Should Hate Speech be Regulated on Campus?

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Johnathan Rauch would not be in favor of the speech codes proposed at ISU because he argues that racist speech cannot be regulated without political and all other speech also falling victim to censorship. In Rauch's view the question is not which speech or expressive behavior is acceptable or is not acceptable because if any is restricted all speech is in jeopardy. Rauch would use two different schools of thought to explain his views on hate speech, the first being "purism".

The use of speech codes is an example of purism, because they want to stamp out racism. According to Rauch, purists believe that all racist speech should not be allowed and eliminating prejudice is the ultimate goal. He thinks that there is no possible chance of this happening so, we as a society should make the best of it and tolerate and learn from prejudice. He also describes purists as totalists, who see racism as harmful and blame words rather than people.

Just because minorities are being discriminated against doesn't mean that a political correctness movement will eliminate where prejudice is founded. Rauch really believes that this approach is unrealistic and inefficient.

The view that Rauch would take is that of an "intellectual pluralists". Intellectual pluralism advocates the exchange of ideas; even if those particular ideas are sometimes bigoted. The first Amendment is considered more important to him than the 14th Amendment because it promotes liberty over equality. Any action or law that limits an individuals liberty is destructive to America as a whole. He and his fellow libertarians accept racism and think that it is not necessary to prosecute people solely on racist speech or expressions. Rauch acknowledges that there is discrimination and prejudice but he would argue that speech codes on college campuses are not the answer.

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