MSNBC political analyst and former Obama administration official Richard Stengel argued that America needs to outlaw hateful speech, including Koran burning.
“Yes, the First Amendment protects the ‘thought that we hate,’ but it should not protect hateful speech that can cause violence by one group against another. In an age when everyone has a megaphone, that seems like a design flaw,” Stengel argued in a Washington Post op-ed Tuesday.
Stengel, who worked as the managing editor of Time magazine before becoming undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department under President Barack Obama, endorsed the creation of a hate speech law in the op-ed. The MSNBC analyst said his experience in the Obama administration led him to renounce the idea that the Constitution protects “not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate,” quoting Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
“As a government official traveling around the world championing the virtues of free speech, I came to see how our First Amendment standard is an outlier,” he said. “Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran. Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?” – READ MORE