Destructive Messages: How Hate Speech Paves the Way for Harmful Social Movements
DESTRUCTIVE MESSAGES: HOW HATE SPEECH PAVES THE WAY FOR HARMFUL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, New York University Press, 2002
13 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2010
Date Written: 2002
This is the first chapter of a book arguing that hate speech is dangerous not only when it poses an immediate threat of harm. It is also dangerous when it is systematically developed over time, becoming part of a culturally acceptable dialogue which can foster the persecution of minorities.
The book traces a the influences of racist and biased rhetoric to gross injustices like genocide and slavery. It shows that hate speech and propaganda, when left unregulated, can weave animosity into the social fabric to such a great extent that it can cultivate an environment supportive of the commission of hate crimes. Tsesis uses historical examples to illuminate the central role racist speech played in encouraging attitudes that led to human rights violations against German Jews, Native Americans, and African Americans, and also discusses the dangers posed by hate speech spread on the Internet today. He also offers an examination of the psychology of scapegoating.
Destructive Messages argues that when hate speech is systematically developed over time it poses an even greater threat than when it creates an immediate clear and present danger. Tsesis offers concrete suggestions concerning how to reform current law in order to protect the rights of all citizens.
Note: This excerpt include the title page, table of contents, and Chapter 1 of Destructive Messages.
Keywords: Hate Speech, Propaganda, First Amendment, Constitutional Law, Imminent Threat of Harm, Comparative Law, Sociology and Law, Social-Psychology and Law
JEL Classification: K1, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation