Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex: Hate Speech, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties

Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex: Hate Speech, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties

by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

…  See more details below

Overview

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.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. He elegantly dissects the practical problems of such codes (who defines ``historically oppressed?'') and attributes their rise to ``the seductive vision of the therapeutic state.'' Also notable are three short stories, including one about a silenced comedian by Griffin, a black Texas lawyer professionally censured for representing the Ku Klux Klan. Other contributors write in lawyerish style but make some worthy points: dialogue, not censorship, might better lead us to racial reform; contrary to common perception, the American Civil Liberties Union devotes more resources to fighting racism than defending racists; despite radical law professors' arguments that the equality provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment should take precedence over the free speech guarantee of the First, gay and lesbian gains have relied mainly on the First Amendment. (Jan.)
Booknews
Contributors argue that hate speech restrictions on college campuses are dangerous and counterproductive. Essays discuss race theory and the First Amendment, racist speech and democracy, regulating racist speech on campus, and the hate speech debate from a lesbian/gay perspective. Includes an introduction by Ira Glasser, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"A powerful collection of essays challenging the advocates of curbing speech in order to promote equality. Most impressively, these writers make their case not through name-calling, but by taking them seriously, and dissecting, opposing arguments and acknowledging complexities, and by invoking informed common sense in bracing prose."

-Gerald Gunther,author of The Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge

"A thoughtful book that offers significant insights on the potential perils of imposing restraints in the traditional First Amendment rights.”

-A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814730904
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
10/01/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
310
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"A thoughtful book that offers significant insights on the potential perils of imposing restraints in the traditional First Amendment rights."

-A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.,

"A powerful collection of essays challenging the advocates of curbing speech in order to promote equality. Most impressively, these writers make their case not through name-calling, but by taking them seriously, and dissecting, opposing arguments and acknowledging complexities, and by invoking informed common sense in bracing prose."

-Gerald Gunther,author of The Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge

Meet the Author

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities and Chair of the Afro-American Studies Department at Harvard University.

Anthony P. Griffin was General Counsel for the NAACP and was removed in 1993 for his representation in a first amendment case of a Grand Dragon of the Texas Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Donald E. Lively is a Professor of Law at the University of Toledo.

A nationally renowned speaker and debater, NADINE STROSSEN is Professor of Law at New York Law School and President of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >