Orginal Publication Date
Ethnic Studies Review
This paper uses history, law, and First Amendment theory to examine the concepts of political correctness, free speech, and hate speech in a search for a solution of how best to deal with hate speech incidents that occur in the university campus community. The paper notes the American tendency toward tyranny of the majority as noted by Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1830s and then proceeds to examine the double-edged sword of free speech. By guaranteeing freedom of speech we promote the right to shout down ethnic and other minority groups; by providing penalties against those who use it to shout others down we make society less free. This paper suggests a different answer: promote more speech expressed in community meetings conducted in an atmosphere that is safe and encouraging for all to express their views.
Copyright ©ESR, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1997