Do racists have a right to free speech?

Do racists have a right to free speech?

#DefendFreeSpeech
#NoPlatformForHate
Join the conversation and vote below

Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher had alt-right hero Milo Yiannopoulos as a guest on his show "Real Time with Bill Maher," and people are not happy about it. Journalist Jeremy Scahill canceled his appearance rather than appear with Milo, saying "there is no value in 'debating' him" and arguing giving him a platform could “incite violence." Maher fired back, saying “Liberals will continue to lose elections as long as they follow...people like Mr. Scahill." What do you think? 📣 

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#DefendFreeSpeech
54.6%
#NoPlatformForHate
45.4%

Here is Jeremy Scahill's explanation for why he could not appear on "Real Time" alongside Milo. TL;DR? Here's the money quote:

[Milo] has ample venues to spew his hateful diatribes....Appearing on "Real Time" will give Yiannopoulos a large, important platform to openly advocate his racist, anti-immigrant campaign [and] to legitimize his hateful agenda."

Maher subscribes to the old adage that the speech we find most offensive is the most important to protect. In the words of the director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

The First Amendment really was designed to protect a debate at the fringes. You don't need the courts to protect speech that everybody agrees with, because that speech will be tolerated. You need a First Amendment to protect speech that people regard as intolerable or outrageous or offensive — because that is when the majority will wield its power to censor or suppress, and we have a First Amendment to prevent the government from doing that.

But why does Maher need to provide a platform for someone who's expressed such racist, misogynist views? Members of the Ku Klux Klan aren't invited on mainstream television shows because their views are so far outside of the mainstream, so toxic and so violent that they are not included in civilized debate. 

Should every Internet troll get a seat on television in the name of free speech? Milo has incited so much harassment of women and minorities he was kicked off Twitter. White supremacist leader Richard Spencer still has a Twitter account, but not Milo. Critics say Maher wouldn't have Richard Spencer on and he shouldn't have invited Milo.

Others think Maher will challenge Milo publicly about his views. Is it better to have toxic bigotry publicly challenged and put down, or allow it to fester and grow in the dark corners of the Internet?

But many of Maher's fans aren't happy with the decision. They say Milo has no business on his show, which purports to encourage elevated, informed debate.

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