Should Hate Speech Be Protected As Free Speech?

September 13, 2019 posted by

– Ah, free speech. It’s the thing everyone thinks they value until they hear something they don’t like and today we’re gonna
get into the nitty gritty of the free speech battles happening on college campuses. (lighthearted instrumental music) 2017 was a big year for free speech. White nationalist rallies
and the take a knee movement sparked tons of media
attention and controversy. College campuses across the country including where we are now
and where I went to school, UC-Berkeley, go Bears, are at the center of
this free speech debate. It’s the same story over
and over again in the news. Protests erupt over a
controversial speaker who comes to campus, sometimes shutting them down and sometimes resulting in violence and this draws a divisive line between people who want to
limit controversial speech at campuses and those who believe that
anyone should have a right to speak freely no matter how extreme their views. What exactly does free speech
mean on college campuses? First, some background. Freedom of speech is protected under the first amendment
of the U.S. Constitution. It basically means the government cannot arrest or punish
you for speaking your mind. You’re totally free to bash
whatever or whoever you want, the president, Congress, tech bros, decaf coffee, Florida. Anyway, the point is the government can’t come after you for it. The founding fathers this
was fundamental to democracy and they were right. Without free speech there couldn’t have been the civil rights or women’s rights to vote movements. And who knows, maybe our next
president will be a woman. But to be clear free speech just applies to government and government entities which are places that are funded by your tax dollars at work, folks. And yes, public universities
fall into this category. Private companies, on the other hand, can censor you all they want. That’s why ESPN, for example,
can fire a sports anchor for saying something that goes against their company policies but that anchor can’t get
arrested for what she said. Or the NFL could make a rule
banning players from kneeling but players couldn’t get
arrested if they chose to do it. But there are some limits to free speech like blackmail, making a threat, soliciting a crime, inciting
violence, lying under oath and violations of copyright are some of the things
that are not allowed. And here’s where a lot of the controversy on college campuses comes in: hate speech. Like this person who feels strongly that college campuses
should be no place for hate. – Racism isn’t welcome, bigotry
isn’t welcome on this campus and we can’t set a precedent for giving people who are spousing hatred to have a platform on this campus. – But the truth is, when it comes to giving speeches to crowds — for the most part hate speech is protected and just so we’re all
on the same page here, hate speech usually refers
to attacks on people based on their race,
religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability and the like. So a speaker can totally
say racist, homophobic or mean-spirited things
about groups of people. I mean, hey, that’s pretty messed up but it’s also not illegal. It’s super hard for someone to
get punished for hate speech when speaking to a crowd. Basically it can only happen if this speech immediately
and intentionally provokes a crowd to commit a crime. So for example, a KKK leader
is allowed to give a speech saying lots of terrible
things about different races but what would be illegal is if the speaker pointed
to someone in the crowd and yelled, attack that person, and then the crowd actually did. Now it’s super easy to hate hate speech. It’s mean, offensive and can really hurt the
people it’s directed at but there’s a good reason
why it’s protected. Think about it, do you really want to put
the power in the hands of the government to decide what they consider hateful? Say we’ve got a president that
finds hilarious parody videos like this SNL clips to be hateful and decides to make them illegal. [SNL Clip] – You know, I actually love football. I could have played. People say I remind them of an NFL player because I’m combative, I like to win and I might have a
degenerative brain disease. (grunts) – Oh my God, what happened? – What happened was you
made Barack Obama angry and when you make Barack Obama angry he turns into the rock Obama. (laughter) [End of SNL Clip] – I mean, it wouldn’t be America if we couldn’t make fun
of our own president. Okay, let’s go back to
college campuses for a second. Public universities like
where we are now UC-Berkeley are public entities because they’re funded
by U.S. tax dollars. So a public university
can’t deny any speakers based on their views no matter how crazy or extreme they are. In fact, last year Auburn University tried to get white
nationalist Richard Spencer to stop speaking on campus but a federal judge ruled that that was a violation of his constitutional
first amendment rights. But things get complicated when student or public safety is involved like when UC-Berkeley
had to dish out $600,000, yes, that’s over a half a million dollars, when conservative speaker Ben Shapiro wanted to come to campus. Could universities just
use the threat of violence to shut down speakers whose
views they don’t agree with? And who should bear the cost? The universities, the speakers
or a combination of both? Free speech advocates believe a university must do
everything in its power to allow and protect speakers. One of the most outspoken
advocates is Robert Reich, an economist and professor at Berkeley whose known for his liberal views. We see him all the time on the news advocating for free speech for some of the people he
disagrees with the most. [Robert Reich] – I tell my students all the time the best way to learn something is to talk to people who disagree with you because that forces, that forces you to sharpen your views and test your views and you might even, it might even come out at a different place. A university, of all places, is the locus where we want to have provocative views. – And do you really want administrators deciding who’s offensive? I mean, where do you draw
the line on hateful speech? If a liberal campus decides to ban Spencer, could a conservative campus
decide to ban Colin Kaepernick or Hillary Clinton? Censorship goes both ways. So, what do you think about all this? How should universities
handle controversial speakers? Let us know in the comments
below and thanks for watching. Oh, and if you like this video be sure to check out our other one on how the immigration
system really works. And don’t forget to subscribe. (lighthearted instrumental music)


