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What Snowflakes Get RightFree Speech, Truth, and Equality on Campus$
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Ulrich Baer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190054199

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190054199.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 June 2021

From Skokie to Charlottesville

From Skokie to Charlottesville

Tolerating versus Condoning Speech

(p.54) 2 From Skokie to Charlottesville
What Snowflakes Get Right

Ulrich Baer

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in summer 2017, present a watershed moment when the general public realized that free speech can become weaponized to undercut discourse and destroy the social order. At a widely publicized event in 1977, a small group of neo-Nazis won the right, in a court decision, to march in a small town in Illinois. That legal decision set the cultural and legal precedent for the mainstream attitude toward hate speech for several decades. Critically, that legal decision was matched by public condemnations of anti-Semitism and racism by political figures all the way up to the US president. When a group of white supremacists and neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville in the summer of 2017 and murdered or come to demonstrate a, the US president failed to unequivocally condemn these events. The chapter examines the assumption that tolerating hate speech does not mean condoning it in light of these two events.

Keywords:   Chapter, Charlottesville, white supremacy, Confederate statues, moral leadership, hate speech, Skokie, ACLU, racism, free speech, incitement

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