Hate speech

Hate speech is a complex and controversial concept. The ideas and conversations that we will be addressing in our argument essay about this do not have a “right” answer. Free speech is a basis of our society. Hate speech, though, is harmful and can be especially so to young students on college campuses. Just to give you a recent example: there have been hateful Zoom bombings during Black History Month events that have left students feeling unwelcome or even traumatized.

An exception to free speech protections include speech that incites violence, but it can be difficult to draw the line to say when speech has done that. There is a lot to consider, and I hope our discussion this week will get us thinking more critically about all of the different parts to this debate.

Because this concept is controversial, please remember to be extra considerate and polite when it comes to opposing viewpoints.



Please respond to all three questions in 250-300 words (together, not each).

  1. What are your thoughts on what constitutes speech that “incites violence”? How do we prove that it has? Or can we even do that?
  2. How do you think campuses should handle controversial speakers? Should speakers who might be engaging in hate speech be allowed to speak on college campuses?
  3. As part of the Cuyamaca College Conduct of Conduct, (Links to an external site.) a student might face disciplinary action of he or she is found to be “engaging in intimidating conduct or bullying against another student through words or actions, including direct physical contact; verbal assaults, such as teasing or name-calling; social isolation or manipulation; and cyberbullying.” Cuyamaca College is a public college, so first amendment rules apply. How does this rule fit within the first amendment protections? Does it violate free speech? If you think no, explain why. If you think yes, should we still have it anyway, for the protection of our students?
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