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

Paperback(Revised ed.)

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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.

Product Details

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

About the Author

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research and holder of the distinguished title of Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University. He is the author of twelve books, including several award-winning works of literary criticism as well as the memoir Colored People; The Future of the Race, co-authored with Cornel West; Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man; and Tradition and the Black Atlantic. Gates has hosted ten PBS television specials, including Looking for Lincoln and the two part series, African American Lives, upon which his book In Search of Our Roots (2009) was based. He is winner of the 2009 Ralph Lowell Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Television and the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Non-Fiction.

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.

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

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