On Thursday, ReasonTV uploaded a video in which they asked students at the University of Southern California to define "hate speech," and further asked if such speech should be banned.
After presenting several seemingly obvious examples of "hate speech," ReasonTV’s Justin Monticello began to ask the students about more debatable language. A female comedian saying "men are scum" isn’t hate speech according to one student. "All white people are racist" gets a mixed reaction.
"Do you think hate speech, by itself, is an act of violence?" Monticello asks. Multiple students reply in the affirmative.
"I think violence is more than physical. It’s emotional, psychological," one female student states.
Some students advocate restrictions on so-called hate speech, with one telling Monticello: "I think if people could understand the power of words, then maybe hate-speech-as-violence could help us have restrictions that are not damaging, or that could stop at a certain place."
When asked about the difficulty of defining hate speech, the students seem to agree that restrictions would be difficult.
Monticello concludes by saying, "Granting the government the power to decide what’s acceptable to say presumes that what brings us closer to the truth is not the free exchange of ideas, but the wise decision-making of politicians."
There is so much more in the video. Check it out below: