Unpopular Opinion: Hate Speech is Free Speech, Just Don’t Write On My Board

Since I am in the habit of slaughtering leftist sacred cows, it would be remiss of me to ignore one of the most obvious examples of SLC’s love of double-think, the free speech board.  Now let me say, I like the idea of the board, and while there are controversies on a regular basis, I consider that a good thing—it gets people talking. Let’s  make one thing clear, however: it is not a free speech board.  It is just the SLC board, because, hate speech is in fact free speech.  This might be hard to grasp, but free speech means the right to say whatever you want.  By its very definition, if speech is free, you can literally speak your mind and say whatever hateful, ignorant, or offensive comment you want.



Stop what you are doing, before you say anything, read the next paragraph and resist the urge to jump to self-righteous conclusions.  I don’t think that people should be allowed to post hate speech on the board, and I do believe that in these circumstance restricting free speech is perfectly acceptable. The board is private property and it would be totally unjust to allow people to paint hateful images on the board. What gets my hackles raised is people pretending that it is a free speech board when it isn’t.  Hate speech is free speech because it is speech, and speech is always free.

So don’t say “hate speech isn’t free speech ‘because what you should be saying is “hate speech is free speech, but we don’t want it on our fucking board”. That is a little less catchy, but at least it doesn’t have the stench of hypocrisy.  “Hate speech is not free speech” is like the “War on Terror”, a total contradiction of term.  This is indicates a disturbing trend in SLC to be afraid of free speech.

In one class, my teacher asked me about my view on the censorship in Huckleberry Finn due to the use of the N-Word in the text, and I responded that it should not be censored at all.  The entire class chewed me out, saying that it was offensive and we should censor it in order to prevent hurting people’s feelings.  To me this was a surreal experience, because in my entire life people who censored Twain always seemed, to me, like Bigfoot, a mythical beast that people desperately looking for affirmation believe in.

Let’s be frank, history is a sad, upsetting and horribly offensive subject, and trying to color it otherwise is an exercise in futility and quite frankly rather Orwellian.  The fact is, that is how people in the South talked in the late 1830s.  People were racist back then. White-washing history (no pun intended) only blinds us to how the past works, and how racists thought, and why racism was able to flourish.

Historically, censorship leads to self-delusion, and people forgetting how to cope with disagreement. Fox News suffers from this, and certain elements at SLC feel to me like a leftist Fox News.  To pretentiously quote Mark Twain “History doesn’t repeat, it rhymes”.




  • Reply October 3, 2013


    Your premise is wrong. Speech is not free in certain instances. You cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. You do not have the right, under free speech, to harass someone. I could hold up a sign with racist slurs on a public sidewalk, and scream to no one in particular. BUT, I could not yell those slurs at a particular individual: then I am harassing them.

    I think you may have wanted to do a minimal amount of research before writing this article.

    • Reply October 3, 2013


      You are correct under the rubric of the American judicial system. I don’t believe this was an article on the legality of free speech in America, but rather the concept of free speech as a universal idea. It’s pretty dangerous to define vast concepts by the laws of one nation. I hope you don’t view–for example–poverty as what America legally defines it as. On the plus side, you did an excellent job of illustrating the difference between harassment and just being unnecessarily rude in your final sentence.

      As did I.

    • Reply October 9, 2013

      Elijah Zane

      Anon: Minimal amount of research, have you read Madison? Jefferson? Adams? Don’t make me laugh. I said in the article specifically that speech can be regulated on a private place, the board is private property of SLC and if they want people to not write hateful words on the board, I am totally in agreement there. However if you claim that it is Free Speech, then thats wrong. Free Speech by definition is free, it has no limits upon it. When you enter a movie theater, it is private property, you immediately enter a contract that you are giving up the right to yell “Fire” in exchange for the assurance that nobody will yell “fire” at you. Its private property. I can’t yell at a specific person because that is inherently harassment, which falls under a different jurisdiction.

      Thomas: Exactly, I was talking about free speech as a fundamental idea and the hypocrisy of the Free Speech board, not the legalism argument. And it is indeed really sad what the official definition of poverty is.

    • Reply October 10, 2013


      But, writing on the free speech board isn’t yelling at one particular individual. Writing on the free speech board would actually be exactly like “holding up a sign with racial slurs on a public sidewalk.” According to your logic, writing slurs on the free speech board isn’t harassment. You’re agreeing with the article.

  • Reply November 11, 2013


    Legal has nothing to do with lawful. Legal has nothing to do with right or wrong, only what is deemed illegal or legal which could very well be unlawful as in “Licensed to kill”. Legal has nothing to do with justice.

    If certain speech incites violence, it could be deemed unlawful as it would cause physical harm to others, an unlawful crime under Common Law.

    Anon fails to embrace real racism i.e. anti-white racism which is now openly acceptable in our perverted hand wringing self-hating self-destructing western society(s).

  • Reply January 19, 2014

    Elijah Zane

    Basically the SLC board is private property and if they don’t want us to print things on the board, that is entirely their right. I don’t think people should put hate slurs on the board. Just don’t call it the “Free Speech Board” or claim “Hate Speech is not free speech” because it is, we just don’t want it on this private campus. Free Speech like any right can be limited if you make a private contract, by going to the school you are limited your free speech.

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