After watching Professor Hans’ urbane, erudite, and brilliant speech on the foundations of free expression, you will understand why Cornell University’s theme year for free expression is demonstrating why the First Amendment should be limited, restricted, curbed, checked, constrained, controlled, restrained, hemmed in, and qualified.
The First Amendment is clearly homophobic and racist, and free speech advocates have no empathy. Free speech leads to “people feeling isolated, or people feeling that they’ve been attacked.”
Even worse, First Amendment advocates are probably not thinking about us or people who look like us.
Professor Hans, the associate director of the First Amendment Clinic at Cornell and member of the Steering Committee for the theme year of free expression, brilliantly makes the case for limiting the First Amendment and qualifying the right to speak freely.
Here is an excerpt from Professor Hans’ speech on the foundations of free expression:
There’s a lot of intricacies, like I said, that I skipped over. And in speaking today, one thing that came to mind is that I think that, because Ryan mentioned the DEI First Amendment question, some would say conflict, I think that I completely agree with what you said, that I don’t think these things are incompatible. I also think that there are situations where protections of speech do end up leading to people feeling isolated, or people feeling that they’re being attacked, and maybe even in ways that are actually not consistent or could be restricted in ways that are not First Amendment problems. I think that one of the reasons that it’s interesting for me to be working on this issue is if I dipped in my own social identity, I would say that when people think about First Amendment advocates, they’re probably not thinking about me or people who look like me. And I understand that because I think a lot of people take the First Amendment as a banner in order to justify all sorts of other kinds of behaviors that we may not think are socially acceptable or socially wise.
Clearly, the First Amendment is not for people who look like us!