Saturday, February 2, 2008

The New York Times reports on La Raza's new campaign, We Can Stop the Hate, which aims to curtail certain types of "hate speech." La Raza claims the use of "code words of hate"--which include mentioning fears that the Mexican government wants to reconquer the US Southwest and discussing the risk of disease and crime that "illegal immigrants" may present--as preparing for possible violence against "immigrant" (both legal and not).
In a speech at the National Press Club, La Raza president Janet Murguia seems to come close to advocating (if not outright advocating) some form of censorship:
Everyone knows there is a line sometimes that can be crossed when it comes to free speech. And when free speech transforms into hate speech, we’ve got to draw that line. And that’s what we’re doing here today. And we need to make sure that network executives will hold their people accountable and not cross that line.
She mainly seems to be calling for the owners of various broadcast outlets to monitor what their anchors and other talking heads say--which seems removed from government censorship. But, at one point, she does say that Pat Buchanan should be able to write as many books as he wants but he "should not have access to the public airwaves." Whether cable is considered part of the "public airwaves" or not, who is Murguia saying should prevent this access? Businesses or the government? The New York Times thinks she's advocating censorship ("Ms. Murguia argued that hate speech should not be tolerated, even if such censorship were a violation of First Amendment rights"), and Mark Krikorian implies the same thing. Could Murguia be pushing for government oversight over television outlets a la the "Fairness Doctrine"?