100 Replies to “Should Hate Speech Be Protected As Free Speech?”

  1. Cee Magee says:

    This young lady should be told we ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY. We are a REPUBLIC, we we elect our "officials" democratically. I think this word is used to subvert our country.

  2. el cojo de la botella says:

    Hate speech is bad and morally punishable but the new way the concept is manipulated by the LEFT in this country is wrong. DEMS are trying to code all conservative voices and opinions that contradicts their political views as HATE SPEECH and it's wrong! This practice will render the root of the real problem of racism into another contradictory term in the weaponry of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS against Trump SUPPORTERS like MYSELF.

  3. InnernetFunhouse says:

    Students should bear the cost of security that their actions require.

  4. Jay K says:

    There is nothing to learn from a man who claims black people have a lower IQ. He doesn't deserve a platform.Ban him.

  5. Thor says:

    When snowflakes can't defend a point with rational arguments, they rush to ban it.

    Free speech is not just protected by the constitution, but also the 2A.

  6. kelly Watson says:

    There's no such thing as hate speech. Says the Supreme court.

  7. Preston Pfeil says:

    Free speech or truth speech

  8. TrueMohax says:

    seeing as hate speech doesn't actually exist, there's no action needed

  9. BM says:

    Hate speech is what is called on unpopular views

  10. Independent Omega says:


  11. Nicholas Lammle says:

    Hate speech is free speech

  12. Axe Pagode says:

    In the USA, there is no hate speech. There is only free speech that one doesn't like.

  13. Wenceslao Futanaki says:

    What is hate speech? Unless is it something like "LETS GO KILL AND PILLAGE X MINORITY" It is usually when you don´t agree with your oponent and you call it hate speech.

  14. Bitervo Fernandez says:

    At 4:53, sounds a little too over exaggerated.

  15. ChadDeeHodges says:

    The founding fathers never mentioned "Democracy" in the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

  16. Chester Carter says:

    Saying whites or christians is hate speech, yeah ok

  17. Chester Carter says:

    In America you are also allowed to walk away and defend yourself. Quit being a [email protected]%=/@% coward

  18. Chester Carter says:

    When a minority says white than that's hate speech. When a homosexual says hetero that's hate speech. Get a &#%=/@ brain

  19. John Warren says:

    Who is to decide what is hate speech and if anyone can decide what you're allowed to say then you don't have freedom of speech you have freedom of speech as long as you say what the government wants you to say or what society wants you to say freedom of speech means anything you say you have a right to say it what if the minutemen were prevented from encouraging people to join their group to overthrow the britons freedom of speech means your government has to protect your right to encourage overthrow of that same government if it doesn't protect that right then the government is censoring your freedom of speech unfortunately the last two generations have been so brainwashed they don't understand the people rule the government not the other way around we the people our government is our lappdog it does what we tell it to do if that doesn't sound familiar it's because America has became a fascist dictatorship

  20. SurfsUp says:

    Not watching the video, but what is hate speech ?

