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DegradationWhat the History of Obscenity Tells Us about Hate Speech$
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Kevin W. Saunders

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814741443

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814741443.001.0001

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(p.147) 8 Applications

(p.147) 8 Applications

Chapter:
(p.147) 8 Applications
Source:
Degradation
Author(s):

Kevin W. Saunders

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814741443.003.0008

This chapter discusses a number of applications of the obscenity-based test aimed at determining whether an expression constitutes hate speech. It presents examples that focus on the sort of speech that degrades a population to less than fully human status, the same sort of degradation that some people have seen in pornography's degradation of humanity as a whole to an animal level. These examples include the case of Keith Dambrot, the head basketball coach at Central Michigan University during the 1992–1993 season; the correspondence between Carl Van Vechten and Langston Hughes in which the former, a white man, wrote of “niggers”; and the use of the word “nigger” by characters in several of Quentin Tarantino's films. This chapter also examines hate speech based on gender and sexual orientation.

Keywords:   obscenity, hate speech, degradation, pornography, Keith Dambrot, Carl Van Vechten, nigger, Quentin Tarantino, gender, sexual orientation

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