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March 21, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
Thane Rosenbaum and SAVING FREE SPEECH FROM ITSELF
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In an era of political correctness, race-baiting, terrorist incitement, the ‘Danish’ cartoons, the shouting down of speakers, and, of course, ‘fake news,’ liberals and conservatives are up in arms both about speech and its excesses, and what the First Amendment means. Speech has been weaponized. Everyone knows it, but no one seems to know how to make sense of the current confusion, and what to do about it. Thane Rosenbaum’s provocative and compelling book is what is needed to understand this important issue at the heart of our society and politics.
Our nation’s founders did not envision speech as a license to trample on the rights of others. And the Supreme Court has decided cases where certain categories of speech are already prohibited without violating the Constitution. Laws banning hate speech are prevalent in other democratic, liberal societies, where speech is not valued above human dignity, and yet in Germany, France, the UK and elsewhere, life continues, freedoms have not rolled to the bottom of the bogeyman of a ‘slippery slope,’ and democracies remain vibrant. There is already a great deal of second guessing about the limits of free speech. In 1977, courts permitted neo-Nazis to march in a Chicago suburb populated by Holocaust survivors. Today, many wonder whether the alt-right should have been prevented from marching in Charlottesville in 2017. Even the ACLU, which represented both groups, is having doubts as to whether the First Amendment should override basic notions of equality and citizenship.
About the Author:
Thane Rosenbaum is an essayist, law professor, and author of the novels, How Sweet It Is!, The Stranger Within Sarah Stein, The Golems of Gotham, Second Hand Smoke, and Elijah Visible. His articles, reviews and essays appear frequently in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Haaretz, Huffington Post and Daily Beast, among other national publications. He serves as the Legal Analyst for CBS News Radio and as a Columnist for the Jewish News Syndicate–JNS.
He moderates an annual series of discussions on culture, world events and politics at the 92nd Street Y called The Talk Show.
He is a Distinguished University Professor at Touro College where he directs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society.
He is the author of Payback: The Case for Revenge and The Myth of Moral Justice: Why Our Legal System Fails to Do What’s Right. He is the editor of the anthology, Law Lit, from Atticus Finch to “The Practice,”: A Collection of Great Writing about the Law.