  21. Brad Burggraf says:

    You either have free speech or you don’t

  22. budy bradley says:

    A conservative campus ban liberals…. lol. There’s a hand full of conservative campus. Just a few in this country.

  23. Rafal says:

    There is no free speach in USA …

  24. Lukas Hand says:

    People express their energy and feelings through words. We spread information through our language as well. You have brain damage if you think humans should be banned from saying certain words to express their ideas(unless you work for special interests and intentionally hide the light from the public)

  25. Level Up Lounge says:

    First of all according to the thumbnail that's not even something that should be questioned that conflicts the first amendment rights

  26. mouse mickey says:

    YES , i mean , people shouldnt be shitty to each other but by all means , because if you CAN NOT TALK about those radically DIFFERENT issues then the ONLY other option YOU HAVE is to PHYSICALLY FIGHT YOU . with out FREE SPEECH . there can ONLY be violence .

  27. Rob Pashley says:

    The pushback from banning free speach will very very disastrous😑

  28. skobite123 says:

    ………………….What ? Richard spencer is a white nationalist ? How is that ? i thought he only was exposing the crule calling to violence that is written over and over again in the quran for muslims to follow ….and also in the hadiths…. you know the stuff that has made the muslims get mad and yell real loud before they go and kill people ? so excuse me but how does that make him a bigot ?? ? huh ? well it only seems like he is only trying to simply warn people of a real true danger …..that may or may not exist ? how about we read the quran and see ? So is Robert is all that they are saying ? And what if he is telling the truth ? and what if the quran it really does say those things ?

  29. Takis Fuego says:

    You live in a bubble, blacks openly call for the extermination of ALL non blacks the same as muslims. They use words such as fucking crackers, spics, chinks and they never get banned but if someone call them ignorant morons you get banned for 30+ days and sometimes your account is deleted. People are getting tired and that's why the right and far right are riding worldwide and growing hate towards corporate governments and entire etnic groups like blacks and Jews.

  30. Hooptie Hamburger says:

    Who is naive enough to trust a government not to ban all speech criticizing the government if the government can ban what the government determines is "hate speech?" Is it that hard to understand how insanely dangerous that is? Anybody who trusts that outrageous idea to work well needs to study the history of the rise of totalitarian governments. We cannot let it happen to the United States. Don't play that stupid game!

  31. Hal 9000 says:

    Just b/c snowflakes hate things they dis-like, doesn't mean it's hateful. It's the other way around.

  32. JupiterLounge says:

    A civil war is inevitable then because freedom of speech can be used to protect separtist views and propaganda against entire groups. Clocks ticking on the people that don't want that to be allowed attack and kill the people that do.

  33. mrhoffame says:

    When the same people who tell you "The best man should get the job" is racial micro aggression….I'm gonna let THEM REGULATE what racist/hate speech is???? You F&%k'N CRAZY!!??

  34. mrhoffame says:

    "First they came for the socialist and I did not speak out- because I was not a a socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionist, and I did not speak out- because I'm was not a trade unionist. They then came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me-and there was one no-one left to speak out for me"

    – Martin Niemoller- Nazi supporter imprisoned for not agreeing with Hitler 100%. Be cautious when your side's main positions revolve around shutting down opposition speech through mob rule!!

  35. Soverign Cold-Steel says:

    Not that i find hate speech to be ok but how can hate speech be banned wheb its perfectly ok to be a Nazi for example? We fought against the nazis but it's ok to be one but it's not ok to talk like one?? These "laws " atbleast need to stsy consistent

  36. Ali Mohammond says:

    fuck, Allah UK Barr, fuck u stupid piece of shit at UOfberkley, then what about all of us Arab speaking in Arabic language, how the fuck u know what we saying, how you know I'm talking hate speech if u don't know my language ,u stupid fuck!

  37. Ali Mohammond says:

    if u don't want hate speech, then u have to know all the language in the world, that make more sense! u know English , but what about a Chinese fag it speaking his language, and u don't understand his language and he making threats!

