Should Racist Speech Enjoy Protection under the First Amendment?

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Should Racist Speech Enjoy Protection under the First Amendment?

Prejudice and racial stereotyping are two of this country's greatest problems today. Many people in our society have tried to find ways to eliminate or at least limit these types of behavior, but have met with very limited, if any, success. Because of the complex nature of racism and racist acts, coupled with the fact the first amendment prohibits the government from limiting the publics' right to free expression and speech, the Federal government has been ineffective in eliminating racist actions that pervade our society. State governments and institutions have attempted to set up their own laws condemning such actions, but have been wholly
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Some would argue, however, that any racial slur or racist speech has no place in today's society, and that the general public does not want to hear and should not be subjected to hearing such outright bigotry. But does the right to speak one's mind outweigh the listener's rights? Apparently, yes, it does. According to the supreme court in the case of the National Labor Relations Board v Montgomery Ward & Co. (1946), the "First Amendment is concerned with freedom of thought and expression of [the] speaker or writer, not with conditions under which [the] auditor receives [the] message… [the] First Amendment does not require that [an] audience shall have volunteered to listen." This ruling essentially invalidates the argument, and forces the listener into a position where he must decide what to listen to and what to ignore, which is what we all do anyway.

Allowing racist speech is an important thing, though. Without it we would

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