CNN Column: What we risk when we ban racist speech

Last week’s post “There will never be a nigger in SAE” has been sanitized for mass publication.

See What we risk when we ban racist speech at

5 Responses to CNN Column: What we risk when we ban racist speech

  1. blueollie says:

    As usual, direct, well written, and right on point. BRAVO!!!

  2. Nick says:


  3. Electra says:

    THANK YOU for being a voice of reason and your courage for stepping up to what will surely be vitriolic rage from some corners. The truth is that ALL lives matter and people of all colors are maligned, killed, bullied and harrassed daily. Moreoever, banning words will harden not soften hearts, any more than bussing changed minds or behavior in the 60’s. Racism has simply reinvented itself by having young people who never did anything to feel guilty about apologize and other young people who refuse to see how much times have changed yell “hate whitey” with impunity. We should hold ourselves to a standard of “injury” that goes beyond “offended” and seek dialogue instead demanding of behavior modification in OTHERS. The pendulum has swung and the social engineering has reached a sad, but inevitable zenith as evidenced by an institute of “higher learning” voting to ban the flag for being culturally insensitive. We can hope calmer heads will prevail, but since airtime is so desireable and ratings are never high for those “kumbaya” moments, I am doubting it. This is not the future this (now) 67 year old white woman envisioned when stepping up against (then) conventional thinking in the 50s and 60s.

  4. andrews says:

    You might have mentioned that Holmes view in Abrams v. US, 250 US 616 (US 10-Nov-1919), was a dissent. That is, the majority held that it was perfectly legal to punish a man with 20 years in prison for expressing views contrary to official government policy as to the conduct of a war.

    Reasonable people may feel that Abrams was wrongly decided, but we ought to face how it was decided. The law of the land appears to be that criticism of the war effort, at least if it might create an impediment to prosecution of the war, is severly punishable.

    Great dissent, in other words, but still, it was a dissent. The First Amendment may not protect speech critical of the government. So far as I know, speech favoring present government policy is fully protected.

    • True that Holmes’ view in Abrams was a dissent. My original draft included that, as well as an explanation that the philosophy in that dissent did not take long to jump to the majority side, and is now (well, at least was until the Rehnquist court) the prevailing view. But, the point is made whether its a dissent or not.

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