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Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

3-2003

Publication Citation

55 Federal Communications Law Journal 353 (2003)

Abstract

Book Review: Destructive Messages: How Hate Speech Paves the Way for Harmful Social Movements, Alexander Tsesis, New York: New York University Press, 2002, 246 pages.

A review of Alexander Tsesis's Destructive Messages: How Hate Speech Paves the Way for Harmful Social Movements, New York University Press, 2002. At one level, Alexander Tsesis's thesis is simply one in a long line of arguments about the need to regulate racist speech. Yet on another level, it is fundamentally different from much American literature on "hate speech" because Tsesis draws on a broad historical swath, and because he contends that the United States should regulate "hate speech" due to a causal link between that speech and oppression of such magnitude as the Holocaust and slavery. Moreover, it is fundamentally different because Tsesis focuses on the ideology of racial inferiority and not where most proponents of regulating "hate speech" in the past have set their sights-epithets, or what one could term "verbal assaults." At the end of his book, Tsesis proposes a model statute for criminalizing hate speech.

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