Transcript below video.
NAACP HEAD: We have to allocate resources to address I these hate groups and these hate crimes. We also need vigorous prosecution and vigorous investigation of these hate groups and the resources to do so.
MEGYN KELLY: Well that was the president of the NAACP calling for a new government crackdown on hate groups, even prosecution of them in the wake of the racially driven mass murder of nine African-Americans in a church in Charleston last week. But is that really where we want to go?
Greg Lukianoff is president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and author of Freedom From Speech. Greg, thank you for being here. That’s the question it sounds, it sounds noble, you know a racist, skinhead type murders nine African-Americans and the response is we’ve got to crack down on the groups that hate African-Americans, that heat in general with prosecution and investigation and you say?
GREG LUKIANOFF: That hate speech is not, and there’s a bit, a lot of misinformation on this, but hate speech is protected speech in the United States. What you go after is violence, what you go after his conspiracy to murder, but if you go after just opinions an expression of opinions we dislike, you’re not only doing something that’s flatly unconstitutional, you’re doing something that deeply unwise.
MEGYN KELLY: And to those who say: Well Greg must be in favor the white supremacists. Greg might be sympathetic towards the the skinhead cause.”
GREG LUKIANOFF: Yeah and that seems to be the way some people are you in the U.S. right now. I have defended throughout my career and I deal with free speech on college campuses, and I have defended people all across the political spectrum, and as soon as you actually allow people to start policing people for their opinions, practically no one who is provocative or interesting is safe.
MEGYN KELLY: Do you find it interesting because I was talking about with Brit about a possible double standard. Tomorrow night we’re going to air an hour long special on the beheading of an American woman in Oklahoma and the attempted beheading of her coworker. We have an exclusive interview with a coworker who’s finally for the first time in nearly ten months is speaking out about her ordeal and talking about what happened to her. By man who is self-radicalized who had become a radical Muslim online and listen, listen to what the same head of the NAACP had to say about why we need to expand it from the individual to the group. Listen.
NAACP HEAD: This young man was indoctrinated, radicalized if you will with an ideology of white nationalism or racism and so the point being here is we’ve got to look at not only this individual act of brutality, we also have to look at the atmosphere from which it emerged, And we have to address that.
MEGYN KELLY: Okay, so if you make that same point about the Muslim community, those in the Muslim community who are becoming radicalized and posting pictures of Bin Laden and talking about the Jihad, you get called a bigot. You say you have to expand it from one man’s act take a look at a community you get called a bigot. But if you say it in this context, it’s fine it because it’s clear that the white supremacist are bad.
GREG LUKIANOFF: Yeah, one Incredibly frustrating thing about being a First-Amendment lawyer, is the double standards are everywhere, people like oh, I wanna go after that these people with this opinion but people who have, essentially have the exact same opinion, but if I politically like them more, oh no no, that’s completely off base and that’s why our founding fathers were so smart to have no exceptions to the First Amendment. Opinion must always be protected.
MEGYN KELLY: So the white supremacists are allowed to say hateful things when it translates into actual, not just inspires hatred in somebody, but when it leads to direct violence. I mean how close would bear hatred have to be linked to a murder to take out a first amendment realm?
GREG LUKIANOFF: Well, I mean that we’re not that limited. When it comes to conspiracy to commit a crime you know if you take any act towards furthering a violent crime, then it’s a crime. And this is the big misunderstanding, the big dangerous misunderstanding of free speech. Free speech is an alternative to violence. It’s a way of resolving disputes without resort to violence. And I think it’s insane sometimes the people actually think oh let’s eliminate free speech. Yeah, you know how we use to resolve our resolve disputes? Coercion and violence.
MEGYN KELLY: And it may be beneficial to know exactly where the haters are. It’s kind of beneficial to have them speaking out about it.
GREG LUKIANOFF: You hit the nail on the head. That is the one thing that people do not understand about freedom of speech. It is completely naive to think that you’re safer to not know if there’s a Nazi in the room or someone who’s a bigot or wants to kill you. It’s incredibly naive to think we can just end racism by saying: “Hey everybody, just don’t say racist things in public.”
MEGYN KELL: Yeah proceed at your own risk is a better policy. Great great to see you.
GREG LUKIANOFF: Thanks for having me