Hate Speech

"If you only support free speech for ideas you agree with, you're a hack."


In a fiery column for USA Today, Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit and a law prof at University of Tennessee, tears into the University of Oklahoma's president David Boren, who expelled the idiot frat brother caught singing racist songs. Yes, those kids are douchebags, argues Reynolds, but

Though some ignorant people argue that "hate speech" is unprotected under the First Amendment, that is not the law and never has been. Nor should it be. The test of our commitment to free expression, after all, isn't our willingness to tolerate speech that everyone likes. If you only support free speech for ideas you agree with, you're a hack. If you only support free speech for ideas that everyone agrees with, you're a coward. And if poisonous hateful speech could be banned, communists and the Westboro Baptist Church wouldn't have won so many First Amendment cases.

Boren's behavior was not only illegal — and clearly so — it was also a betrayal of the duty of fairness that he, as a university president, owes to every student enrolled in his university. To have acted so hastily, in violation of OU's own student conduct code, bespeaks a dishonorable willingness to throw students to the wolves in order to avoid bad publicity — accompanied, perhaps, by the sort of generalized hostility to fraternities that seems all too common among university administrations these days. (That hostility, based on a general dislike of fraternities as bastions of "white male privilege," is itself racist and sexist, of course.)

Reynolds highlights the weird sense of justice that prevails OU's campus:

As Reason's Robby Soave notes, OU administered lighter punishment to a football player who punched a girl so hard it broke four bones in her face than it meted out to the SAE fraternity for singing a song. After this assault, caught on camera, Joe Mixon was suspended from playing, but allowed to remain on campus, attending classes with other students as usual. No expulsion there.

Read the whole col here.

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  1. I hate me some racist motherfuckers, but they are free to be racist motherfuckers without government reprisal (unless they own a business, then they can’t be… right?)

    1. “I’m from the IRS, and I’m here to help.”

      1. “…myself to your till.”

        1. “And your soul. Your soul is taxable. Also, your virginal daughters.”

          1. Primae noctis is just a penaltax by another name.

    2. Anyone is certainly free to be a racist in this country, as long as he expresses his racism in a civil manner and, especially, as long as he refrains from engaging in any type of excessively deadpan email parody that “crosses the line” into speech that we really don’t like. This goes for those who are not racists as well; any controversial point of view must be expressed in an appropriate and civil manner. Otherwise, we have ways of silencing you and we will use them. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal satire case at:


  2. The purpose of a university is to teach people how to do shit, or to teach them things about shit they’re interested in. What fucking business is it of the school’s administrators what songs some fraternity decides to get shitfaced to?

    Busybody, censorious assholes shouldn’t be finding their way into positions of authority. Fuck them.

    1. thank you for continuing the fucking tone of the goddamned language in these motherfucking comments.

      1. I’m almost as motherfucking tired of this fuckbag academic as I am of these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane.

      2. THEY DO NOT! What do you think I say when I go to the feedstore in town, “Oh, now Wally, give me a bag of that F-in’ pig feed, and ten pounds of that bitchly cow corn”? And the bank do I tell Mrs. Bollinger, “Oh, here’s one big bastard of a check, give me some of your Christ-ing money?”

        1. And all the kids cheered! But I didn’t cheer. I stood right up and started shouting. This isn’t what happened last week! Have you all got amnesia? They just cheated us! This isn’t fair! HE DID’NT GET OUT OF THE COCK – A – DOODIE CAR!

        2. Take that, Mr. Man!

          (I think Bates gave us a great performance)

        3. Why has there never been a band called “Bitchly Cow Corn”? Sometimes I just don’t understand the world in which we live.

    2. Who else wants the authority in the first place but those people?

  3. “As Reason’s Robby Soave notes, OU administered lighter punishment to a football player who punched a girl so hard it broke four bones in her face than it meted out to the SAE fraternity for singing a song. After this assault, caught on camera, Joe Mixon was suspended from playing, but allowed to remain on campus, attending classes with other students as usual. No expulsion there.”

