Does Free Speech Protect Hate Mongers?

Here (by here I mean after the fold) is an email I got today from Jewish Voice For Peace which is as moderate of a voice as you’ll find when discussing issues on said matter.

It just got me thinking, should anti-hate groups and free-speech activists be fighting to defend hate-mongers? At what point do you draw the line to say enough is enough or do you not draw the line because after all, it’s only speech? I was watching West Wing yesterday and it reminds me of a line from a Season 2 episode titled “Midterm” in which Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) says referring to regulations against free speech, “laws like that were passed in the South during the Civil Rights Movement to root out members of such terrorist organizations as the NAACP.”

I have always been a big time believer in giving every single minority group a voice to be heard regardless of how outrageous, unrealistic and downright hateful they maybe. I don’t think we should have the right to judge what is free speech and what is not because there is no concrete definition for it. The definition is always changing and we can never be sure that what is unacceptable one day would be mainstream the next. For that if you allow one group to say something, you have to allow all of them.

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