Proponents of hate speech regulations, notes Harvard Afro-American Studies department head Gates in the best of these six essays, must be met with more than conventional free speech absolutism. He elegantly dissects the practical problems of such codes (who defines ``historically oppressed?'') and attributes their rise to ``the seductive vision of the therapeutic state.'' Also notable are three short stories, including one about a silenced comedian by Griffin, a black Texas lawyer professionally censured for representing the Ku Klux Klan. Other contributors write in lawyerish style but make some worthy points: dialogue, not censorship, might better lead us to racial reform; contrary to common perception, the American Civil Liberties Union devotes more resources to fighting racism than defending racists; despite radical law professors' arguments that the equality provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment should take precedence over the free speech guarantee of the First, gay and lesbian gains have relied mainly on the First Amendment. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/1995 Release date: 01/01/1995 Genre: Nonfiction
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