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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 solid 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 and behavior.
- 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.