Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Order Without Law

Last week my university passed a new ordinance on hate speech. As opposed to the university's approach, the approach I would take to hate speech is not top-down. The best way I think to combat the foundations of hatred is to confront it when you see it. Creating far-reaching rules about speech conduct merely creates a legalistic environment and does not attack the social foundations of hate. By actually confronting hate speech one creates a social environment where everyone is more aware of the impact they have on other people. I have done this on several occasions. Hatred can become a very thorny problem, indeed, and some broad rules do need to be in place so that campus communities are safe environments. In general, however, I am optimistic that there can be order without law.

1 comment:

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