In the Matter of the Freedom of Speech and Hate

You may, indeed, have the right to 'hate'.

However, you do not have the right to act on it, or act it out.

Hate is not 'speech'. Speech is speech.

The government has the right and the power to label and characterize and categorize 'speech' such that:

Speech that is seditious is not protected under the 1st Amendment.

Speech that is 'obscene' purley for the sake of obscenity, is not protected under the 1st Amendment.

Speech that is fraudulant and designed to cause financial harm or detriment to a person's poccket or property is not protected under the 1st Amendment.

Speech that is libelous or slanderous is not protectected under the 1st Amendment.

Speech that causes injury or harm through intimidation or threat is not protected under the 1st Amendment.

Speech that is inciteful and/or incindiary is not protected under the 1st Amrndment.

When 'speech' represents a clear and present danger to the common good and the public welfare, the government has the right and the power to assert its overriding interest in maintaining national security, and the public peace and tranquility.

In such instances the exercise of governmrntal authority over such speech that is contrary to the common good and the overriding government interests may include , but not be limited to:

Regiuation of such speech;

Limitation of such speech;

Exclusion of such speech;

Elimination of such speech.

The 1st Amendment right of freedom of speech is not an absolute nor does it confer an absolute right.

The 1st Amendment provides a delicate framework within which the government and citizens are required and expected to function re the written and spoken word "to promote the general welfare for the benefit and purpose of the common good".

There are many who are far more learned than I am who continue to debate and argue amongst themselves and before the courts the nature and extent of the Bill of Rights v the Power and Authority of the Government.

What I offer here is but a modest outline of the various contexts and categories in which the debates and discussions may take place.

It is my hope that these few words will assist the interested and the curious in acquiring a broader and deeper understanding of the issues involved and have a stronger basis upon which to draw their own conclusions on the subjects presented.

Views: 52

Comment by Ron Powell on August 19, 2017 at 2:31pm

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

----Voltaire?

The words above reportedly originated with an English author named Evelyn Beatrice Hall in 1906, but the situation is baffling.

Voltaire was the pen name of François-Marie Arouet who died in 1778. The earliest evidence of the saying appeared many years afterwards in the 1906 book “The Friends of Voltaire” by S. G. Tallentyre which was the pseudonym of historian Evelyn Beatrice Hall.

Her book described an incident involving the French philosopher Claude-Adrien Helvétius who in 1758 published a controversial work titled “De l’esprit” (“On the Mind”). The book was condemned in the Parlement of Paris and by the Collège de Sorbonne. Voltaire was unimpressed with the text, but he considered the attacks unjustified. After Voltaire learned that the book by Helvétius had been publicly incinerated he reacted as follows according to Hall:

‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

The above passage was confusing because Hall enclosed the now famous statement in quotation marks. Yet, the elegant phrase depicted Hall’s conception of Voltaire’s internal mental attitude and not his actual spoken words.

Indeed, Hall asserted that the words were hers and not Voltaire’s in a 1939 letter published in the journal “Modern Language Notes”. Nevertheless, the misunderstanding persists to this day.

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on August 19, 2017 at 3:01pm

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Comment by cheshyre on August 19, 2017 at 3:19pm

"Don't raise the minimum wage" is probably the worst form of hate speech I've heard. You see, we're all guilty of hate speech in one form or the other. Nobody needs to get on their high horse.

"Poverty is the worst form of violence." - Mahatma Gandhi

Comment by koshersalaami on August 19, 2017 at 3:39pm

I appreciate this, Ron. You know my take on this from Jon's blog. 

Comment by Rodney Roe on August 19, 2017 at 5:39pm

Thanks for the clarification on hate speech.  

"to promote the general welfare for the benefit and purpose of the common good"


Can we not decide what the common good is?

Comment by Ron Powell on August 19, 2017 at 5:51pm

@RR; We may not all agree on what the 'common good' is, but we are beginning to develop a collective understanding, and capacity to articulate and  communicate, what the 'common good' isn't.

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