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Should Hate Speech Like John Galliano’s Be Illegal In The U.S.?

Submitted by on September 18, 2011 – 2:45 pm7 Comments
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In a French courtroom last week, Fashion designer John Galliano was found guilty of making “public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity.” But could such a case ever happen in the U.S.?

The charges stemmed from an incident that occurred in a Paris bar, where Galliano allegedly harrassed a woman for nearly an hour, calling her a “fucking ugly Jewish bitch.” A video shot at the same bar later surfaced, showing Galliano making more anti-Jewish statements, and declaring, “I love Hitler.”

The British-born designer claimed that he did not remember any of the incidents due to a “triple addiction” to alcohol, sleeping pills and Valium. Due to his apology during the trial, Galliano was sentenced only to pay court fees for the plantiffs, and a symbolic sum to each.

In the wake of The Holocaust, many European nations outlawed public hate speech, even making Holocaust denial a crime. In an interview with NPR, Yale University professor Charles Asher Small explains that hate speech doesn’t even have to contain a threat; it’s simply “speech that advocates genocide or inciting hatred against an identifiable group.” Canada and Mexico have also instated similar protections against hate speech.

But the U.S. has a drastically different history, with activists from all across the political spectrum traditionally defending the free speech rights of even the most hateful groups, unless statements immediately provoke violence. Just last May, the Supreme Court decided nearly unanimously in favor of a Kansas hate group that protests the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, holding signs that read “You’re Going To Hell,” and “God Hates The USA.” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the court must protect “even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”

The US is “definitely the exception” among nations on hate speech, said Small.

What do you think? Is hate speech the acceptable price we pay for free speech?

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7 Comments »

  • Liberte says:

    I hate people that want to ban hate speech. How can you attack your tyrants if it is considered hate speech to talk honestly about them.

    The holocaust is a scam and Jews own America. So is that hate speech? Or is it speaking truth to power?

  • Robert T says:

    No speech of any kind should be outlawed in the U.S. The founding fathers made that clear in the Constitution.

    If someone is ruining decorum let them be escorted off the property for being ill-mannered and disrespectful.

    And there should be no “protected minority groups” in the U.S. That’s nonsense.

  • NowSwimBack says:

    The First Amendment is clear: free speech cannot be prohibited. If the Jews don’t like that, then they can leave and go back to the mideast where they belong.

    And take your smelly Arab brothers with you.

  • Rob says:

    Hate speech laws are designed to protect either those in power or those that the powerful need in order to stay in power. Who is so self righteous or plainly vain that needs laws to keep their feelings from being hurt. And to the laws that make it a crime to deny the holocaust, what does it hurt to discuss it or what? Is there something you don’t want people to know (like gasing deaths from a diesel engine, which is impossible). Calling people names or using racist words she not or ever be a crime, its called life deal with you cry baby.

  • James Dunet says:

    No! Hate speech protects the people in power from the people who don’t have as much power.

    The Holocaust is illegal to question in some European countries not only for the protection of powerful Jewish interests but for the protection of the Allied victory in WWII. To undermine the Holocaust is to undermine the moral victory by propaganda that the Jewish/Allied powers worked so hard to create.

    The protections for minorities are in place to protect cheap labor schemes and to distract white workers from the real masters of white destruction. Most areas that Western society draws workers from are brown/small brained as per the Brain Size Intelligence Correlation.

    The religion of equality is the real threat to progress and is maintained by a group of oligarchs who wish that time would forever stand still. They destroy through race mixing, the creative race that brought you the modern world. They would not have it any other way.

  • Balder says:

    What a way to phrase it: “Canada and Mexico have also instated similar protections against hate speech”.

    Why not: “Canada and Mexico have also instated similar limitations on freedom of speech”.

    Here a proposal from a Dutch Zionist Christian Party:

    Depicting Jews as ‘Poor Suckers’ to become criminal act

    The Hague: A member of the Dutch Parliament from the small fundamentalist Christian Party ChristenUnie (CU) Joël Voordewind, will today, Tuesday September 13, defend a proposal, which is meant to prevent insults to Jews and Israel.

    Holland: Christian Zionist MP Joel Voordewind demands punishment for offending Israel and Jews

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