Robert Herman: Not every act of discrimination is prohibited. I feel like I've accomplished more on the Web than in my 25 years of political activism.
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At that time, those states categorized Martin Luther King's speech as "hate speech" and speech that would be offensive to much of the community. CNN Moderator: Do you have any final thoughts to share with us?
Don't clubs loose certain government benefits if they refuse to admit minorities? Any law that would allow the state to bar the Klan from a government program because its politics were found to be offensive could also be turned on any other political group which may at the time be unpopular. It took Supreme Court action to secure the rights of those groups we now recognize were freedom fighters. From web sites, to usenet groups, to chat rooms, to even racist Internet Service Providers ISPs racist organizations have found a ready home on the Internet.
From the chat room: Is it not interesting that chattroom wish to adopt a stretch of highway that is used to bus black students under desegregation laws? The fact is that democracy is not painless.
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From the chat room: If an organization such as KKK discriminates against race, creed or color, why should they be allowed to participate in government programs such as road adoptions? Louis highways are used to bus desegregated students.
Last year, the Court ruled that the okk was entitled to discriminate on the basis of religious belief, sex and sexual orientation. It is not a neutral reason for denying an organization its Constitutional rights.
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Since it is accessible 24 hours a day and kk, inexpensive, and provides anonymity to many users, especially in chatrooms and usenet groups - comparable to the hoods the Klan dons - the Internet has chqtroom the amount and extent of hatred available to groups who want to spread their message. This case has always been about whether it is appropriate for the government to determine what speech is acceptable or whether that question is reserved to the citizens of the United States.
It is a stabilizing influence. The trade off of living in a pain free society where we don't have to encounter offensive ideas is not worth the loss of freedom that that would entail.
One of the Internet's foremost leaders of hate, Don Black, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan describes the effect the Internet has had on him: "It's been a tremendous boon for us. The architecture of the Internet make it a very powerful tool for the dissemination of hatred. From the chat room: What is the socio-political climate like in the state, among citizens, concerning this issue? When it is explained to people that all the Klan wanted was not to be treated differently, they seemed to understand and accept that it's necessary to accept their presence.
The courts held that the state's excuse of targeting discrimination in Klan membership was merely a pretext that is a smoke screen to cover their true target of the Klan's philosophy.
The courts that have ruled in the Klan case found that other groups which have discriminated against sex and religion could participate in the adopt a highway program without any comments from the state. In fact, the argument that the state is making in this case is the same argument that southern states used in their attempt to keep the NAACP and Martin Luther King from marching in Alabama or Mississippi. Supreme Court opinions from Search by party: Search by full-text: Robert Herman: The main issue has always been the extent to which government may punish people for engaging in unpopular speech.
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Whereas before, we could reach only people with pamphlets or holding rallies with no more than a few hundred people, now we can reach potentially millions. I guess this boils down to the fact that the question of hate speech is a political question that should be reserved for cahtroom people and not the government. Robert Herman: The First Amendment is necessary as a societal pressure relief valve.
There is no reason to change course now. First of all, St. The perfect example of this is the Cjatroom Scouts. Home Digital Divide Hate Groups on the Net Chats and Discussions Readings Links Unfortunately, some of the great potential the Internet holds for racial exchange and racial harmony is being damaged from the tremendous amount of hatred on the Interne.
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Louis, Missouri; CNN. The First Amendment denies government the right to punish or exclude from government benefits anyone who exercises his First Amendment Freedoms. The First Amendment places a burden on us all as citizens to resist and speak out against offensive viewpoints.
To prove this, ask yourself whether Yasser Arafat is a freedom fighter or whether he engages in hate speech. All the ALCU or I have ever argued is that the validity of those ideas should be determined by everyday citizens, not judged solely by the government. This has worked for over years. Secondly, the question of whether people would be offended by the adoption speech is not a legitimate viewpoint.
Robert Herman: That argument was made by the highway department. The above is an edited transcript of the chat which took place on Wednesday, March 7, at 1 charroom.
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Robert Herman: The local newspaper came out in favor of allowing chhatroom Klan into the Adopt-a-Highway program. That's why I dedicate most of my time to this. No one is arguing that the Klan's ideas should be accepted, except for the Klan maybe. There is a large and ongoing misunderstanding in regards to what this case is about.
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It's easy to recognize this is a cultural and political issue that must be determined by the people, not the government. Robert Herman ed the chat room from St. The cost of having to listen to groups that preach offensive ideas and having to respond to those offensive ideas, is greatly outweighed by the benefit to society of allowing dissidents to "get it off their chest" and subjecting them to the harsh realities of the marketplace of ideas.