democratic citizenship and stirs up nationalism and jingoism, which results in harm to citizens of other countries.

Even worse than political speech, according to Kateb, is religious speech. He claims that a lot of religious speech is hateful, useless, dishonest, and foments war, bigotry and fundamentalism. It also creates bad self-image and feelings of guilt that can haunt persons throughout their lives. Pornography and hate speech, he claims, cause nowhere near as much harm as political and religious speech. As we rightly do not want to ban political and religious speech, Kateb claims to have demonstrated that the harm principle casts the net too far.

His solution is to abandon the principle in favor of almost unlimited speech. This is a powerful argument, but there seem to be at least two problems. The first is that the harm principle would actually allow religious and political speech for the same reasons that it allows most pornography and hate speech, namely that it is not possible to demonstrate that such speech does cause direct harm to rights. I doubt that Mill would support using his arguments about harm to ban political and religious speech. The second problem for Kateb is that if he is right that such speech does cause harm by violating rights, we now have powerful reasons for limiting political and religious speech.

If Kateb's argument is sound he has shown that harm is more extensive than we might have thought; he has not demonstrated that the harm principle is invalid. The other response to the harm principle is that it does not reach far enough. One of the most impressive arguments for this position comes from Joel Feinberg who suggests that the harm principle cannot shoulder all of the work necessary for a principle of free speech. In some instances, Feinberg suggests, we also need an offense principle that can guide public censure. The basic idea is that the harm principle sets the bar too high and that we can legitimately prohibit some forms of expression because they are very offensive. Offending is less serious than harming so any penalties imposed should not be severe.

As Feinberg notes, this has not always been the case and he cites a number of instances in the U. Such a principle is hard to apply because many people take offense as the result of an overly sensitive disposition, or worse, because of bigotry and unjustified prejudice. A further difficulty is that some people can be deeply offended by statements that others find mildly amusing. The furore over the Danish cartoons brings this starkly to the fore. Despite the difficulty of applying a standard of this kind, something like the offense principle operates widely in liberal democracies where citizens are penalized for a variety of activities, including speech, that would escape prosecution under the harm principle.

Wandering around the local shopping mall naked, or engaging in sexual acts in public places are two obvious examples. Given the specific nature of this essay, I will not delve into the issue of offensive behavior in all its manifestations, and I will limit the discussion to offensive forms of speech. Feinberg suggests that many factors need to be taken into account when deciding whether speech can be limited by the offense principle. These include the extent, duration and social value of the speech, the ease with which it can be avoided, the motives of the speaker, the number of people offended, the intensity of the offense, and the general interest of the community.

How does the offense principle help us deal with the issue of erotica? Given the above criteria, Feinberg argues that books should never be banned because the offensive material is easy to avoid. If one is unaware of the content and should become offended in the course of reading the text, the solution is simple-close the book. A similar argument would be applied to erotic films. The French film Baise-Moi was in essence banned in Australia in because of its supposed offensive material it was denied a rating which meant that it could not be shown in cinemas.

It would seem, however, that the offense principle outlined by Feinberg would not permit such prohibition because it is very easy to avoid being offended by the film. It should also be legal to advertise the film, but some limits could be placed on the content of the advertisement so that sexually explicit material is not placed on billboards in public places because these are not easily avoidable. At first glance it might seem strange to have a more stringent speech code for advertisements than for the thing being advertised; the harm principle would not provide the grounds for such a distinction, but it is a logical conclusion of the offense principle.

What of pornography i. In this case the offense is more profound: simply knowing that such material exists is enough to deeply offend many people. The difficulty here is that bare knowledge, i. If we allow that films should be banned because some people are offended, even when they do not have to view them, consistency demands that we allow the possibility of prohibiting many forms of expression. A lot of people find strong attacks on religion, or t. Feinberg argues that even though some forms of pornography are profoundly offensive to many people, they should not be prohibited on these grounds. Hate speech causes profound offense.

The discomfort caused to the targets of such attacks cannot be shrugged off easily. As with violent pornography, the offense that is caused by the march through Skokie cannot be avoided simply by staying off the streets because offense is taken over the bare knowledge that the march is taking place. As we have seen, however, bare knowledge does not seem sufficient grounds for prohibition. But in respect to some of the other factors regarding offensive speech mentioned above, Feinberg suggests that the march through Skokie does not do very well: the social value of the speech seems to be marginal, the number of people offended will be large, and it is difficult to see how it is in the interests of the community.

