A conversation with Nadine Strossen and Christie Hefner on the importance of free speech and how open dialogue and discourse can overcome hateful rhetoric. This event takes place at The Standard Club.
In her book "HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship," Nadine Strossen, former president of the ACLU, argues that expanding free speech, not limiting it, is the solution for changing the hearts and minds of those who espouse hateful ideologies.
Controversial speech is as old as America itself, from the passionate pamphlets and broadsides of the American Revolution to today's ideologically diverse media. Throughout our history we've grappled with how to engage with speech many find "hateful," from white supremacist rallies to radical anarchist propaganda. Do we protect it, or do we restrict it?
U.S. law secures freedom even for hateful ideas, viewing this as essential for both individual liberty and democratic self-government. Would restricting the expression of these ideas promote the essential goals of equality, inclusion, diversity, and social harmony? Or could these restrictions actually do more harm than good? What can we learn from the experience of other countries in enforcing their anti-hate speech laws? How can we fight hatred with free speech, rather than censorship? All these questions and more will be answered during this discussion, moderated by Christie Hefner.
Many are familiar with Hefner as the Chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises, Inc., but she is also a passionate advocate of freedom of expression, social justice and equal rights and opportunities for women. She was the first woman elected to the Chicago Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization, and is a founder of the Chicago Chapter of Women Corporate Directors which works to increase the number of women serving on corporate boards. She presently serves on the Civic Advisory Committee of the Better Government Association and the board of the D.C.-based Center for American Progress Action, the leading progressive public policy think tank.
Strossen is the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School. She has written, taught, and advocated extensively in the areas of constitutional law and civil liberties, including through frequent media interviews. She served as President of the American Civil Liberties Union, the first woman to head the nation’s largest and oldest civil liberties organization.