This book explores hate speech and what is wrong with it using the concepts of obscenity. It traces the history of how societies have accepted pornographic depictions or have rejected those depictions through lists of banned books or antiobscenity laws. It examines what bans on obscenity, or other reactions to pornography, have been all about, along with the factors that make a word or phrase acceptable or unacceptable. The first part of the book discusses the history of how societies have treated sexual images while the second part focuses on the legal test for obscenity and how it is applied to incidents of potential hate speech. It also analyzes the obscenity doctrine that finds objectionable material presented to children that might be acceptable for adults in the context of racist, sexist, and homophobic speech. In this introduction, a clarification is made regarding the nature of obscenity and how it differs from pornography.
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