Opposing Hate Speech

By Olson, Kathleen K. | Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Autumn 2007 | Go to article overview

Opposing Hate Speech


Olson, Kathleen K., Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly


Opposing Hate Speech. Anthony Cortese. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006. 229 pp. $39.95 hbk.

In ruling on everything from campus speech codes to the Nuremberg Files Web site, U.S. courts have found it difficult to strike a proper balance between preventing harms caused by speech and protecting individual expression. In Opposing Hate Speech, Anthony Cortese criticizes those efforts and blends social science, critical race theory, and constitutional analysis to argue for a greater societal commitment to the fight against words that hurt.

Cortese, a professor of sociology at Southern Methodist University, concentrates his focus on hate speech that denigrates people on the basis of race or ethnic origin, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Using cultural-transmission and group-identification theories, he offers a four-stage discrimination model for classifying and measuring hate speech based on its severity. "Unintentional discrimination" is speech that is offensive to minorities but is not purposely meant to harm-this is Stage 1 hate speech, which can be remedied by education. Stages 2 and 3 hate speech are more severe because they are intentional, with Stage 3 hate speech inciting hatred toward minorities. Education, institutional speech codes, and litigation are possible remedies for these types of hate speech. Stage 4 hate speech goes even further and incites or encourages physical violence toward minorities; this type of speech currently lacks legal protection under the "fighting words" doctrine or the clear and present danger test.

Cortese returns to this model and applies it to examples of hate speech throughout the book, but he never fully fleshes out how it might work in a court of law. In the chapter on religious hate speech, for example, he offers Bill O'Reilly's comparison of the Koran to Mein Kampf as a Stage 3 offense because, he says, it "seems to be designed to promulgate feelings of hatred for Muslims." But another person (or court) might view this incident as Stage 2 (intentionally denigrating minorities) or perhaps even Stage 1 (offending minorities, but not on purpose). This example and others show the line-drawing problems that arise in trying to assign arbitrary values to speech-problems that Cortese does not address, much less resolve.

Instead, Cortese's main purpose seems to be to show that the current legal regime is not working, and in making this argument he raises some provocative points. Traditional free speech jurisprudence has not solved the problem of hate speech, he argues, because judges have taken an overly absolutist view of the First Amendment.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Opposing Hate Speech
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.