Is free speech worth it?
Free speech is probably the most valued and cited right in the U.S. Constitution, yet it faces a tremendous backlash from the younger generation. The Supreme Court has expanded free speech to include almost all forms of expression just as the internet makes it virtually impossible to distinguish truth from lies. And, as we face powerful protests from Black Lives Matter, white supremacists, and people who oppose wearing masks in public, we’re forced to ask, if one of these groups has the freedom to express themselves, must they all?
Thane Rosenbaum is an essayist, law professor, and author of numerous books and novels. He is a Distinguished University Professor at Touro College where he directs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society; and the moderator of an annual series of discussions on culture, world events, and politics at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Hist most recent book Saving Free Speech…From Itself was just released in March.
This is Thane’s second visit to Why? Radio. You can listen to his first, “The Moral Argument for Revenge,” by clicking here.
The story about Jack’s family and the swastika mentioned after the break has been documented along with other hate crimes, in his comments to the North Dakota Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. You can read his testimony at PQED.org, by clicking here.
Institute for Philosophy in Public Life
Grand Forks, ND
Weinstein, Jack Russell and Rosenbaum, Thane, "Is free speech worth it?" (2020). Why? Radio Podcast Archive. 152.