Free Speech Tested by Simon and Schuster

Drew Angerer/Getty Images from npr website

Did anyone hear this piece on NPR recently about a book by social media provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos?:     

It’s an interesting topic of conversation, in particular for all writers and readers out there. Does anyone have the right to promote hate speech? Is it right for Simon and Schuster to promote it by publishing this book (and profit from it)?

Ah…the democratic process in motion.


7 comments on “Free Speech Tested by Simon and Schuster

  1. I did hear it. Milo actually believes in free speech — even if you talk trash about him. The entire piece was about how complicated it becomes when you try to find a “good” side to be on. In fact, the most virtuous position in my humble opinion is to let people speak.

    If we allow hysteria over so-called Hate Speech to overwhelm us…we regress as a society. Gay marriage, women’s suffrage, the civil Rights movement…all would have been banned, if we were a country which banned speech. Sure, you’ll have to also allow Milo (a gay man) to use words and say things that offend, but that is a small price. Oh, and don’t buy his book if you don’t want to.

  2. Oh dear. I listened and I am deeply conflicted (as many are, I’m sure). I am both blessed and cursed with understanding how complex any social issue is because everything people create is complicated.

    The 1st Amendment is to protect freedom of speech so that we can have a plurality of ideas without fear of reprisal;it is not meant to protect any crazy ass thing a person wants to spew out, especially if what is said can cause direct harm to anyone (yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater for the sole purpose of causing panic). So, we get into the sticky arena of intention.

    View that are different from my own may be difficult for me to hear, but if they are being published or aired with the intention of illumination for the greater good of understanding multiple perspectives AND it is done with integrity and couched in either generally accepted scientific evidence or logically sound philosophical arguments, then I decide whether to explore them or not. At least I have that choice. If the contrary views weren’t available to me, I wouldn’t have the choice and that would be, in my opinion, wrong.

    When we get into the from-the-gut, vile, hateful rhetoric that is solely opinion-based and serves only to insult or to incite animus, then I don’t see how that kind of writing or speech is any different from yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater. What higher purpose does an insulting tweet serve? How does putting someone or a whole category of someones down open up civil, productive, instructive dialogue?

    I don’t know why Simon and Schuster decided to publish Milo’s book. My guess is $$$. In today’s culture, money and notoriety are the big motivators.

    The quiet, contemplative, compassionate souls are lost in all the noise.

    • I think what you are saying makes a lot of sense. How can hate speech be argued in any way shape or form. Someone said Milo is a gay man. It’s hard to understand why someone who I’m sure has had his share of hate spewed at him want to promote such a thing?
      The man needs something, and it isn’t more hate.

  3. Reblogged this on CKBooks Publishing and commented:

    What do you think – authors out there?!

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