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There are six speakers in Ariadne's dialogue on hate speech. Their
names are Ann, John, Fred, Vera, Malik, and Dee. Each has a different
view of hate speech: its morality, its consequences, its constitutionality,
and whether it should be protected by law.
- Ann believes in an active government that should tackle economic
and social problems with zeal. She supports campus speech codes
as a way to reduce racism and its effects on individuals and education.
- John is difficult to classify. He listens carefully to what
the others say, assuming that there is some truth in each of their
views. He is concerned about incidents on campus and the widespread
sale of pornography, but is also afraid that legal restrictions
may be a bad precedent.
- Fred is a conservative who wants less government and less
'social engineering.' He is afraid that a group of dogmatic liberals
has too much power in the universities and will repress other
points of view.
- Vera is a radical feminist. Some of here ideas have been influenced by recent work in feminist jurisprudence. She believes that hate speech
and pornography are essentially assaults on members of weaker
groups, especially women. Since they do extensive harm, they should be banned
on campus and in society at large.
- Malik is very concerned about the rise of white racism on
campuses. Some of his ideas have been influenced by a new school of thought called "critical race theory." Although he places great value on free expression, he
advocates narrowly drawn restrictions on student speech
- Dee is a libertarian. She advocates minimal government and
maximum freedom of contract between individuals. She opposes nearly all government
restrictions on speech, but believes that private schools should
be allowed to adopt speech and behavior codes if they wish.
In some cases Ann, Vera, and Malik will agree, but their approaches also
differ in important ways. The same is true for Fred and Dee. Keep
in mind that sometimes a speaker will say something that he or
she is thinking about but does not firmly believe. In conversation
we often ask questions and throw out ideas to see what others
think or to get more information.