  38. Opedanderson says:

    Who decides what is hate speech?

  39. Matthew Smollen says:

    I hope all hate speeches come to an end. The U.S. would be a much better country if hate speeches came to an end.

  40. Matthew Smollen says:

    I’m making a protesting speech called “Regret Discrimination”.

  41. Matthew Smollen says:

    In reality, hate speeches are wrong, mean, disrespectful, offensive, and a bad behavior. During the Christmas holiday, all people who make hate speeches end up on the naughty list, and they don’t get the presents they want.

  42. Gone Fishing says:

    Welcome to ignorance, speech is speech thats it. It is nothing more than an opinion. You may not like what someone says if so TO BAD! My i was a little boy my mom always told me " Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." I learned this a 3 years old, why cant so called adults grasp this simple face. GROW THE HELL UP.

  43. Lulu Rodriddle says:

    Hate speech is just what dumb people call anything they don’t like Btw. White nationalists don’t exist

  44. Sad Nigga says:

    "Should Hate Speech Be Protected As Free Speech?"
    ….there, i summed up your whole query in one word
    if you dont like it, go back to nazi germany where your aryan feelings cant be hurt

  45. DOA HS Nyotengu says:


  46. Samaritan Films says:

    Speech is just that… speech! So-called hate speech is merely words of verbal thoughts like any other speech.

  47. john smith says:

    Any speach that comes out of a legal amarican's mouth or wrighting pleasant or hateful words are both completely covered by the first amendment and trumps anyone's sensitive feelings unless it specifically states physical violence towards a person or group of persons and anyone who tries to make a criminal case or infringe on an amaricans inalienable right to freedom of speech is not to be taken seriously by any law enforcement or judicial system in amarica

  48. Jack Sparrow says:

    What is this hate speech they keep going on about

  49. MrProck9225 says:

    Cost is because your letting violence happen.

  50. Hoffman's Landscaping says:

    No such thing as hate speech. That's a subjective term.

  51. winston ledford says:

    msnbc cnn hates trump no matter if they say they protect theys a limit on a preisdent. ok

  52. 8Bit Mage says:

    Damn we are entering dark times it's kind of depressing honestly

  53. Jonathan Hall says:

    Censorship = Death Liberty = Life
    Grow up children. Take responsibility for yourselves.

  54. Jonathan Hall says:

    Instead of conservative or liberal your control labels let’s be rational. Let’s be grown ups let’s know that labels are BS and we are not defined by them. LGBTQXYZLMNOPROFLMAOFOOLS Liberty or Death. Liberty = Life Censorship = your slavery and death. Time to accept our differences of opinion and let each other live in peace and share openly without allowing the media access to our minds. Turn off your TV quit watching any gov sponsored MSM period. Embrace those with differing ideas and listen. Part ways with a hug if you can not agree and agree do disagree and raise our respective families in peace. Time for the guns to be turned in to the government so ALL SOLDIERS IN ALL CORNERS OF THE WORLD PLEASE PLACE WEAPONS ON GROUND TELL YOUR HANDLERS NO THANK YOU AND GO HOME TO YOUR CHILDREN. THEY NEED YOU.. Go in peace.

  55. Rosanna Miller says:

    Hate speech doesn't exist. Grow up, buttercup! Claiming hate speech IS hate speech, dingleberry!!

  56. Scrub Lord says:

    What the fuck do you mean by "should"? The First Amendment is in place to protect the unpopular opinion or "hate speech", even though "hate speech" doesn't exist. If a leftest labels someone a racist without any reasonable evidence, isn't that considered bullying? Or throws a milkshake at someone, isn't that battery?

  57. ARgmail says:

    I'm honestly terrified and disappointed by how many young left-wingers believe hate speech shouldn't be allowed.
    The reason for free speech is precisely to protect what the masses deem to be "hate speech",
    Popular speech or love speech doesn't need to protected since it will never be under threat.
    Free speech was created to protect the speech of a controversial minority from the censorship of the majority.

  58. Spicy says:

    Yes, it should.