These reasons also hold for violent pornography which Feinberg suggests should not be prohibited for reasons of offense. A key difference, however, is the intensity of the offense; it is particularly acute with hate speech because it is aimed at a relatively small and specific audience. The motivations of the speakers in the Skokie example seemed to be to incite fear and hatred and to directly insult members of the community through the use of Nazi symbols.

Nor, according to Feinberg, was there any political content to the speech. The distinction between violent pornography and the Skokie example of hate speech is that a particular group of people were targeted and the message of hate was paraded in such a way that it could not be easily avoided. It is for these reasons that Feinberg suggests hate speech can be limited by the offense principle. He also claims that when fighting words are used to provoke people who are prevented by law from using a fighting response, the offense is profound enough to allow for prohibition.

If pornographers engaged in the same behaviour and paraded through neighborhoods where they were likely to meet great resistance and cause profound offense, they too should be prevented from doing so. It is clear, therefore, that the crucial component of the offense principle is whether the offense can be avoided. Feinberg's principle means that many forms of hate speech will still be allowed if the offense is easily avoidable. It still allows Nazis to meet in private places, or even in public ones that are easily bypassed. Advertisements for such meetings can be edited because they are less easy to avoid but should not be banned. It seems Feinberg thinks that hate speech does not, in and of itself, cause direct harm to the rights of the targeted group he is not claiming that offence equals harm and he would be troubled by some of the prohibitions on speech in the U.

Very few, if any, liberal democracies are willing to support the Millian view that only speech causing direct harm to rights should be prohibited. Most support some form of the offense principle. Some liberal philosophers are willing to extend the realm of state interference further and argue that hate speech should be banned even if it does not cause harm or unavoidable offense.

The reason it should be banned is that it is inconsistent with the underlying values of liberal democracy to brand some citizens as inferior on the grounds of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. The same applies to pornography; it should be prevented because it is incompatible with democratic citizenship to portray women as submissive sexual objects, who seem to enjoy being violently mistreated. Rae Langton, for example, starts from the liberal premise of equal concern and respect and concludes that it is justifiable to remove certain speech protections for pornographers.

Working within the framework of arguments supplied by Ronald Dworkin, who is opposed to prohibitive measures, she tries to demonstrate that egalitarian liberals such as Dworkin should support the prohibition of pornography. Because she is not basing her argument on the harm principle, she does not have to show that women are harmed by pornography. For the argument to be persuasive, however, one has to accept that permitting pornography does mean that women are not treated with equal concern and respect. It also seems that the argument can be applied to non-pornagraphic material that portrays women in a demeaning way that undermines their status as equals. To argue the case above, one has to dilute one's support for freedom of expression in favor of other principles, such as equal respect for all citizens.

This is a sensible approach according to Stanley Fish. He suggests that the task we face is not to arrive at hard and fast principles that prioritise all speech. Instead, we have to find a workable compromise that gives due weight to a variety of values. Supporters of this view will remind us that when we are discussing free speech, we are not dealing with it in isolation; what we are doing is comparing free speech with some other good. We have to decide whether it is better to place a higher value on speech than on the value of privacy, security, equality, or the prevention of harm. Is speech promoting or undermining our basic values? The task is not to come up with principles that always favors expression, but rather, to decide what is good speech and what is bad speech.

Is it more in keeping with the values of a democratic society, in which every person is deemed equal, to allow or prohibit speech that singles out specific individuals and groups as less than equal? These kinds of justification for prohibitions on hate speech suggest that the permissive approach undermines free speech properly understood. Even if hate speech or pornography does not cause harm in Mill's sense or offense, it has to be limited because it is incompatible with democracy iteslf. The argument from democracy contends that political speech is essential not only for the legitimacy of the regime, but for providing an environment where people can develop and exercise their goals, talents, and abilities.

If hate speech and pornography curtail the development of such capacities in certain sections of the community, we have an argument, based on reasons used to justify free speech, for prohibition. According to Fish, the boundaries of free speech cannot be set in stone by philosophical principles. It is the world of politics that decides what we can and cannot say guided, but not hidebound, by the world of abstract philosophy. Fish suggests that free speech is about political victories and defeats. Speech always takes place in an environment of convictions, assumptions, and perceptions i.

The thing to do, according to Fish, is get out there and argue for one's position. He suggests that the answers we arrive at will vary according to the context. Free speech will be more limited in the military, where the underlying value is hierarchy and authority, than it will be at a university where one of the main values is the expression of ideas. Even on campus, there will be different levels of appropriate speech. Spouting off at the fountain in the centre of campus should be less regulated than what a professor can say during a lecture.

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