Jeremy Waldron, Philosophy of Law, Oxford & NYU; Author, “The Harm in Hate Speech”

Few ideas are as ingrained in what it means to be an American as the right to free speech. Short of shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, we feel — on the right and the left — we can say anything. Violence is one thing; words are another. As every pre-schooler knows: sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can never hurt me. However, now comes an argument from NYU and Oxford Philosophy of Law Professor Jeremy Waldron that words, in fact, CAN hurt. Specifically, hate speech. It should be regulated, as he says in “The Harm in Hate Speech“: “As part of our commitment to human dignity and to inclusion and respect for members of vulnerable minorities.” And now he’ll tell us why. (Originally broadcast 9-8-12 on The John Batchelor Show)