    And why the shit isn’t this asshole in a maximum-security prison?

    1. Because the prison doesn’t have a football team?

    2. 1. Because he’s a football player at OU.

      2. The woman did hit him first.

  4. If you only support free speech for ideas you agree with, you’re a hack. If you only support free speech for ideas that everyone agrees with, you’re a coward.

    This can’t be stressed enough. The fucking scum who act this way need to be ridiculed endlessly for being shitbags with no integrity. Now I know that that’s never stopped them before but at least it makes them look stupid.

  5. Reynolds is free to take the principled high road. I’ll stick with my current pro-1A argument: India banned the gang rape documentary because it was a form of “hate speech” that would incite violence. That’s the only argument I make now and it works. Coincidentally, that’s similar to how I boil down the Citizens United case.

    1. You’d think Shikha Dalmia would have done an article on this.

      1. Um, she did.

        1. oops.

          Ah, here we are:


      2. I’d re-read it if she reduced it to succinct tweet format.

        1. Shikha on immigration, in tweet form: “Immigration is always good, and anyone who disagrees is xenophobic.” She could replace all her immigration articles with that.

    2. It’s long been apparent that “hate speech” laws are intended to shut people with unpopular viewpoints the hell up. It’s not hard at all to go from there to speech that the majority simply doesn’t like, regardless of whether it constitutes “hate” or not.

      1. It’s also a solid indicator of how psychologically infirm the people demanding “hate speech” be punishable themselves are. Everything offends them, and they think it’s their right to be shielded from offense. Slavemaking degenerates is all they are.

        1. Other than speech that clearly is criminal conduct in itself, like asking and paying someone to kill someone else, perjury, whatever, not sure it makes any sense in a liberal society to restrict the freedom of speech.

          1. Fraud and perjury. I can’t think of any other criminal speech. Even giving illegal commands in the military is really conduct, not speech.

            1. Most criminal speech in the U.S. requires some other conduct to make it criminal, like conspiracy, incitement to violence, or, potentially, treason, for example.

              1. I’ve always been proud of the U.S. for its relatively liberal speech protections. We tolerate speech that is flat-out criminal in much of the western world, let alone elsewhere.

        2. Those are the kinds of people that I tell, “My natural human right to free speech trumps your non-existent right to not get butthurt. Get over yourself.”

      2. Well, hate is a pretty vague term. It can mean whatever the hell the interpreter wants to interpret it as. I can’t help but wonder if they’ve considered how a President Gingrich or President Santorum might interprete the term.

        1. They never, ever seem to think about the power they’re handing to their opponents. Ditto the reverse.

  6. Today, we are all Illinois Nazis.

    1. White male privilege?

      1. No, you can be an Illinois Nazi today even if you are a gay, black, female Jew. But only today.

  7. fraternities as bastions of “white male privilege,”

    All the fratboys I interacted with at college were either (a) raging douchebags, (b) closet cases, or (c) a dim memory because I was so shit-faced drink at one of their parties. I generally disliked frats but the thought of “while privilege” never crossed my mind.

    1. If you try hard enough, you can see “white privilege” everywhere, just like a McCarthyite looking for communism.

  8. Fratboys may be assholes, but they do eventually grow up to be ace investigators.

  9. I had a fratboy say to me “Do you call your country a cunt? No? Then why do you call fraternities frats?”

    So I started calling my country a cunt.

    1. He was practicing to be an investigative journalist (or preparing to run for office if he graduated).

    2. To think that such genius was discovered at a Greek fraternity. *mind blown*

      1. Libertarianism was born in that old frat epigram, which started in the ultimate frat, Freemasonry.

  10. you’re a coward

    Which sums up virtually all College Presidents everywhere.

    You’d swear that these people have been genetically engineered to have no spine and only bow in the direction of appeasing whatever latest grievance has dropped at it’s doorstep.

    1. They saw what happened to Larry Summers.

    2. Between jerking off the big donors and tossing students under the outrage bus, they also must get some wicked cases of tennis elbow.

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