  59. Duke of Haphazard says:

    There is no such thing as hate speech only free speech.

  60. yeet yeet says:

    Kolej sux

  61. RedneckSpaceMan says:

    Liberals consider any and all dissent from their point of view as "hate speech'

  62. TheGadsdenGuru says:

    yes, yes it fucking should

  63. Inaki Euzkadi says:

    What is now considered "Hate Speech" 10 years ago it was known as INCONVENIENT TRUTHS

  64. Thomas Ryan says:

    Well the left has worked all this out years ago that's why there is no conservative campuses, not really any conservative media either

  65. cédric léonard says:

    "Limits to free spech" are not free speech. Those examples are illegal actions of speech. They are mostly (copyright is an exception we could argue about) unlawful and based on bad intent. Also you don't get to speak for me. "free speech, it's the thing everyone THINKS they value until they hear something they don't like" is a universal claim that is false because of a single counterexample.

  66. Carson Young says:

    Hate speech doesn't exist

  67. J VIP NEWS says:

    Truth is Harder To Take Than Lies Are Because To Lie is to hide the Truth but the Truth Is Not as Pretty as A Lie. Because it’s not filled with Sugar (Speech that sweetens you up ) Coating.

  68. Wulfdane says:

    “Hate speech” is a gimmick used to silence people, what is considered hate speech changes with the person making the allegation.

    How important is free speech? Women Suffrage and the Civil Rights movement owe their success in part to free speech.

  69. Eddy H says:

    just ignore…teach people to ignore hate speech. they eventually get tired.

  70. 05rosebud says:

    Hate speech is a fabricated construct of the left to silence anyone who disagrees with them.

  71. Bobby L. says:

    No such thing as 'Hate Speech'–only Free Speech. If the Snowflake SJW Liberals don't like it, leave the USA.

  72. Suspei Tavam says:

    You are part of the synarchy, right?

  73. Kat Douglas says:

    The problem is that Statistics and facts are considered hate speech by far left liberals today. The truth when spoken causes violence. All proven by the violent Berkeley riots to keep Ben Shapiro from speaking his statistics and facts… I just have to ask, wouldn't you rather know who the kkk is, than not know? If you silence all the haters, do you believe you get rid of all the hate? You don't, you just hide it. Then, how do you know who to trust. We will never really know our fellow human beings because we won't be able to talk honestly with each other.

  74. Zeverin says:

    For example, an Antifa leader is allowed to give a speech saying lots of terrible things about whites, men and conservatives. But what would be illegal, would be if the speaker pointed to someone in the crowd and yelled "attack that person" and then the crowd actually did.

    So why haven't Antifa been locked up yet?

  75. Lone Wolfy says:

    You can say any thing u want. Except on YouTube where they ban free speech.

  76. Swan says:

    Sugar does kill!
    Most youtubers are evil uneducated shit heads
    Kittens aren't bad at all, It's just that cats aren't equally domesticated as dogs, Becuase cats has been breed for 5000 years, As while dogs have been bred for 15000 years three times more.
    Puppies are cute so are kittens.
    Nacho cheese it's just cheese.
    Rap music such as mumble rap is awful, But sometimes occasionally good.

  77. Dances with Ghosts Quick Spirit Quiet Fox says:

    There is no such thing as hate speech (the result of humans simply wanting to control each other)

    There is only speech and it is Universally free forever as long a human can verbally speak and communicate.

    No one should be arrested for expressing speech….making threats though is another thing but it must be a direct threat…”I or We(a group a person belongs to) will kill / hurt you “

    But wishing death is just wishing death…’s a wish…an individual or group for being penalized must declare an actual threat….

    That would be my law … idk let me know if this makes sense to you…

  78. Rob Grant says:

    And if you don’t like it
    Educate the Young……

  79. DeathForSk8 says:

    Despite the so-called free speech in USA, people have been prosecuted for using profanity for harassment (check USA on the wikipedia page for profanity). For example, if I were to repeatedly call a black person the n-word with malicious intent, I could get prosecuted. Yet if the Westboro Baptist church holds signs and yells "God hates fags", they are protected under free speech.

