Woody Harrelson did a movie some years back called “The People vs. Larry Flynt”. It was a great movie about the first amendment and the profound effect even minimal restrictions on free speech can have. One of his more famous quotes in that role was “If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, it will protect all of you.” While the Supreme Court has ruled that freedom of speech does not give you the right to shout fire in a crowded movie theater, it does give you the right to express ideas that others might consider reprehensible. When we begin to identify hate speech, the speech is less important than the people who decide what hate speech is. While you agree with those making the decision today once the precedent is established you may not like who makes that decision tomorrow. Beware of giving someone that much power over what you can think. The political pendulum swings and sometimes it swings wildly.
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