Whose Diversity Is It Anyway?

Reading overviews of US court decisions on the 1 Amendment, particularly protection of “free speech” vs. hate speech in ‘campus code’ cases, really makes me thankful that I’m not in law school.

One argument made in a court ruling in the early 90s is that while racist/sexist/heterosexist slurs etc. may offend the ‘sensibilities’ of minority students and hinder the goal of state universities to create a diverse learning environment, “the [campus code rules do] as much to hurt diversity on Wisconsin campuses as it does to help it. By establishing content-based restrictions on speech, the rule limits the diversity of ideas among students and thereby prevents the ‘robust exchange of ideas’ which intellectually diverse campuses provide.” (UMW Post v. Boards of Regents of the University Of Wisconsin, 774 F.Supp. 1163, E.D. Wisc. 1991; quoted in Stephen Smith “There’s Such a Thing as Free Speech” in Whillock, Slayden (ed.) Hate Speech London: Sage (1995) p. 241)  

What kind of ‘diversity’ is that? What about the power dynamics at play here?

Writing this M.A. thesis is going to be fun. 

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