Combating Hate: A Framework for Direct Action


Combating Hate: A Framework for Direct Action

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The United States has a hate problem. In recent years, hate speech has led not only to deep division in our politics but also to violence, murder, and even insurrection. And yet established constitutional jurisprudence holds that all speech is protected as “content neutral” and that the proper democratic response to hateful expression is not regulation but “more speech.” So how can ordinary citizens stand up to hate groups when the state will not?

In Combating Hate, Billie Murray proposes an answer to this question. As a participant in anti-racist and anti-fascist protests, including demonstrations against the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and the Westboro Baptist Church, Murray witnessed firsthand the limitations of the “more speech” approach as well as the combative tactics of anti-fascist activists. She argues that this latter group, commonly known as antifa, embodies a radically different strategy for combating hate, one that explodes the myth of content neutrality and reveal