Spiked Online: Hate-speech laws are no friend of minorities


Jacob Mchangama and Nadine Strossen, from The New York Law School , in Spiked Online on the Scottish Hate Crime Bill.

“[G]iven their inherent vagueness and overbreadth, even well-intentioned hate-speech laws are prone to majoritarian bias in enforcement. In 1965 the British Race Relations Act introduced important anti-discrimination protections for minority groups. But section six also prohibited ‘incitement to racial hatred’. The first person to be prosecuted for this offence was a black man. Several other black Britons were prosecuted for anti-white hatred, including leaders of the Black Liberation Movement. In 1968, one such leader was sentenced to a year in prison for a speech decrying anti-black discrimination by whites who were ‘vicious and nasty people’. In contrast, such a prominent anti-immigrant crusader as Enoch Powell was left alone. Perhaps the ultimate irony was that this law, which was intended to restrain the neo-Nazi National Front, has also barred expression by the Anti-Nazi League.”

Read all of it in Spiked.




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