    The church is protected in this case because they are not addressing these statements at a specific person for harassment, but stating them as a general ideology. However, it is obvious that it is spreading a harassing message, and doing so as a collective ideology is far more damaging than a single person targeting harassment at one other single person.

    This kind of moral inconsistency in a law is an immediate give-away that the law is not well put in place.
    I believe the law should establish that any kind of speech that involves unsolicited harassment with malicious intent (not the kind of thing that Milo does for example), should simply fall into the category of harassment, just like throwing a piece of paper at someone is categorized as battery.
    I don't know how you Americans feel about situations like this Wesboro Baptist church example, but for us Europeans it looks primitive and despicable.

  80. A. R. says:

    There is no such thing as hate speech and it should not be banned. There is only direct incitement for violence and the other things, this such eloquent lady explained so nicely, which are and should be forbidden.

  81. naejimba says:

    There is no debate; free speech is a basic right that will not be infringed upon. If universities are receiving tax payer money, they can't do a damn thing about it. The term "hate speech" is an Orwellian term that limits the range of acceptable thought. If your country does not have free speech, demand it.

  82. Nonoctoro says:

    Haters gonna hate

  83. tomas fabbro says:

    You got one thing wrong. The crowd you told to kill x doesn't need to attack or kill the person you pointed to. If they don't that is still unprotectec speech. It is a call to violence agains someone.

  84. Nick Waters says:

    NO! Hate speech should never be protected as free speech. Ever!

  85. whatsyurprob ? says:

    The 1st Amendment DICTATES that the question offered by this video is FAKE. "FREE SPEECH" means 'ALL SPEECH', otherwise it's NOT free. Mof, the very instant one even entertains the question is the same instant they have wiped their ass with the Constitution.

  86. I’m Different says:

    Basically what she said is you can bring Hitler to campus and let him spew his hate regardless is if he encourages people to incite violence on their own time, as long as it’s not during his speech! 🙄

  87. Bumtown1 says:

    I am pleasantly surprised at the position PBS took on this.

  88. Saxon says:

    College professors are teaching students that our system is wrong, including our constitution and that the only way to fight 'the right' is start a revolution of sorts and that revolution starts with banning free speech that could destroy their commi agenda.

  89. Lawyer Rock says:

    “When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.” ~ George R. R. Martin

  90. Mark Austin says:

    No such thing as hate speech only free speech.

  91. Pinky Mixology says:

    Younger people don't really think the Constitutional rights of themselves or others as important. But the reason is that the younger generations have had their rights violated by educational institutions and local governments their whole lives! No 4th Amendment protections for school lockers or even your own clothing, 14th amendment rights violated by Curfews based exclusively on age, and being given no due process by universities. It's shameful.

  92. iris sjardim says:

    Thank you! I was democrat years ago, but I totally changed my point of view when I started to do some researches on YouTube. This video explained to me why free speech should be allowed.

  93. Unknown Identity says:

    Me saying hitler did nothing wrong doesnt effect you in any way other than you getting a little annoyed

  94. Unknown Identity says:

    They call conservatives “right” for a reason

  95. Shinku no Yami says:

    According to Supreme Court rulings and other legislature, there is no such thing as hate speech, and I absolutely agree. Hatred is an emotion, and emotions are subjective. Words are not. People can derive different emotions from the same string of words. The concept of hate speech is vague BECAUSE it's based on a subjective emotion, and allows for people to discriminate and censor ANY speech/idea that they simply don't like, under the guise of "it's hate speech".

    It's dangerous and, at its core, evil.

  96. sur prized says:

    Hate speech should be protected the most.

  97. Moloch says:

    Here is my thoughts on free speech. You should be free to say whatever stupid shit you want to say, and I should be free to tell you just how stupid that shit is.

  98. Agamemnon Sears says:

    "How should universities handle controversial speakers?" By presenting them with a platform to present their views. Universities used to be the one place where you were supposed to be challenged to think outside the box you've put yourself in.

  99. monstersince says:

    every situation has is own merits. depends upon your outlook

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