Racist hate speech is still protected, here is why.

Of course the city council did pass a resolution in response to the display taking place just outside of the city.  Bottom line is that positive speech, not censorship is the best response to hate.

From: Adkins, Terry Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 7:17:19 PM (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) To: Means, Sandra Subject: Hate Crime Explanation

As you requested, Sandra, here is essentially what I said at Monday’s Council dinner meeting on the subject of hate crime ordinances and statutes. In the early morning hours of June 21, 1990, several teenagers crudely made a cross by taping together broken chair legs. The cross was erected and burned in the front yard of an African American family that lived across the street from the house where some of the teenagers lived. The teenagers were charged with a violation of St. Paul, Minnesota’s Bias-Motivated Crime Ordinance which read as follows: Whoever places on public or private property, a symbol, object, appellation, characterization or graffiti, including, but not limited to, a burning cross or Nazi swastika, which one knows or has reasonable grounds to know arouses anger, alarm or resentment in others on the basis of race, color, creed, religion or gender commits disorderly conduct and shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. One of the teenagers sought to have the Bias-Motivated Crime Ordinance charge dismissed on the ground that it violated the teenager’s Freedom of Speech under the First Amendment. The district court granted the motion, but the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed and allowed the charge to stand. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the St. Paul ordinance did NOT violate the teenager’s First Amendment rights. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Minnesota Supreme Court and struck down the St. Paul ordinance on the ground that it did violate the teenager’s First Amendment rights. The Supreme Court said that the Freedom of Speech prevents government from prohibiting speech or expressive conduct on the basis of the ideas expressed. According to the Court, the First Amendment does not permit St. Paul to impose special prohibitions on those speakers who express views on disfavored subjects. Following this U.S. Supreme Court decision, states and cities have avoided the adoption of so-called “Hate Crimes” ordinances and statutes. Instead, some states (including Minnesota) have adopted laws that allow assault/disorderly conduct violations to be “enhanced” by increasing the severity of the punishment when hatred or bias is involved in the violations.

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