Ed Mignon Distinguished Lecture: Nadine Strossen
HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship
Join us as we greet Nadine Strossen, the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School. She has written, taught, and advocated extensively in the areas of constitutional law and civil liberties, including through frequent media interviews. From 1991 through 2008, she served as President of the American Civil Liberties Union, the first woman to head the nation’s largest and oldest civil liberties organization.
In her book, “Hate: Why We should Resist it with Free Speech, Not Censorship”, she argues that our political and campus discourse are increasingly filled with charges and counter-charges of “hate speech” to stigmatize and suppress seemingly any speech whose ideas are viewed as hated and hateful. Speech as disparate – and important in our democracy – as campaigning for Donald Trump and advocating for Black Lives Matter, has been denounced as “hate speech.” Moreover, too many political and other leaders make erroneous statements about the legal status of such speech, declaring either that “hate speech is not free speech” or that it is absolutely protected. To the contrary, U.S. law appropriately takes a more nuanced approach, protecting some, but not all, speech that conveys hateful or discriminatory messages.
This lecture will explain why the U.S. approach not only is consistent with core principles of liberty and democracy, but also is the most effective strategy for advancing equality, societal harmony, and individual dignity and psychic well-being. It cites the many past and present social justice advocates, both in the U.S. and worldwide, who concur that these essential goals are thwarted by censorship, but effectively promoted through non-censorial strategies, including counter-speech.
A reception will follow immediately after the lecture.